Report on Peppermint Side Effects and Usage


Natural health supplements sometimes have unexpected side effects or interactions with medication that can lead to adverse reactions that are sometimes life threatening. The following is a list of cautions that you should be aware of before using Peppermint (Mentha X piperita). These are referred to as drug/herb interactions.

Warning 1 – Contraindications: Pregnancy, obstructed bile ducts, gallbladder inflammation, and those with severe liver damage.

Warning 2 – Bradycardia: Peppermint is known to sometimes cause bradycardia, an abnormally slow heartbeat.

Used as a natural health remedy: Peppermint is used externally for relief of myalgia (pain in a muscle or group of muscles) and neuralgia (acute spasmodic pain along the course of one or more nerves).

Usage 2: Peppermint is used internally to relieve:

  • GI spasms
  • nausea
  • inflammation of oral mucosa
  • bloating
  • abdominal cramps

Many people chew peppermint leaf as a home remedy for dental pain or toothache: Get two peppermint leaves and chew them until they become wet. When wet, place them directly over the affected tooth. After a couple of minutes, rinse your mouth with a solution of 8 ounces of water and 2 teaspoons of salt.

Common usage: Candy cane, chewing gum, peppermint tea, mint chocolate, peppermint candy, and peppermint oil.

Some people with asthma use peppermint essential oil as a rescue inhaler.

Bee keepers use peppermint oil to get rid of mites.

Side Effects of Peppermint

The known side effects of using Peppermint include:

  1. muscle tremor
  2. mouth irritation
  3. relaxation of esophageal sphincter
  4. hypersensitivity reaction
  5. heartburn
  6. bradycardia

External use of Peppermint may cause contact dermatitis.

Other side effects may also occur when using Peppermint. (See form below)

As with any herb, a serious allergic reaction is possible. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction. These may include a rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.

Return to the Herb List.

For questions and answers about the side effects of herbs see the Herb Forum

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