Herbs

Are There Any Side Effects of Peppermint?

Peppermint is a herbal plant and the oil and leaves are used for preparing medicine. There are various benefits and some side effects of peppermint. Some of the benefits of peppermint that are useful for treating cough, common cold, inflammation of the throat and mouth, respiratory infections and sinus infections. Peppermint side effects are discussed below in this article. Read on to know more.

Side effects of peppermint

Peppermint herb is possible safe when taken orally in appropriate amounts found in food. Peppermint oil is likely to be safe when applied topically on the skin or when taken in medicinal dose. The lead of peppermint is safe when taken for short-term period (up to 8 weeks) in medicinal amounts. The safety on the use of peppermint leaf for long period is not known. Some of the peppermint side effects are discussed below.

  • In some individuals there may be some side effects after using peppermint (leaf, oil or other supplements). These side effects include allergic reactions, mouth sores, headache, flushing and heartburn.
  • The oil of peppermint when taken orally in solid dosage form (pills) along with a enteric (special) coating helps prevent its contact with the inner lining of the stomach. Thus, it is likely to be safe for kids under the age group of 8 or even older.
  • Stomach problems:

    Although, peppermint is used to soothe digestive problems. But, the relaxing effect peppermint oil on the stomach muscles might sometimes increase the symptoms of indigestion and heartburn. Peppermint could relax the sphincter muscle which connects the stomach to esophagus, so that the acid from the stomach flows back into the esophagus. Individuals having gastrointestinal problems like GERD (gastroespphageal reflux disease) or hiatal hernia might especially be likely to develop this side effect.

  • Worsening of gallstones:

    Supplements of peppermint may worsen gallstones in individuals who are already suffering with this condition. Patients with this condition must consult their physician before suing this herbal supplement.

  • Allergic reactions:

    Some individuals who take capsules of peppermint may experience allergic reactions. Some of the peppermint oil capsules allergic reactions include throat closing, skin irritations like inflammation, hives or rashes or breathing problems. Taking peppermint oil in higher doses may increase one’s risk of developing allergic reaction. Thus, it is good to limit the intake to 0.2-0.4 ml of peppermint oil for 3 times in a day for lowering the risk.

  • Other side effects:

    Some individuals may also develop some side effects after using peppermint oil capsules which include anal burning, slow heartbeat, dizziness and headaches. Intake of very large amounts of peppermint oil does have the potential for causing more serous and adverse reactions which include brain damage, muscle weakness and seizures.

Precautions:

  • Breast-feeding:

    The use of peppermint during breast-feeding is likely to be safe. But, the safety on the use of peppermint in larger amounts is not enough known. Thus, it is best to avoid taking peppermint in larger amounts.

  • Pregnancy:

    The safety on the use of peppermint in small dosage or the amounts found in food level is possibly safe. But, larger amounts of using peppermint may cause side effects on the growing fetus. Thus, it is best to avoid its use.

  • Achlorhydria:

    Achlorhydria is a stomach condition in which hydrochloric acid is not produced by the stomach. Individuals suffering with this achlorhydria condition must avoid the use of enteric-coated peppermint. The enteric coating of peppermint may dissolve early inside the digestive system.

  • Diarrhea:

    Patients suffering with diarrhea must avoid the use of peppermint oil. This is because of the enteric coating of peppermint oil can cause anal burning.

The above article discusses about the side effects of peppermint. Peppermint in medicinal amounts is possibly safe. But, intake of large amounts of peppermint may cause side effects. Thus, individuals having any of the above conditions must consult their doctor before using peppermint.

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