Peppermint oil reduces pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome
(NaturalHealth365) Those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) cope with a number of troubling symptoms, including painful abdominal pain, bloating and cramping. But research shows enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules – because of peppermint’s calming, relaxing effects on the stomach – can effectively eliminate many of the symptoms of IBS.
While IBS does not increase the risk of colon cancer or cause changes in the bowel tissue the way irritable bowel disease can, its symptoms can be very painful and interfere with normal daily activities. So, why not try peppermint – which offers a natural approach to providing relief while avoiding the use of potentially harmful synthetic medications.
Living with IBS has unacceptable health consequences
Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic condition that impacts the colon, leading to a range of symptoms, including both constipation and diarrhea, as well as bloating, gas, and painful cramping. Its symptoms are often confused with those of other disorders or conditions affecting the intestinal tract.
Conventionally speaking, because IBS is a ‘chronic condition,’ patients are often told to manage their symptoms with over-the-counter or prescription drugs. On the other hand, you may want to consider making lifestyle changes to reduce mental/emotional stress while cleaning up your diet, by avoiding processed foods, to get rid of painful symptoms.
IBS can be caused by a number of triggers, including certain foods, stress, hormonal fluctuations and other gastrointestinal conditions. It is believed that in IBS, the muscles of the intestinal walls either contract more strongly than necessary, causing gas, bloating and diarrhea, or have become weakened, causing the passage of food to slow, leading to difficult stools.
Science proves that peppermint oil is an effective remedy for IBS
Facing chronic symptoms of IBS does not mean you have to turn to medications with questionable results and potentially harmful side effects. Several scientific studies have shown the benefits of peppermint oil in alleviating some of the most troubling symptoms of IBS.
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Peppermint, particularly when provided as enteric-coated peppermint capsules, can reduce inflammation of the intestine and reduce swelling of the abdominal area.
In one study to determine the benefits of peppermint oil, 57 IBS sufferers received either enteric-coated peppermint capsules or just a placebo, twice a day for four weeks. Of those receiving the peppermint, a full 75 percent reported a significant reduction in IBS symptoms.
In another study, this time comparing the effects of peppermint oil to placebo in children, results were mirrored with 75 percent showing significant decrease in symptoms. Most recently, a Taiwan-based study found that 80 percent of IBS sufferers who took an enteric-coated peppermint oil formulation – three to four times a day for a month – experienced less flatulence, stool frequency and abdominal pain.
When used to treat IBS, it is important the peppermint capsules are enteric-coated to allow the peppermint oil to be released later in the intestinal tract, and not in the stomach, where it could cause symptoms of indigestion and heartburn. Each capsule typically provides 0.2 mL of peppermint.
Obviously, when dealing with serious health issues, it’s always best to consult a trusted, healthcare provider. Having said that, talk to your doctor about this remedy and see if it works for you.
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