Herbal Supplements

Peer Reviewed

Peppermint Oil and Fresh Mint

Peppermint contains essential oils, menthol (active component), menthone, methyl acetate, tannic acid, terpenes (antiviral, calming), and vitamin C. Herbal preparations are made from the leaves and flowering tops of the plant.

This herb may enhance digestion and used to treat irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, morning sickness, menstrual cramps, poor appetite, gas, diarrhea, headache, migraine, and skin irritations. Menthol thins mucus, which can make it an effective decongestant and expectorant. Peppermint may also fight viruses that cause cold sores, genital sores (herpes), sore throats, sinusitis, and colds/flu.

Sources of Peppermint
Peppermint is available in the following forms: dried leaves, teas, tinctures, enteric-coated capsules, and creams/ointments.

Guidelines and Cautions
Always follow package directions.

  • Peppermint oil should always be diluted.
  • Do not ingest pure menthol or pure peppermint leaves—pure menthol taken internally is poisonous.
  • Application to the skin can cause rash and/or skin irritation.
  • Never apply to the faces of infants or children.
  • Peppermint should not be used by women who are pregnant or nursing.
  • Peppermint may interfere with iron absorption.

Disclaimer: Many people report feeling improvement in their condition and/or general well-being taking dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements. The Editorial Board of, however, cannot endorse such products since most lack peer-reviewed scientific validation of their claims. In most cases an appropriate diet and a "multiple vitamin" will provide the necessary dietary supplements for most individuals. Prior to taking additional dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements it is recommended that patients consult with their personal physician to discuss their specific supplement requirements.

Updated on: 03/21/16
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Pau d'Arco
Vincent Traynelis, MD
Although many patients describe improvement in their condition after taking one of the supplements previously described, the Editorial Board is unable to endorse these supplements, as there is insufficient peer reviewed research available. Hopefully the role of these compounds will be better understood once more scientific research is compiled.
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Pau d'Arco

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