Is Spearmint Good for Your Stomach And Digestion

Is Spearmint Good for Your Stomach And Digestion?

For a long time, Spearmint has been known as a familiar herb with many useful health benefits.

Besides its use in food preparation, tea-making, or cosmetic purposes, Spearmint is also considered an effective method for supporting various digestive issues, especially stomach problems.

This article will delve into the impacts of Spearmint on the stomach and digestive system while answering the question: Is Spearmint Good for Your Stomach And Digestion?

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Key Takeaways

  • Spearmint acts as an antispasmodic, altering smooth muscle contraction in the digestive tract.
  • It supports the recovery from irritable bowel syndrome, fights stomach inflammation, and soothes the digestive system.
  • Spearmint improves conditions of bloating and the uncomfortable symptoms that bloating brings, such as heartburn, acid reflux, stomach pain, upper bloating, and nausea.
  • The safe daily spearmint dosage for adults ranges from 600-900 mg, 2 cups of tea, or 2 drops of spearmint oil.
  • High doses of Spearmint can cause side effects of acid reflux, heartburn, and allergies.
  • Spearmint is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women when used in moderate amounts.

Is Spearmint Good for Your Stomach?

spearmint may benefit for stomach

Yes, Spearmint benefits the digestive system and the stomach of its users.
Spearmint (Mentha spicata) is a mint family Lamiaceae herb from Europe, North America, and Asia [1].

Both fresh and dried mint leaves are used to flavor many dishes, especially sweets, beverages, and main courses made from cheese, meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables.

The main component of spearmint oil is carvone, mainly used to scent candies, gelatins, and toothpaste.

Leaves and spearmint oil are believed to bring many health benefits, containing antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial compounds like carvone, flavonoids, and phenolics that support the treatment of colds, coughs, asthma, obesity, fevers, jaundice, and especially digestive and stomach issues [2].

According to the E Commission (Germany), Spearmint is a spasmolytic drug for the urinary tract and bile ducts to support the recovery from irritable bowel syndrome, promoting antibacterial functions, cooling, and antispasmodic effects [3].

How Does Spearmint Impact On Stomach and Digestion?

the way spearmint benefits for stomach and digestion

Spearmint is effective for the stomach and digestive system by acting as an antispasmodic, changing smooth muscle contractions in the digestive tract [4].

A study using peppermint oil in a rat model showed that Spearmint affects calcium channels through the mechanism of dihydropyridine calcium channel antagonists [5].

By reducing the amount of calcium entering, Spearmint can cause smooth muscle relaxation in the digestive tract, preventing spasms and avoiding irritable bowel syndrome IBS [4].

Additionally, Spearmint has been proven to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activities, potentially influencing cytokine inflammation and the impact of the gut microbiota through diet, causing discomfort to intestinal sensations and motility [4].

The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects are performed on the mechanism using mononuclear leukocytes stimulated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in healthy volunteers.

Juergens and colleagues have proven that the anti-inflammatory activity of L-menthol significantly inhibits LTB4 (a group of inflammatory mediators), thereby having an anti-inflammatory effect [6].

Furthermore, Spearmint has also been noted for inhibiting the growth of Helicobacter pylori, Salmonella enteritidis, Escherichia coli 0157:H7, and both methicillin-sensitive and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in liquid culture [7], reducing the overgrowth potential of small intestine bacteria (SIBO), providing a coating mechanism to improve IBS conditions [8].

Benefits of Spearmint for Your Stomach and Digestion

As mentioned, Spearmint offers numerous health benefits, including its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. Here are some of the most basic and common benefits of Spearmint for the digestive system:

Alleviate Symptoms of Nausea

Research suggests that spearmint essential oil has anti-nausea beneficial effects during chemotherapy. Among patients undergoing chemotherapy sessions, those randomly chosen to consume capsules containing spearmint oil or placebo experienced a significant reduction in nausea and vomiting throughout the treatment compared to those who did not use it [9].

Support for Bloating

Spearmint has been found effective in aiding bloating through a study on 79 patients suffering from functional indigestion.

