I attended a barbecue this past weekend and tried a number of different types of foods. After returning to my aunt’s house after the fun filled event I started to feel nauseous and experienced severe stomach pain and cramping.
I asked my aunt if she had anything for nausea. What she gave me was something called peppermint oil. She put a little bit in a cup of tea along with some honey and told me to drink up.
I must admit that I was a bit skeptical. To think that something as simple as peppermint oil would fix my digestive problems was almost laughable.
Well, I stand corrected: by the time I finished my tea, my stomach pain and nausea were gone.
What is peppermint oil? This oil is extracted from the herb peppermint. Peppermint is a hybrid plant that is a cross between mentha and piperita.
Research studies have shown that peppermint oil can help reduce the symptoms associated with Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS). In 2007, a study published in the journal, “Digestive and Liver Diseases” showed that 75 percent of patients with IBS who were given peppermint oil had a major reduction in their symptoms compared to only 38 percent of those patients given a placebo.
In a 2011 paper published in the journal, “Pain,” scientists discovered a specific pathway by which peppermint relieves pain through the digestive system.
According to Dr. Stuart Brierly, peppermint exerts its effect by acting on a pain channel called TRPM8. It reduces the pain-sensing fibers in the digestive system, especially those for foods like mustard and pepper.
Scientists view this as a major step towards using peppermint oil as a treatment for digestive disorders like IBS.
Despite this good news, always remember to consult your physician before taking any supplement, especially if you are on other medications.
Source: nccam.nih.gov, sciencedaily.com, sciencedirect.com
Photo Credit: naturalhomeandgarden.com