Is Spearmint Good For Acid Reflux

Is Spearmint Good for Acid Reflux?

As you may know, Spearmint is always famous for its ability to relieve pain and bring a feeling of refreshment and relaxation. Acid reflux - a common condition that makes many people miserable.

Can they work together to help or worsen acid reflux? To find the answer to the question: "Is Spearmint good for acid reflux?"

Then, let's take a look at the effects of how Spearmint works and its uses through the article below.

disclaimer

Key Takeaways

  • Spearmint can exacerbate acid reflux symptoms, particularly heartburn. It relaxes the esophageal sphincter, facilitating the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus, leading to discomfort.
  • Despite its adverse effects on acid reflux, spearmint is recognized for its positive impact on other digestive issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastric ulcers, and digestive spasms.
  • Studies suggest that moderate usage may not cause acid reflux. The spearmint dosage range in most trials for improving digestion was 0.2 to 0.4 mL. 

Is Spearmint Good For Acid Reflux?

Up to now, many studies have mentioned the effects of Spearmint on acid reflux.

Of those studies, most showed that Spearmint could cause heartburn, a common symptom of acid reflux [1].

Even though it is a natural herb with many valuable uses for a long time, its side effects cannot be avoided, and heartburn is one of the common side effects of mint. However, side effects often vary depending on the dosage, usage, and individual's body.

Mint is also beneficial for digestive problems. Specifically, people have studied the effects of mint to support the digestive tract, such as symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion due to gastric ulcers, and reduced digestive spasms leading to indigestion [2].

Does Spearmint Cause Heartburn?

As mentioned above, Spearmint can cause heartburn. Spearmint has muscle-relaxing properties, including the esophageal sphincter - the "door" that separates the stomach and esophagus.

When the esophageal sphincter relaxes, stomach acid more easily refluxes into the esophagus, leading to symptoms of heartburn and discomfort.

Therefore, people often advise patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease to avoid using Spearmint oil [2].

Furthermore, mint oil can stimulate the stomach, increasing gastric acid secretion. Excess acid in the stomach can reflux into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation and discomfort, also known as heartburn.

A study on the effectiveness and safety of mint oil found that people who used mint gum had a higher risk of acid reflux than those who did not [3].

Why is there Controversy Surrounding the Relation of Spearmint and Acid Reflux?

Scientific studies show that mint oil may increase the risk of acid reflux and heartburn, but some conflicting opinions exist.

Firstly, because Spearmint has a cooling effect, it can reduce the burning sensation in the throat. Spearmint is often used in sore throat medicine, gum, or toothpaste.

Furthermore, the combination of enteric mint and caraway oil has been shown in several clinical trials to reduce symptoms of non-ulcer dyspepsia (e.g. bloating, gas, cramps). digestive tract) [1].

Secondly, the effects of Spearmint on acid reflux may depend on dosage and usage. Too much Speamint oil may increase the risk of acid reflux, while using it in moderation may not cause side effects.

A study, "Lack of effect of Spearmint on lower esophageal sphincter function and acid reflux in healthy volunteers," mentioned that symptoms only appear when using high doses of Spearmint [4].

Finally, the effects of Spearmint may also vary depending on each person's health condition. For example, people with a history of acid reflux may be more sensitive to the adverse effects of Spearmint.

How to Use Spearmint Effectively to Avoid Acid Reflux and Prevent Heartburn?

way to use spearmint to avoid acid reflux

For people with acid reflux, use Spearmint oil with extreme caution and in a safe dosage, and limit the use of too much mint, especially in pure oil form.

The dosage range in most trials for improving digestion was 0.2 to 0.4 mL of Spearmint oil taken three times daily [1].

You should prioritize using mint with some foods or making washy tea instead of chewing gum or sucking on essential oils because the strong flavor can cause worse symptoms and side effects.

You can also use mint oil directly to the skin because it has a mild analgesic effect and reduces stress and headaches.

In addition, other natural remedies, such as herbs for acid reflux and heartburn prevention, can be used instead of mint, such as ginger, aloe vera, etc., combined with a healthy lifestyle for better health.

Conclusion

Even though studies on dosage leading to acid reflux of Spearmint are limited and the relationship between Spearmint is controversial, Spearmint is still considered a relatively safe natural remedy for digestion.

Other herbs can be used to soothe discomfort in conjunction with healthier lifestyle changes for heartburn and acid reflux.

In addition, there are many ways to use Spearmint, such as applying it topically or using Spearmint in steam rooms to help make the space more comfortable.

References

[1] Kim, Yong Sung, et al. “Herbal Therapies in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: A Narrative Review and Clinical Implication.” Frontiers in Psychiatry, vol. 11, 10 July 2020, https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00601.
[2] Kligler, Benjamin, and Sapna Chaudhary. “Peppermint Oil.” American Family Physician, vol. 75, no. 7, 1 Apr. 2007, pp. 1027–1030, www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2007/0401/p1027.html.
[3] Weerts, Zsa Zsa R.M., et al. “Efficacy and Safety of Peppermint Oil in a Randomized, Double-Blind Trial of Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.” Gastroenterology, vol. 158, no. 1, Aug. 2019, www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(19)41246-8/fulltext, https://doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2019.08.026.
[4] Bulat, R., et al. “Lack of Effect of Spearmint on Lower Esophageal Sphincter Function and Acid Reflux in Healthy Volunteers.” Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, vol. 13, no. 6, June 1999, pp. 805–812, https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2036.1999.00528.x. Accessed 6 Dec. 2020.
[5] Naliboff, Bruce D., et al. “The Effect of Life Stress on Symptoms of Heartburn.” Psychosomatic Medicine, vol. 66, no. 3, May 2004, pp. 426–434, https://doi.org/10.1097/01.psy.0000124756.37520.84.
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Author

Ralph S. Albert, with over 10 years of expertise in nutrition and research, now heads the Research division at Vinatura Supplements. His dedication and extensive knowledge ensure top-quality articles on nutrition and health, collaborating with a skilled team. He has successfully completed The VINATURA Expertise Research Training Program, underscoring his commitment to Vinatura's mission. Ralph has also published numerous articles and conducted valuable research in the field, making him a trusted resource for individuals on their wellness journey.

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