Patients consuming three capsules of Spearmint daily showed significant improvement in common symptoms of bloating, such as heartburn, acid reflux, stomach pain, upper abdominal bloating, and nausea, thanks to the bioactive component carvone [10].

Good for Digestive Upsets

Spearmint helps recover from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms by creating a sensation of muscle relaxation in the digestive system, reducing cramping and stomach pain.

A 6-week study in a U.S. academic center conducted on individuals diagnosed with IBS demonstrated significant improvement above the average in subjects using spearmint essential oil [11].

May Reduce Symptoms of Gastritis

Spearmint's anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties can be beneficial by regulating cytokine inflammation and impacting gut microbiota through diet [4].

Also, Spearmint containing rosmarinic acid has effective anti-inflammatory and pain relief properties, supporting the reduction of stomach inflammation, pain relief, and muscle relaxation in the intestines [12].

Spearmint Settles Your Stomach

Spearmint contains the compound carvone, which helps reduce muscle spasms in the digestive system, thereby limiting conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and stomach cramps, offering a sense of relaxation and comfort and soothing the digestive system.

Additionally, its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties reduce the impact of cytokines or intestinal bacteria caused by diet, alleviating uncomfortable intestinal sensations [4].

How to Use Spearmint for Your Stomach?

how to use spearmint for digest health

You can incorporate Spearmint in various ways, such as drinking mint tea, chewing fresh mint leaves, using peppermint oil, or including dietary supplements containing mint in your daily diet.

For mint tea, you can soak dry or fresh mint leaves in boiling water for 5 - 10 minutes, then strain and enjoy hot or cold as preferred.

Mint leaves can be soaked in olive or almond oil to extract peppermint oil, used as an aromatherapy treatment, or added to beverages.

Regarding dosage, currently, there are no specific studies indicating the precise amount when consuming mint for digestive support.

However, a 4-week study on 120 patients with indigestion using 360mg of mint per day combined with 200mg of caraway oil showed the effectiveness of improvement [13].

Additionally, a study on individuals with memory loss, which provided daily dosages of 600mg or 900 mg, depending on the body's condition, also showed safe and positive effects on memory [14].

Remember, high doses of mint may cause side effects such as acid reflux, heartburn, allergies, and drowsiness [16].

Also, there are no specific figures or studies about the harm of mint during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Therefore, peppermint oil therapy is moderately safe in pregnant and nursing women [17].

In general, the usual dosage of mint for adults is 900mg, equivalent to 2 cups of mint tea and 2 drops of essential oil per day, consumed continuously for a maximum of 90 days, especially for mint tea consumed for a maximum of 16 weeks to achieve the best results for the stomach and digestive system [15].

Other Ways to Improve Your Digest Health

Besides supplementing with mint, these methods can help you improve your digestive health:

  • Increase fiber intake: Soluble fiber (oatmeal, beans, and seeds), insoluble fiber (greens, grains, and wheat bran), or prebiotic (a type of fiber that nurtures beneficial bacteria) can promote bowel movement, reducing the risk of digestive diseases.
  • Incorporate healthy fats: Omega-3, found in walnuts, salmon, or mackerel, can counteract digestive disorders.
  • Ensure adequate water intake: Water prevents constipation, facilitating easier waste elimination. Besides plain water, diversify your diet with herbal teas and fruit teas, or eat more water-rich fruits like tomatoes, strawberries, grapefruits, and peaches.
  • Eat slowly and chew thoroughly: The longer you chew, the more saliva is produced, contributing liquid to the food mixture in the stomach, helping it smoothly transition into the small intestine, reducing stress, and protecting the digestive system.
  • Exercise regularly: A gentle walk after meals or moderate exercise such as jogging or biking helps improve intestinal motility while preventing inflammatory bowel conditions.
  • Limit alcohol and smoking: Alcohol and smoking can double the risk of acid reflux, causing stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, and intestinal inflammation.

Conclusion

Mint can provide numerous benefits for the digestive system, including the stomach.

Using mint sensibly can help improve common digestive issues like bloating, indigestion, nausea, and constipation.

Hopefully, the information in the article will help you answer the question: Is Spearmint Good for Your Stomach And Digestion?

