$20 off your first month Identify & address the underlying causes of chronic health conditions

Already have an account?


Peppermint Oil for IBS

Thursday, August 3rd 2023 10:00am 4 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder characterized by symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and altered bowel habits. While the exact cause of IBS remains unknown, researchers and healthcare professionals have been exploring various treatment options, both pharmacological and natural, to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life for individuals with IBS. One such natural remedy that has gained attention in recent years is peppermint oil. This article aims to delve into the potential benefits of peppermint oil in managing IBS symptoms, supported by evidence from peer-reviewed journals.

Mechanism of action

Peppermint oil contains several active compounds, most notably menthol, that contribute to its therapeutic effects. Menthol is known to have antispasmodic properties, which means it can relax the smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal tract. This relaxation effect may help reduce abdominal pain and cramping, which are common symptoms experienced by IBS patients. Additionally, peppermint oil has been shown to have antimicrobial properties, potentially reducing the overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, often associated with IBS.

Efficacy of peppermint oil in alleviating IBS symptoms

Numerous studies have investigated the effectiveness of peppermint oil in managing IBS symptoms. A randomized controlled trial published in the journal Gastroenterology involved 110 patients with IBS. The study found that peppermint oil capsules significantly reduced abdominal pain and improved overall symptom severity compared to a placebo group. Another double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted by Grigoleit and colleagues and published in the British Medical Journal found that peppermint oil effectively reduced IBS symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, and stool frequency, when compared to a placebo.

Peppermint oil vs. conventional treatments

In comparison to conventional IBS treatments, such as antispasmodic medications and fiber supplements, peppermint oil has shown comparable or superior efficacy in managing symptoms. A meta-analysis published in the journal Digestive and Liver Disease examined several randomized controlled trials and concluded that peppermint oil was more effective than placebo and as effective as antispasmodic medications in reducing abdominal pain and improving overall IBS symptoms. Furthermore, unlike some conventional treatments, peppermint oil is generally well-tolerated and has a favorable safety profile.

Recommended dosage and administration

The dosage of peppermint oil required to alleviate IBS symptoms can vary. However, most studies have used enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules to ensure targeted delivery to the intestines and minimize potential side effects. A typical recommended dosage is 180-200 mg of enteric-coated peppermint oil, taken 2-3 times daily before meals. It is important to note that undiluted peppermint oil should not be ingested, as it can cause irritation and heartburn.

Members Only Content

To continue reading please subscribe to WellnessPlus by Dr. Jess MD

Be your own best doctor with our comprehensive suite of online health coaching tools.



$20 off your first month

Identify & address the underlying causes of chronic health conditions