Peppermint Essential Oil Uses for Constipation and Bloating
Essential oil uses have persisted for centuries as the compound rich oils from various plants has proven to be useful in a wide variety of health ailments. For health uses, these oils are made into tinctures, where a small part of the essential oil is mixed with a carrier oil or solution. It is important to know that while there are many beneficial essential oil uses, the oral consumption of pure oils can be toxic and pose health risks. This is also true when pure and undiluted oils are used externally without a carrier oil or solution. However, when blended into a tincture, essential oils can alleviate a very wide variety of symptoms.
Peppermint is one of the most popular herbal oils and it is most notable because of its ability to numb and calm. Peppermint essential oil uses have persisted throughout history for everything from headaches to cold and flu symptoms. The menthol in peppermint is considered a potent decongestant, which likely is what makes it so useful for respiratory and sinus troubles. Peppermint is most well known today however as a flavoring for candies and mints and in many foods, although it is still very popular in alternative medicine, where the health benefits of peppermint tea and tinctures are still used for many ailments.
Digestive health is where peppermint really shines, and it is thought that peppermint may be a leader amongst natural stomach bloating remedies. This is because a calmative effect that relaxes the muscles thus letting painful gas pass is thought to be one of the more beneficial peppermint essential oil uses. This had led to studies observing the oil’s use as a remedy for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Capsules containing small amounts of the oil have been used in studies to observe their ability to reduce some of the symptoms of the common condition. Since some of the more pronounced symptoms of IBS include stomach bloating and gas, the touted ability of peppermint to relieve these has led to numerous studies involving its use in the condition. Mixed results have surfaced; however the studies have found that many people taking peppermint oil capsule experienced less stomach bloating, abdominal distention and gassiness while participating in the studies. Consequently the studies have shown that peppermint essential oil uses still include a wide variety of digestive ails, with peppermint’s use as a leader amongst natural stomach bloating remedies still tightly secured.
Alleviating indigestion is another gastrointestinal benefit to using peppermint. It is thought that because the herb relaxes digestive muscles and increases bile flow that digestion becomes easier and the body can digest with less discomfort. The improvement in the flow of bile means that the body can digest fats more easily which can also lead to less discomfort because food can pass through more rapidly.
Peppermint essential oil uses externally for digestive woes are also popular. The oil can be mixed with a carrier oil and applied externally to alleviate abdominal discomfort from digestive troubles like constipation. When massaged into the skin, tense muscles can be relaxed thus prompting gentle relief. When added into a warm bath following massage, the soothing and relaxing benefits can be amplified.
Peppermint oil can be taken numerous ways. The most popular of these is in a spirit or tincture. In these concoctions, ten percent peppermint oil is mixed with alcohol with a small percentage of leaf extract. Additionally, capsules are also popular, and these are coated to prevent the release of the oil into the stomach, where it can cause irritation. External use is typically limited to various creams and oils that contain partial parts peppermint oil, most notably for its menthol content. There is little information available about safe dosage for various peppermint essential oil uses, however some things are known about safety. Young children should not use peppermint oil in any form for medicinal purposes. It can cause serious reactions and side effects. Use in older children for digestive upset should occur after consultation with a health care provider. Adults may take one peppermint oil capsule two to three times daily for IBS symptom relief with the permission of a health care provider. There is no dosage information available about the tea form of peppermint; however it is generally accepted that peppermint tea is safe.
There are some drug interactions that can occur between peppermint essential oil uses and some medications. For instance, cyclosporine users should not use peppermint, because it can reduce the effectiveness of the medication. Additionally, those using antacids or other stomach reducing medications should not use peppermint oil capsules because it may make the capsules dissolve in the stomach, where they are not supposed to. Because of the drug interactions that are known and those possibly unknown, it is best to discuss the use of peppermint for health uses with a medical professional before proceeding. While there are a great many healthful uses for peppermint that can relieve symptoms naturally without the use of medications, safe use is of the utmost importance, as with any natural remedy.