advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Is Peppermint Safe During Pregnancy?

Can you tell me whether it is okay to use peppermint during pregnancy? I've heard it both ways - do take it, don't take it.

A
Answer (Published 5/30/2006)

Reviewed on 3/09/2010

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is used for the relief of indigestion and nausea, and treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis and other chronic intestinal ailments. I know of no reason why women shouldn't take it during pregnancy; many find it very useful for morning sickness.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for Women's Health Issues - If you are going through menopause, a support group can be helpful. The Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging online guide has a vibrant, active community of supportive members, and a dedicated moderator to help guide you along. Start your 14-day free trial now!

To be sure, I double-checked with my colleague Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., director of Botanical Medicine at the University of Arizona's Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. Dr. Low Dog tells me that there is no reason why pregnant women should not drink peppermint tea to soothe morning sickness or an upset stomach, and drinking two or three cups a day is fine. However, she noted that peppermint tea may worsen heartburn, a problem many women experience later in pregnancy. When shopping for peppermint tea, look for products containing 100% pure peppermint leaves. To brew the tea, she recommends steeping a peppermint tea bag in a cup of hot water for three to five minutes. While peppermint tea is safe for adults, never give it to babies or very young children. The menthol it contains can cause a choking sensation in this age group.

Whether or not you're pregnant, peppermint tea can worsen gastro-esophageal reflux syndrome (GERD) and may promote flow of bile from the gall bladder and aggravate gallstone symptoms. Enteric-coated capsules of peppermint oil can be used to relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. The enteric coating resists attack by stomach acid, so the capsules pass into the intestines intact and release their contents there.

As with garlic, our familiarity with peppermint makes us less likely to take it seriously as a medicine, but in fact it is one of the most powerful and effective remedies for gastrointestinal complaints. It is also nontoxic.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here