Peppermint Oil And IBS: What You Need to Know
Irritable bowel can be debilitating for those who suffer from it. There are many strategies to help you manage your health issues, such as peppermint oil for IBS. But how can you know if it’s the right choice for you? Read on to find out more about how peppermint oil for IBS works.
An Introduction to Peppermint Oil and IBS
It’s one of those, “Oh, by the way,” conditions. You’ve just finished a meal with friends and one of them gets up and quickly makes for the bathroom. “Be right back! Just my IBS acting up.” Oh, okay. No biggie, right?
If you’d known ahead of time, you would’ve pulled out your tiny bottle of peppermint oil soft gels and casually pop one in your mouth. Wait, you didn’t know you could take peppermint oil for IBS?
Imagine though, having that, “got to get to the bathroom now!” feeling, every day. Or knowing that when you sit down on the toilet, it’s going to be rocks coming out. Every Day. Even better, having it go back and forth between rocks and water. Those minor annoyances become, “Oh, no way!” if you imagine having them every, single day.
If that still isn’t hitting home for how insidious this condition can be, consider this. On average, IBS patients reported they would give up 25% of their remaining life to live a symptom-free life.
What Is IBS?
IBS stands for irritable bowel syndrome. You may have heard it referred to as colitis. It is what doctors call a functional gastrointestinal disorder, which basically means that your brain and your gut aren’t communicating on the best of terms.
It is marked by:
IBS can be classified by whether your stool is hard, watery, or a mix. It’s classified in this manner for medication purposes.
It’s not an uncommon condition. Somewhere upwards of 20% of adults in the U.K. have IBS symptoms, but less than half of that get diagnosed. Depending on the severity and regularity of the symptoms, and it varies a lot, many people may not consider what they have to be a chronic condition.
You’re more likely to get it if you are under 50, female, have or had mental health issues like anxiety or depression, or have a family history of the condition.
What Causes IBS?
It currently has no known cause, but intestinal muscle contraction, either strong or weak, and abnormalities in the nerves of the digestive system appear to generate the stool problems and stomach discomfort.
The major instigators of symptoms seem to be stress and/or food. This is part of the reason why it goes undiagnosed so often because what instigates it isn’t necessarily a regular event.
How Can You Use Peppermint For IBS?
Peppermint oil comes from the flowers and leaves of the peppermint plant, a hybrid of spearmint and watermint. People have used peppermint for thousands of years as a medicinal for a number of ailments from joint pain to intestinal problems.
It gets used in:
Foods, Cosmetics, Topical ointments, Supplements
You can ingest peppermint oil by simply adding drops to something like tea (3-4 drops) or taking a 180-200mg supplement pill, though the most recommended form would be enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules. This is the most efficient method, as it keeps the oil from breaking down in your stomach.
Once in the intestine, peppermint oil has a substantial spasmolytic effect on the smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal tract. This is an amusing way of saying that it relaxes your gut muscles.
Buy your Peppermint oil soft gel capsules HERE