Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other gastrointestinal issues can be a pain in the you know what, but there are tons of natural solutions out there to help ease the symptoms. Among nature’s homeopathic remedies is peppermint oil, an essential oil derived from the peppermint plant that’s shown to reduce IBS symptoms and could also promote better overall gastrointestinal health.
Peppermint oil can help ease the abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea of IBS, report researchers in BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine. In a review of data from 835 IBS patients, those who took peppermint oil capsules were more than twice as likely to see an improvement in IBS symptoms than those who took a placebo, and 78 percent more likely to have reduced abdominal pain. The researchers say peppermint oil contains antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, which help regulate the immune system and prevent muscle spasms.
And if you’ve got a kid at home with a nagging tummy ache, peppermint oil might be able to help with that, too. In another review of studies including about 2,000 children and adolescents suffering from a variety of gastrointestinal issues, peppermint oil was found to significantly decrease the duration, frequency, and severity of stomach pain. The best part? Use of peppermint oil in the treatment of these conditions seemed to yield no adverse side effects, making it a great all-natural treatment option!
If over the counter medications aren’t cutting it and you’re looking to add a natural remedy to manage symptoms, peppermint oil is a promising choice. As always, consult your doctor before adding any new supplement to your regimen. You can dilute a few drops of peppermint essential oil like this one from Cliganic ($6.95, Amazon) in water and ingest it that way, but this can sometimes cause heartburn. Another option is to consume a coated supplement. To use peppermint oil for IBS and other tummy woes, try a peppermint oil capsule like this one from Heather’s Tummy Care ($11.98, Amazon).