Peppermint for Upset Stomach
Peppermint – more than a candy cane for Christmas time, in our house its the 1st line of defense against an upset stomach. With a little who has food sensativities this has been our go medicinal herb. It goes easily and can be an envasive plant to potted is best to avoid having it overrun your herb garden.
When it comes to the uses of peppermint for upset stomach, its most potent compound is menthol, a strong antispasmodic that helps to calm spasms in the stomach and intestines.
This antispasmodic activity makes peppermint useful for vomiting, gas pains, colic, intestinal cramping, and even minor symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In addition to being anti-spasmodic, menthol reduces built-up gas, stimulates the production of bile, and relieves pain.
How to Use Peppermint for Upset Stomach
The digestive system is prone to a great number of issues: heartburn, indigestion, nausea, cramping, gas. The list goes on and on. Peppermint can help soothe and calm nearly every complaint the digestive system throws at it.
There are a few ways to use peppermint for upset stomach, and some are more effective at easing certain problems. Let’s look at peppermint tea first…
Peppermint Tincture for Indigestion
Peppermint tincture, made by soaking the herb in alcohol to draw out its beneficial compounds, has proven to be more effective in relieving indigestion than the herbal tea. The reason for this is that peppermint’s medicinal compounds are only partially soluble in water – but alcohol can draw them all out.
Take 20-60 drops (0.5-1 ml) of peppermint tincture in a small glass of water up to three times a day for the relief of indigestion.
Alternatively, try making a peppermint julep for a cool and soothing treat on a hot day. It will make you feel like a rich, southern aristocrat too!
Just crush 4-5 sprigs of peppermint and put in a glass with two teaspoons sugar and 2 1/2 ounces bourbon. Fill the rest of the glass with crushed ice. Stir well and enjoy.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Inhaling peppermint essential oil can be very helpful for allaying feelings of nausea and may even keep vomiting at bay. I often grab some to breathe while brewing peppermint tea.
Breathe directly from the bottle every 5-10 minutes as needed or place 5-7 drops in an essential oil diffuser. If you’re on the go, put a couple drops on a tissue to keep in your pocket and inhale when the nausea rises up again.
Inhaling peppermint essential oil may aggravate asthmatic symptoms.
Peppermint oil should not be confused with peppermint essential oil, which should not be taken internally.
Using peppermint for upset stomach of all sorts can be beneficial for many people. Peppermint is one of the best-tasting medicinal herbs we have, which makes using it when the digestive system is in an uproar easy and pleasant. Even if you’re feeling nauseous or have been vomiting, drinking a cup of peppermint tea will be delicious.
How do you use peppermint?
Stengler, Mark, ND. The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies: Proven Remedies Medical Doctors Don’t Know. Prentice Hall Press, 2010.
This information has not been evaluated by the FDA and is intended only for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure disease. Always consult a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your healthcare routine.