Peppermint Oil more than just a nice smell!
At both The Clarke Clinic and Reboot study we often burn essential oils; one of our favourites is peppermint oil. Peppermint oil has been used for centuries to address gastrointestinal ailments .A recent review article: The physiologic effects and safety of Peppermint Oil and its efficacy in irritable bowel syndrome and other functional disorders published in The Journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 2018 Mar; 47(6): 738–752 helps to understand that there is potentially much more to this oil than just a nice smell, including anti-inflammatory as well as antibacterial/antifungal effects!
The review states that peppermint oil’s primary active ingredient is menthol which is metabolized in the liver and It hi-lights the fact that it is peppermint oil effects on neuro-motor function and visceral sensation –relaxation and feeling in the gut have been studied most extensively, these have been shown to positively affect esophageal, gastric, small bowel, gallbladder, and colonic physiology. Studies comparing the use of the oil with a placebo are supportive of the oils use in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia, childhood functional abdominal pain, and postoperative nausea.
The reviewers conclude that the oil appears to be safe with few, if any side effects beyond those seen with placebo. More recent data demonstrate many other physiological effects it may have these include antibacterial/antifungal effects, an ability to down regulate inflammation, and potentially affect attention, and possibly mood.