The medicinal use of peppermint dates back as far as Greek and Roman times, and is still used to day to treat respiratory disorders, headaches and more. One of the most common medicinal uses of peppermint oil is to treat gastrointestinal disorders and indigestion.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Purchase peppermint essential oil, tinctures or capsules for the full medicinal benefits. While peppermint oil is commonly used as flavoring for candies, only essential oils are guaranteed for their healing effects. Peppermint essential oil works on indigestion by soothing the stomach muscles and improving the flow of bile, helping foods to pass through the stomach more quickly and easily.
Drink a cup of peppermint tea after a heavy meal which causes indigestion, to reap the benefits of the oil from the leaves. Pour boiling water over a peppermint tea bag, cover and allow to steep for 5 minutes. If making tea from dried leaves, use 2 tsp. for every cup of water. Sweeten if desired and sip while hot.
Treat indigestion caused by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules. Take one or two capsules three times daily within 1 hour after eating.
Use peppermint tincture, a stronger alternative to tea for easing indigestion. Because each tincture is made differently, you should read the manufacturer's instruction for use; however, as a general rule, add 5 to 10 drops to one cup of warm water and drink after meals.
Tips and warnings
- While indigestion is a common symptom of GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, it should not be used in case of heartburn, as peppermint relaxes the esophageal muscles and can exacerbate the problem.
- Peppermint oil in any form is not recommended for those with hiatal hernia, gallbladder disease or while pregnant or nursing.