Peppermint Oil For IBS ManagementPublished on Thursday, August 18, 2022 by
Are you wondering if what you have heard about peppermint oil is too good to be true?
Given that Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is both relatively common and often paired with significant quality of life implications, it should come as little surprise that any easily accessible supplement that offers meaningful relief would generate a great deal of public and scientific interest.
And that’s precisely where peppermint oil comes into play.
The 2021 American Journal Of Gastroenterology Practice Guidelines For IBS support the use of peppermint to provide relief of IBS symptoms.
Their endorsement was guided in part by a comprehensive 2019 meta-analysis published in BMC Complement Altern Med which included a total of 12 studies with over 800 total participants and identified that peppermint oil has been demonstrated across several studies to improve global IBS symptoms more than a placebo treatment.
These symptoms include:
- Abdominal Pain
Pretty promising right?
Let’s take a closer look at some key details around peppermint oil use and efficacy.
How Does It Work?
The current scientific consensus appears to be that L-menthol, a bioactive compound found within peppermint oil, interacts with cellular calcium channels and promotes muscle relaxation in the digestive tract – where it may also interact with a number of other components.
How Is It Used?
Peppermint oil has not been studied for use as an “on-demand” relief aid, but rather the benefits associated with its use have been observed when it is used in a continuous fashion over a 2-12 week period with most commonly studied adult doses ranging from 50-225 mg per day.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Peppermint oil has generally been found to be well and widely tolerated in the majority of studies with the most common complaint being symptoms of heartburn in a small number of users and often being mild and fleeting.
The optimal and exact course of IBS management understandably varies from person to person depending on a significant number of contextual factors and may include a wide array of interventions ranging from dietary & supplemental to pharmaceutical and beyond.
Among these diverse options it does indeed appear that the best available science supports the use of a peppermint oil supplement as a tool to offer short-medium term relief of IBS symptoms and pain.
Andy De SantisMPH, RD