Peppermint, the Almighty Natural Digestive Aid!
Despite being a holistic nutritionist, I didn’t know much about essential oils until I started to work at a health food store. To be honest, I was never a fan of aromatherapy when it was the “thing” a while ago.
From my observations, people just love essential oils nowadays and some of them are very knowledgeable. They have tons of different kinds of essential oils at home and like to make their own potions for certain purposes. As I talked to customers and asked questions, I started to see why essential oils became so popular and wanted to learn more about their benefits.
One day, I decided to try them and picked two of the most popular and basic oils: peppermint and lavender. One of my friends loves peppermint essential oil and she uses it for many purposes such as: migraine headache, motion sickness, and muscle pain. Since my husband has been experiencing frequent tension headaches, I wanted to give it a try.
As I studied more about peppermint oil, I found that it has digestive aid properties and is well known for the treatment of indigestion. That explains why you get peppermint flavored candies after a meal at a restaurant! I was very excited and fascinated about this amazing fact, it is not just for refreshing breath but also helping digestion!
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) uses to help digestion:
- IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome)
Peppermint oil is available in enteric-coated capsules, soft gelatin capsules, and as an essential oil. Peppermint tea can be made from dried leaves (1 to 2 tsp for 1 cup of hot water, steep for 10 minutes).
- For diarrhea: 3 cups of tea per day.
- For flatulence: 6 to 12 drops of essential oil in water 3 times a day or 3 cups of tea a day.
- For indigestion: same as above, or 1 to 2 capsules 3 times a day after meals.
- For IBS: an enteric-coated capsule to protect from stomach acid and ensure effectiveness in intestines; a capsule containing 0.2 ml of oil, 2 to 3 times a day.
- Topical use for abdominal discomfort: a few drops of peppermint oil per 1 Tbsp organic unrefined oil (almond oil, olive oil, or any unrefined oil) to create a carrier oil. Rub directly on the site of discomfort.
- Caution: do not use peppermint oil internally (except within an enteric-coated capsule) if you have heartburn or esophageal reflux.
Peppermint is very easy to grow (almost too aggressive, it can invade unwanted areas even!) in your own garden. I had three pots of peppermint plants last summer and enjoyed them in our infused water (lemon and peppermint was my husband’s favorite). I am going to try making peppermint tea this summer with both fresh leaves and dried leaves to see which one tastes better.
All is well and all the best!
“Prescription for Nutritional Healing” by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC
“Staying Healthy with Nutrition” by Elson M. Haas, MD
“The Herbal Drugstore” by Linda B. White, MD., Steven Foster