Q&A: Benefits of Peppermint Oil for IBS

by Dr. Julian Whitaker
Filed Under: Digestive Health, Q&As
Last Reviewed 03/28/2014

I read somewhere that the benefits of peppermint oil might help my IBS symptoms. Is this true?

Q&A: Benefits of Peppermint Oil for IBS

It is indeed. In one study, Italian researchers gave patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) either peppermint oil or placebo capsules twice a day. After four weeks, three quarters of the patients taking peppermint reported a greater than 50 percent improvement in symptoms, compared to just 38 percent of those in the placebo group.

While there are many benefits of peppermint oil, this supplement can cause heartburn in some people, so I suggest taking only enteric-coated capsules, which don’t break down until they’ve passed through the stomach.

The dose used in most studies is one to two capsules containing 0.2 mL of oil twice a day. I also recommend a cup of fragrant peppermint tea after meals for the optimal benefits of peppermint oil to aid digestion. Look for peppermint oil capsules and tea in your health-food store. 

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