Our Members Asked:
I have IBS and don't want to take medication if I can help it. I've heard that peppermint works for IBS, but is there good research to support this?
Answer:Many people share your reluctance to rely on drugs for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common gastrointestinal disorder that causes chronic abdominal pain and altered bowel habits (diarrhea, constipation, or alternating bouts of both). Other non-pharmaceutical interventions for IBS — notably the low FODMAP diet, cognitive behavioral therapy, and gut-directed hypnotherapy — have performed well in clinical trials, but the time and commitment they require can be difficult for some people.
Peppermint oil is one of several supplements that have been proposed to help with IBS, possibly by reducing muscular spasms in the colon. However, the evidence to support its use is mixed. Sign in to see the full answer >>
Peppermint oil may be helpful for mild indigestion and stomach upset in people who do not have IBS, as well as for other uses.