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Peppermint

What is it?

Peppermint is an herbal medicine used to treat lung problems, nausea (upset stomach), gas, headache, gastritis, enteritis, and irritable bowel disease. It is also used on the skin for rheumatic complaints (sore aching joints), severe itching, and skin rash.

Other names for Peppermint include: Brandy Mint, Balm Mint, Green Mint, and Mentha piperita.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have liver or bile duct blockage, gall bladder inflammation, gallstones, or liver problems
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease

Dosage:

Talk with your caregiver about how much Peppermint you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Peppermint. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Warnings:

  • Before taking Peppermint, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Do not use Peppermint oil on the face, especially near the nose of infants and young children under age 12 (1,2)
  • Do not use Peppermint on open wounds (2)
  • Do not use if you have biliary duct occlusion (blocked bile duct, usually with gallstones), gall bladder inflammation, or liver damage (2)
  • If you have gallstones, talk to a doctor before using Peppermint (2)

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Stomach pain and upset (1)
  • Heartburn (4)

References:

1. Fachinfo: Mentacur(R), peppermint oil: Asche AG, Hamburg, Germany; 1997.

2. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A et al: Peppermint leaf and oil. The Complete German Commission E Monographs; Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. The American Botanical Council, Austin, TX; 1998.

3. Fachinfo Euminz(R)N, peppermint oil. Lichtwer Pharma GmbH, Berlin, Germany; 1997.

4. Lawson MJ, Knight RE, Tran K et al: Failure of enteric-coated peppermint oil in the irritable bowel syndrome: a randomized, double-blind crossover study. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 1988; 3:235-238.

5. Bradley PR (ed): Peppermint leaf. In: British Herbal Compendium, vol.1. British Herbal Medicine Association, Bournemouth, UK; 1992: 174-176.


Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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