You’ll see it on the shelf of your local pharmacy, but is there any evidence that peppermint oil can help people battling Crohn’s?
If you are searching for natural remedies for Crohn’s, it won’t take you long to come across peppermint oil as a suggestion. You will see it on blogs, forums, and holistic medicine sites across the web. Although it can be tempting to try holistic remedies, it is always important to do your own research first and talk with your doctor.
Peppermint oil is derived from, you guessed it, peppermint, a plant that is a cross between water mint and spearmint. You will probably recognize peppermint as a food flavoring (such as in candy), but it is also used as a fragrance in many cosmetics.
It has long been believed that peppermint has medicinal benefits. Some trace this back to the time of the Romans, others to Iceland in the 13th century, and yet others to 18th century Europe. Whatever the case, people have believed that peppermint oil can help with a variety of digestive problems, and modern science has recently been investigating these claims.
While there is only limited research, and most of the studies are done on small groups of patients, there is evidence that suggests taking peppermint oil capsules can have a positive impact on the digestive symptoms of IBS patients. However, there has been no true study on the impact of peppermint oil on Crohn’s. Below you will find more details on these studies so you can do your own research, but remember, it’s important to let your doctor know if you are considering holistic treatments.
What do Crohn’s warriors say about the benefits of peppermint oil for Crohn’s?
If there is one thing we know about Crohn’s, it is that it doesn’t impact everyone the same and that what works for someone might not work for someone else.
What does the research say about the benefits of peppermint oil for Crohn’s?
If you are looking for clinical studies that investigate the use peppermint oil as a treatment for Crohn’s or IBD, you will be hard pressed to find one. This study, from 2016 concluded
“No definite conclusions can be drawn as to the efficacy of fibre and herbal medicinal products in IBD patients due to the low number of studies and the lack of randomized controlled trials that replicate the results obtained in the individual studies conducted so far.”
If you expand your search to clinical studies that investigate peppermint oil as a treatment for IBS (which is very different from IBD, and commonly confused), more research is found. This study of studies showed that 8 out of 12 placebo controlled studies show statistically significant effects in favor of peppermint oil. This study of a special formulation of peppermint oil concluded
“At trial completion, patients in the [Peppermint Oil] group experienced greater improvement in multiple individual gastrointestinal symptoms as well as in severe or unbearable symptoms, compared to placebo. [Peppermint Oil] was well tolerated with few adverse events.”
What’s clear is that peppermint oil shows promise in IBS and needs to be researched and evaluated for Crohn’s and IBD.