Peppermint plant medicinal uses and side effects (Mentha piperita)

Peppermint plant is a hybrid, herbaceous, perennial plant. This fast-growing plant spreads quickly once it sprouts. It grows 30-90 cm in height. The smooth stems are square in cross section. The rhizomes have bare, fibrous roots that are fleshy and spreading. It grows well in moist, shaded locations.

Peppermint plant medicinal uses and side effects (Mentha piperita)

The dark-green leaves are 4-9 cm long and 1-4 cm broad. They have reddish veins. The apex of the leaf is acute, and the margins are coarsely toothed. The leaves and stem are slightly fuzzy.

Flowers are purple 6-8 m long and 5 mm in diameter. The Corolla has four lobes. The form thick, blunt spikes around the stem. They are produced in whorls.

The flowers and leaf of the Mentha piperita are used in medicinal applications.

Common name

The common name for this plant is Mint or Peppermint or Mentha or Pudina.

Botanical Name or Family

The botanical name of this plant is Mentha piperita. It belongs to the Lamiaceae family.

Geological area where peppermint plant grows

The Peppermint is native to Europe and the Middle East. It is grown in all parts of the world.

Peppermint flower

Medicinal Uses of Mentha piperita in different disease

Digestive and other problems

  • Cramps of the upper gastrointestinal tract and bile ducts: The Peppermint oil shows good signs of stopping cramps of the upper tract and bile ducts.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Though there is no clear evidence, some of the observations related to Irritable Bowel Syndrome show bowel movements, reduction in gas and bloating, and stomach pain.
  • Morning sickness: Apply some Peppermint oil to the temples when you have morning sickness.
  • Vomiting: For getting relief from vomiting, one can inhale the aroma of Mentha piperita. It refreshes and stops the feeling of throwing up.
  • Nausea: If you experience nausea, you can get relief by having a dab of Peppermint oil on your forehead and nostrils.Peppermint oil
  • Heartburn: Taken together with caraway seeds reduces stomach spasms and the feeling of fullness. Use of certain combination products containing Mentha piperita seems to improve symptoms of heartburn, including vomiting, nausea, cramping, stomach pain, and acid reflux. This combination is prepared using Peppermint leaf, lemon balm, celandine, angelica, milk thistle, licorice, caraway, German chamomile, and clown’s mustard plant.
  • Gas: You can alleviate symptoms of gas by having a glass of water to which you added Peppermint oil.
  • Bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine: Mentha piperita oil shows good signs of stopping bacterial growth in the small intestines. You can use this if you have such kind of problems.
  • Diarrhoea: One of the best cures for diarrhoea is Peppermint. Add 3-4 drops of Peppermint oil to a glass of water and have it. It will relieve your dysentery soon.
  • Upset stomach: For those suffering from upset stomach problems, Mentha piperita offers the ready solution. One or two drops of Peppermint oil in a glass of water should give the solution to the upset stomach.
  • Spasm due to endoscopy: People undergoing endoscopy will get relief from spasms by having Peppermint. This procedure is used to look within the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Spasm in the oesophagus: One can stop spasms in the oesophagus by drinking water containing 4-5 drops of Mentha piperita oil.
  • Hot flashes in women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer: There are indications to show that the incidence of hot flashes in the women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer decreases when they have Peppermint.
  • Stress: Aromatherapy using Peppermint oil can help reduce stress.
  • Tuberculosis: The drugs given to people afflicted by tuberculosis if they underwent a 2-month session of inhaling Mentha piperita for 20 minutes daily.
  • Painful menstrual periods: For women experiencing pain while undergoing their period, Peppermint will show the way. Put two drops of Peppermint oil in a glass of water and have it daily for one week.

Problems afflicting the respiratory tract

  • Inflammation of the mouth and throat: The ability of Peppermint to reduce inflammation is useful when you have these inflammations in your mouth and throat. Just gargle day and night with the water to which you added Peppermint and you will soon the inflammation will be gone.
  • Common cold and cough: The Peppermint essential oil is useful in treating colds and coughs.
  • Respiratory infections: You can get relief from most respiratory infections by using aromatherapy with Mentha piperita oil. You get the best effect if you do this early in the morning or late in the evening.
  • Sinus infections: For treating sinus infections, add Peppermint oil to a bowl of steaming water. Cover your head with a big towel and put your head over the bowl. Now, breathe in the vapours for 10 minutes. Do this as often as required.
  • Dental plaque and bad breath: You may combine Mentha piperita with other herbs to use against dental plaque. The efficacy is not proven, and there is no significant improvement over using other dental treatments. If you use a combination of lemon oil, Peppermint, and Tea tree oil for three minutes, it improves bad breath significantly. Find bad breath natural treatment.

External skin applications

  • Muscle pain: The Peppermint oil can relieve pains in the muscles. Just apply the oil to the skin at the place where you feel the pain. Massage it gently and soon you will get relief from your pain.
  • Headache: Applying Peppermint oil to the skin relieves tension headaches. Applying Peppermint oil to the skin at the start of a migraine headache and again after 30 minutes seem to provide migraine headache resolution to most patients.
  • Itchiness: If you suffer from itchiness of the skin, you must use Peppermint oil in the form of an emulsion. Just spray it and leave it. Soon the itchiness will disappear.
  • Breastfeeding discomfort: Women who are breastfeeding experience less cracked skin and discomfort if they apply Mentha piperita on their breasts in the nipple area.
  • Joint conditions: For those who have pain in the joints, use of Peppermint oil will prove helpful.
  • Pain due to shingles: The lingering pain due to shingles can be eased using Peppermint oil. Studies are ongoing in this regard.
  • Toothache: The Mentha piperita oil helps relieve a toothache.
  • Nerve pain: Good for muscle pain, the Peppermint oil is effective in relieve nerve pain too.
  • Relaxing the colon during barium enemas: This is effective in helping to relax the colon when conducting medical exams. Taking Mentha piperita by mouth before the exam seemed to reduce spasms.
  • Bacterial and viral infections: Having good antibiotic, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, the Peppermint oil finds its place in the medicine cabinet of your house.
  • Allergic rash: Though not yet medically verified, people use Mentha piperita oil successfully for rashes appearing due to allergies.

Side effects

One must not take too much of the Peppermint oil as this might cause nausea and vomiting. Some people may show an allergic reaction to the oil. So, be sure to test it first on a patch of skin before you use it.


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Anoop Sharma

About Anoop Sharma

Anoop Sharma is an IT professional, freelance health writer and creator of He is passionate about helping others learn about health issues and their natural remedies, yoga and healthy food.

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