Peppermint oil has been studied most extensively for IBS. Results from several studies indicate that the oil in enteric-coated capsules may improve IBS symptoms.
A few studies have indicated that peppermint oil, in combination with caraway, may help relieve indigestion, but this evidence is preliminary and the product that was tested is not available in the United States.
Peppermint oil has been used topically for tension headaches and a limited amount of evidence suggests that it might be helpful for this purpose.
There’s not enough evidence to allow any conclusions to be reached about whether it is helpful for nausea, the common cold, or other conditions.
There’s not enough evidence to show whether peppermint leaf is helpful for any condition.
Peppermint Oil Side Effects
Peppermint oil appears to be safe when taken orally (by mouth) in the doses commonly used. Excessive doses can be toxic.
Possible side effects include allergic reactions and heartburn. Capsules containing the oil are often enteric-coated to reduce the likelihood of heartburn. If enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules are taken at the same time as antacids, the coating can break down too quickly.
Like other essential oils, peppermint oil is highly concentrated. When the undiluted essential oil is used for health purposes, only a few drops are used.
Side effects of applying the oil to the skin can include skin rashes and irritation. The oil should not be applied to the face or chest of infants or young children because serious side effects may occur if they inhale the menthol in the oil.
No harmful effects of peppermint leaf tea have been reported. However, the long-term safety of consuming large amounts of peppermint leaf is unknown.
Tell all your health care providers about any complementary or integrative health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.