Peppermint and Gut Health

More people than ever desire to live life more naturally. They don’t want to exist artificially and synthetically. When health problems arise, rather than take medicines every time that they are not feeling well, people are looking for natural alternatives. This brings us to one of these really “cool” alternatives for digestive problems – peppermint. Studies have shown that peppermint has many benefits especially with regard to your gut and digestion.
Benefits of Peppermint
For things like indigestion, pain in your lower gut, and irritable bowel syndrome, peppermint can be very useful to you. There has been a lot of evidence of peppermint’s power when it comes to dealing with stomach issues. Among these studies, one showed up to a 40% reduction in abdominal pain and around 50% reduction in bloating and gas. How is this possible? That is because peppermint contains menthol. Menthol is a very volatile substance, but it has an antispasmodic effect that directly affects the smooth muscles of the digestive tract. The smell of peppermint can actually calm your nerves, which will help you when you are suffering from a nervous stomach. The compounds found within peppermint are actually able to activate an anti-pain channel, called the TRPM8, found in the colon. Studies have shown that this could reduce the pain that is often caused by eating spicy foods.
Peppermint is actually able to help relieve the pain of a cramping stomach. Peppermint can also help with the symptoms of gas, indigestion, and a stomachache. It is also a popular choice for treating irritable bowel syndrome. These are some of the other conditions that people have found relief from thanks to peppermint:
• Liver Problems
• Gallbladder problems’
• Cramping in the bile ducts and upper gastrointestinal tract
• Vomiting
• Bacterial overgrowth of small intestines
• Morning sickness
• Nausea
• Can be used to relax colon
• Irregular bowel movements
Even if you are not currently suffering from digestive issues, there are benefits to regularly consuming peppermint tea as it can help the digestive tract to function better. Patients that suffer from chronic indigestion can greatly benefit from using peppermint as well.
Different Forms of Peppermint
Peppermint can come in many forms, some of which are better for some things than others. One of the commonly suggested types of peppermint is the enteric-coated form of peppermint oil. This is because enteric-coated form if peppermint will actually bypass the stomach and will release into the small bowel. The enteric-coating will also not affect the gastroesophageal sphincter, which can be a problem in other ways of consuming peppermint.
You could also use peppermint gum. While it will not be as effective as an enteric-coated peppermint oil capsule, it does come with its own set of benefits. Chewing peppermint gum will help you by stimulating the secretion of gastric juices and this will help you with the digestion of your food. It will also help to relieve the sensations of bloating and fullness.
Some people also use peppermint essential oils to help. You can inhale the peppermint oil to curb your appetite, soothe nausea, and help soothe morning or motion sicknesses. You can also massage the oil on your abdomen to help relieve symptoms.
Drinking mint tea can help to soothe your stomach when it is upset, as can chewing on a mint leaf. It can also be very useful if you have diarrhea or an otherwise nervous stomach. Drinking mint tea can also help you prevent issues when consumed on a regular basis.
You should stay away from things like peppermint hard candies. Despite the fact that it has peppermint in it, it also has high sugar content. The sugar will become fermented by the bacteria found in the small bowel and this could lead to the production of constipation, gas, diarrhea and bloating.
If you find yourself having digestive issues on a regular basis, especially if it interferes with your everyday life, you should contact a functional medicine doctor that focuses on digestive issues. They can help you diagnose any problems that you may have to make sure that you do not have a serious condition. If they do find something, you should ask about adding peppermint into your regimen. Even if you do not have any conditions, your doctor can offer you tips on usage so that you can make the most out of the benefits of peppermint.