Peppermint oil is a safe and effective therapy for IBS

Peppermint oil (Mentha Piperita) may be used as a safe and effective natural remedy for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to a literature review published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Peppermint oil was found to improve several symptoms of IBS.

  • A team of researchers from the U.S. and Australia sought to determine the effect of peppermint oil in relieving the symptoms of IBS and assess the possible side effects of the essential oil compared to the placebo.
  • IBS is a common chronic disorder affecting the large intestine. This condition is characterized by relapsing abdominal pain and altered bowel habits. Some of its other symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and gas.
  • Peppermint oil contains monoterpene compounds that target the pathophysiology of IBS.
  • It also contains L-menthol, which blocks calcium channels in smooth muscle, producing antispasmodic effects on the gastrointestinal tract.
  • In addition, peppermint oil possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, immunomodulating, and anesthetic properties – all of which may be helpful for treating IBS.
  • For the meta-analysis, the research team included 12 randomized clinical trials involving a total of 835 participants published over five decades from around the world.
  • Overall, the research team found that treatment with peppermint oil significantly improved abdominal pain and the other symptoms of IBS.
  • Based on the data they have gathered, peppermint oil did not cause serious side effects and is therefore considered safe.

In conclusion, the findings of the review indicate that peppermint oil is a safe and effective natural treatment for IBS.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

To read more studies on the health effects of peppermint oil, visit

Journal Reference:

Alammar N, Wang L, Saberi B, Nanavati J, Holtmann G, Shinohara RT, Mullin GE. THE IMPACT OF PEPPERMINT OIL ON THE IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME: A META-ANALYSIS OF THE POOLED CLINICAL DATA. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 17 January 2019; 19: 21. DOI: 10.1186/s12906-018-2409-0

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