References

[1] Vázquez-Fresno, Rosa, et al. “Herbs and Spices- Biomarkers of Intake Based on Human Intervention Studies - a Systematic Review.” Genes & Nutrition, vol. 14, 2019, p. 18, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31143299/, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12263-019-0636-8.
[2] Ganesan Mahendran, and Sanjeet Kumar Verma. “The Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology of Spearmint (Mentha Spicata L.): A Review.” Sciencedirect, 5 Oct. 2021, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874121004931?via%3Dihub. Accessed 4 May 2024.
[3] “Therapeutic Uses of Peppermint -A Review - ProQuest.” Www.proquest.com, www.proquest.com/openview/0fcb7e61eaa5900ea403b14471dd0145/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=54977.
[4] Rouzbeh Shams, et al. Peppermint Oil: Clinical Uses in the Treatment of Gastrointestinal Diseases. 19 Jan. 2015.
[5] Hills, Judith M., and Philip I. Aaronson. “The Mechanism of Action of Peppermint Oil on Gastrointestinal Smooth Muscle.” Gastroenterology, vol. 101, no. 1, July 1991, pp. 55–65, https://doi.org/10.1016/0016-5085(91)90459-x.
[6] Juergens, U. R., et al. “The Anti-Inflammatory Activity of L-Menthol Compared to Mint Oil in Human Monocytes in Vitro: A Novel Perspective for Its Therapeutic Use in Inflammatory Diseases.” European Journal of Medical Research, vol. 3, no. 12, 16 Dec. 1998, pp. 539–545, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9889172/. Accessed 4 May 2024.
[7] Imai, H., et al. “Inhibition by the Essential Oils of Peppermint and Spearmint of the Growth of Pathogenic Bacteria.” Microbios, vol. 106 Suppl 1, 2001, pp. 31–39, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11549238/.
[8] Logan, Alan C., and Tracey M. Beaulne. “The Treatment of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth with Enteric-Coated Peppermint Oil: A Case Report.” Alternative Medicine Review: A Journal of Clinical Therapeutic, vol. 7, no. 5, 1 Oct. 2002, pp. 410–417, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12410625/.
[9] Ecancermedicalscience. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3562057/, https://doi.org/10.3332/ecancer.2013.290.
[10] Mohaddese Mahboubi. “Mentha Spicata L. Essential Oil, Phytochemistry and Its Effectiveness in Flatulence.” Sciencedirect, Mar. 2021, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2225411017301037. Accessed 4 May 2024.
[11] Nee, Judy, et al. “Peppermint Oil Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial.” American Journal of Gastroenterology, vol. 116, no. 11, 28 July 2021, pp. 2279–2285, https://doi.org/10.14309/ajg.0000000000001395.
[12] Connelly, A. Erin, et al. “High-Rosmarinic Acid Spearmint Tea in the Management of Knee Osteoarthritis Symptoms.” Journal of Medicinal Food, vol. 17, no. 12, 1 Dec. 2014, pp. 1361–1367, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25058311/, https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2013.0189. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.
[13] Madisch, Ahmed, et al. “Treatment of Functional Dyspepsia with a Fixed Peppermint Oil and Caraway Oil Combination Preparation as Compared to Cisapride.” Arzneimittelforschung, vol. 49, no. 11, 28 Dec. 2011, pp. 925–932, https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0031-1300528.
[14] Herrlinger, Kelli A., et al. “Spearmint Extract Improves Working Memory in Men and Women with Age-Associated Memory Impairment.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, vol. 24, no. 1, Jan. 2018, pp. 37–47, https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2016.0379. Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.
[15] Ecancermedicalscience. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3562057/, https://doi.org/10.3332/ecancer.2013.290.
[16] Grigoleit, H.-G., and P. Grigoleit. “Gastrointestinal Clinical Pharmacology of Peppermint Oil.” Phytomedicine, vol. 12, no. 8, Aug. 2005, pp. 607–611, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2004.10.006.
[17] DeSmet PAGM, Legislatory outlook on the safety of herbal remedies: Pimpinella anisum. In: DeSmet PAGM, Keller K, Hansel R and Chandler RF, editors. Adverse Effects of Herbal Drug Berlin: Springer, 1993; 2:62.
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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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