Peppermint is an herb, which is a combination of water mint and spearmint. It’s often used to flavor chewing gum and toothpaste. Its Latin Name is Mentha x piperita and its leaves are used as a food flavoring or dried as a tea.
Peppermint oil has been used as a natural remedy and herbal treatment for headaches, nausea, gas, indigestion, cold symptoms, skin irritations, anxiety, diarrhea, menstrual cramps, muscle and nerve pain as well as stomach and bowel conditions. Peppermint can also be found in chest rubs.
A 2002 survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Interview Survey found that 12% of the 30,000 people polled have tried peppermint.
How Peppermint Oil works for migraines. Peppermint is known to be calming and numbing. It is believed that these properties make it helpful for people who suffer from migraines.
For some people, applying Peppermint Oil to the forehead and temples serves as a natural medication for migraine.
Formulations of Peppermint and Peppermint Oil for migraines available
- Fresh peppermint
- Soft gels
- Enteric coated soft gels
- Sublingual tablets that dissolve under the tongue
- Liquid oil
- Flavored syrups
- Concentrated drops
- Aromatherapy peppermint oil
- Skin cream
- Foot spray
- Aromatherapy sticks
- Inhalation beads
- Air freshener
Side effects of Peppermint Oil
- Allergic reaction
- Rash when applied to the skin
- Mouth ulcers
- Eye irritation
- Slow heart rate
- Muscle tremor
- Muscle weakness
- Brain damage
- Menthol, main ingredient in Peppermint may be deadly in humans or cause brain damage
- Use on the skin can cause rash, severe skin damage (necrosis), or kidney damage (interstitial nephritis)
- Inhaling large doses of menthol can lead to dizziness, confusion, muscle weakness, nausea or double vision
Do not take Peppermint if you take the anti rejection drug cyclosporine, medications for diabetes, high blood pressure medications.
Peppermint may also make gallstones worse,
Peppermint oil for migraines in pregnant women, women who may become pregnant or women who are breastfeeding should not take Peppermint or drink Peppermint Tea.
If Peppermint is taken along with antacids, coating of capsules can breakdown and increase the chance of heartburn.
Pure menthol, which is found in peppermint oil, is poisonous. It should not be eaten or taken internally at all. It is important not to confuse oil and tincture preparations.
As with many herbal supplements and natural migraine remedies, Peppermint hasn't been studied enough in children and therefore shouldn't be given to children.