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Peppermint

Mentha piperita

Used for:

Peppermint is a wonderful digestive remedy, especially useful for the upper GI tract, for relief of heartburn, indigestion, nausea, and the like (be aware that peppermint tea can worsen the heartburn experienced with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and may also promote flow of bile from the gall bladder and complicate gallstones – consult your doctor if you have these conditions). It can also be used as a chest rub to ease breathing with common cold, relief of heartburn, indigestion, nausea, treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, diverticular disease and other chronic intestinal ailments

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Available in:

Teas, enteric-coated capsules of oil, essential oils, creams, rubs. You can buy pure peppermint leaf tea in most supermarkets.

Herb / drug interactions:

None known

Other safety concerns:

Never ingest undiluted peppermint oil. Peppermint tea can worsen the heartburn experienced with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). May also promote flow of bile from the gall bladder and complicate gallstones – consult a doctor.

When buying:

Chose peppermint oil containing at least 44% free menthol, or teas with 100% pure peppermint leaves. Brew it in a covered container to avoid loss of volatile components, and drink as much of it as you like, hot or iced.

Dosage:

One to two capsules of enteric coated oil between meals for heartburn, chest-rub formulations as needed to make breathing easier with the common cold. Or brew a cup of fresh peppermint tea – drink as much as needed – hot, warm, cooled or iced.

Child dosage:

Don’t give peppermint tea to babies or young children. The menthol it contains can cause a choking sensation in youngsters of this age.