Peppermint benefits and side effects
Mint comes from the Greek legend of the nymph Minthe. Throughout history different species of mint have been used across the globe
for their varying properties, both medicinal and culinary. Peppermint and spearmint are popular species in kitchen.

Spearmint and peppermint leaves are deep green, long, pointed and crinkled. Spearmint is sweet with a cool sensation to the mouth
while peppermint has a stronger menthol taste. In Middle East, spearmint is used fresh and dried with grilled meats, stuffed vegetables
and rice. In desserts, peppermint is commonly added flavor to fruits, ices and sherberts. Peppermint is also a popular ingredient in
toothpaste, chewing gum and liqueurs.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is usually taken after a meal for its ability to reduce indigestion and colonic spasms by reducing the
gastrocolic reflex. It is a naturally occurring hybrid cross between water mint (M. aquatica) and spearmint (M. spicata) and is best known
for its role as a popular flavoring agent. [A1] Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is usually taken after a meal for its ability to reduce
indigestion and colonic spasms by reducing the gastrocolic reflex. It has been sugested to apply in colonscopy and other medical
procedures. Peppermint is a naturally occurring hybrid cross between water mint and spearmint and is best known for its flavoring aids.
[B1] Peppermint leaves contain large amount of rosmarinic acid (a phenolic compound) and several flavonoids (including eriocitrin,
luteolin and hesperidin). While, peppermint oil contains menthol and menthone. [B4]
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Health benefits of peppermint oil

Peppermint is one of the most widely used single ingredient herbal teas, or tisanes. Peppermint tea, brewed from the
leaves, and its essential oil are commonly used in traditional medicines. The basic health benefits of the peppermint oil
are based on its antispasmodic, anti-foaming and choleretic effects [B3]. Peppermint has antimicrobial and antiviral,
antioxidant and antitumor activities [B4].

Dyspepsia is common in France. A few randomised controlled clinical trials suggest that peppermint essential oil is
effective in reducing abdominal pain, flatulence and diarrhea in patients with "irritable bowel syndrome". [A2]

HIV Infection
Extracts from lemon balm, peppermint, and sage exhibited a high and concentration-dependent activity against the
infection of HIV-1 in T-cell lines, primary macrophages, and in ex vivo tonsil histocultures with 50% inhibitory
concentrations as low as 0.004%. [A3]
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Peppermint oil is relatively rapidly absorbed after oral ingestion. The major biliary metabolite is menthol glucuronide,
while the urinary metabolites include a series of hydroxymethols and carboxylic acids. [3]

SIDE EFFECTS OF PEPPERMINT
Complaints are reported about the adverse effects of peppermint and spearmint on male reproductive function. In a
study of 48 male rats, drinking peppermint and spearmint teas was found to affect the follicle-stimulating hormone,
luteinizing hormone levels and total testosterone levels. [A4] There is also a report that excessive peppermint
consumption caused stomatitis in England. [A5]

Peppermint Oil Side Effects
Peppermint oil caused the typical gastrointestinal effects like heartburn and anal/perianal burning or discomfort
sensations. [B2] In a case study,  I.V. peppermint oil injection caused severe fluid overload of the lung and subsequent
lung injury. [B5]

Peppermint Tea Side Effects
Peppermint tea, containing essential oil, has no known adverse side effects. [A2] Peppermint tea may alter some sex
hormones. [B6]
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reference

[A1] Spirling LI, Daniels IR. Botanical perspectives on health peppermint: more than just an after-dinner mint. J R Soc
Health. 2001 Mar;121(1):62-3. [A2] Herbal remedies for dyspepsia: peppermint seems effective Prescrire Int. 2008
Jun;17(95):121-3. [A3] Geuenich S, Goffinet C, Venzke S, Nolkemper S, Baumann I, Plinkert P, Reichling
J, Keppler OT. Aqueous extracts from peppermint, sage and lemon balm leaves display potent anti-HIV-1 activity by
increasing the virion density. Retrovirology. 2008 Mar 20;5:27. [A4] Akdogan M, Ozguner M, Kocak A, Oncu M, Cicek
E. Effects of peppermint teas on plasma testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone levels
and testicular tissue in rats. Urology. 2004 Aug;64(2):394-8. [A5] Rogers SN, Pahor AL. A form of stomatitis induced
by excessive peppermint consumption. Dent Update. 1995 Jan-Feb;22(1):36-7. B1. Spirling LI et al, Botanical
perspectives on health peppermint:more than just an after-dinner mint. J.R. Soc Health 2001 Mar;121(1):62-3. [B2]
Grigoleit HG et al, Peppermint oil in iffitable bowel syndrome Phytomedicine 2005 Aug;12(8):601-6. [B3] Grigoleit HG
et al, Pharmacology and preclinical pharmacokinetics of peppermint oil. Phytomedicine 2005 Aug;12(8):612-6. [B4]
McKay DL et al A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.)
Phytother Res. 2006 Jun 12. [B5] Behrends M. et al, Acute lung injury after peppermint oil injection Anesth Analg
2005 Oct;101(4):1160-2. [B6] Akdogan M et al, Effects of peppermint tea on plasma testosterone, follicle-stimulating
hormone, and luteinizing hormone levels and testicular tissue in rats. Urology 2004 Aug;64(2):394-8.