If you’re looking for the best peppermint supplements to buy this year, then you’ve come to the right place.
You can also get more info by jumping to our Peppermint Supplements Guide.
Top 10 Peppermint Supplements
|#1||NOW Foods Peppermint Gels||More Info|
|#2||Heather’s Tummy Tamers Peppermint Oil||More Info|
|#3||Nature’s Way Peppermint Leaves||More Info|
|#4||Best Naturals Peppermint Oil||More Info|
|#5||Olympian Lab Peppermint Oil||More Info|
|#6||Enzymatic Therapy Peppermint Plus||More Info|
|#7||Herb Pharm Certified Organic Peppermint Spirits Extract||More Info|
|#8||Mason Natural Peppermint Oil||More Info|
|#9||Deva Nutrition Vegan Peppermint Oil||More Info|
|#10||Korus Essential 100% Natural Peppermint Essential Oil||More Info|
Sometimes referred to as “the world’s oldest medicine“, the peppermint plant provides a variety of useful products. This herb supplies leaves and oil widely used as flavorings.
Sold as a digestive medication in the United States until 1990, today peppermint remains a popular, very useful, dietary supplement. The cosmetic and fragrance industries utilize it widely, also. In 2012 alone, the production of peppermint in the world exceeded 4,000 metric tons.
What is Peppermint?
Botanists classify peppermint as a hybrid, Mentha x piperita. Although they have not traced the origins of this plant precisely, mint likely played an important role in medicine in Ancient Egypt and Greece. Some evidence exists the early Egyptians cultivated peppermint as a crop.
Peppermint grows from rhizomes and ranges from a foot to 35″ in height. It tolerates a variety of well-drained soils. A perennial, this herb produces broad, pointed green leaves and attractive light purple flowers. It prefers moist, cool environments with ample sunshine, and will thrive beside streams or drainage ditches in temperate regions.
Found in many locations around the world today, peppermint has become a particularly important commercial crop in the United States. The U.S. produced 80% of the world’s supply in 2012.Oregon accounts for nearly 35% of this production. Two important cultivars of peppermint contribute significantly to commercial peppermint oil: Black Mitcham and Todd Mitcham. The latter has increased in popularity recently because it offers better resistance to Verticillium wilt disease.
Peppermint oil has interested researchers for decades because it contains a number of important chemical compounds. These include:
- Pulegone, a fragrant monoterpene
- Menthyl acetate
- 1,8 cineol
- Small amounts of pinene, limonene and other chemicals.
Benefits of Peppermint
Both the oils and the leaves of the peppermint plant have found widespread use in a variety of commercial products. Since this edible plant produces so many important chemical compounds, it has contributed to advances in numerous industries.
For example, menthol has figured as a prominent flavoring ingredient in products ranging from bubblegum to ice cream to candy to cigarettes. Researchers discovered that menthol supplies some anti-itching and pain relieving properties. It also functions as a weak topical antibacterial agent.
Numerous food manufacturers add this chemical as a flavoring to their products to enhance taste and aroma. Many beverage producers add dried peppermint leaves to teas, coffees and cocoa mixes as flavorings, for instance. It acts as a flavoring in peppermint liqueurs and mint julep recipes, too. Dried peppermint leaves sometimes contribute to potpourri formulations.
Menthol from peppermint also performs a vital medicinal role. For example, it contributes to medications used to combat mites which sometimes infest honey bees. This chemical compound also enhances numerous health products intended for human use. Today, menthol often appears as an ingredient in aftershaves, mouth washes, toothpastes, cough drops, lip balms, skin creams, decongestant rubs, and analgesic topical preparations. Its mild antipruritic and antibacterial properties contribute to its popularity as an additive in personal care products and salves.
Peppermint oil as a nutritional supplement also enjoys wide utility. Inhaled, it may offer relief from colds and cough symptoms. People also sometimes apply the oil directly to their skin to help alleviate pain from toothaches, itchy insect bites, headaches, and aching joints.
The Food and Drug Administration in 1990 prohibited the sale of peppermint oil as a digestive medication due to a lack of documentation supporting health claims made on behalf of peppermint’s efficacy. However, since that time this product has remained popular as a dietary supplement. Some people contend peppermint oil helps calm digestive tract spams by helping to relax the GI tract. Copious anecdotal evidence supports this assertion.
Peppermint oil has also achieved widespread use as a fragrance additive in many cleaning products. In the United States, for instance, manufacturers often add peppermint oils to soaps, detergents, air fresheners and deodorant products.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Some people report adverse side effects after consuming peppermint oil at recommended levels. The complaints include allergic reactions to peppermint, headache, heartburn and mouth sores. Although most people do not experience these symptoms, a small percentage of people do undergo adverse reactions to the chemicals in peppermint.
Experts caution not to apply peppermint oil directly to the chests or faces of infants or toddlers. They may sustain an adverse reaction to menthol in the oil. (People should not consume menthol in a pure form or consume excessive quantities of peppermint oil due to toxicity.)
Additionally, while in most cases peppermint evidently contributes to relaxation of the GI tract and increases the flow of bile, its use remains contraindicated for anyone suffering from a condition called “GERD” (gastroesophageal reflux). Since it helps relax muscles in the GI tract, the use of peppermint may actually worsen heartburn caused by this particular condition. It may also adversely impact gallstone conditions.
People taking certain prescription medications should consult with their physician before consuming peppermint due to potential interactions between chemicals compounds in the peppermint and their prescription medications. Cyclosporine (also marketed as “Neoral” and “Sandimmune”) and medications metabolized in the liver (including Celebrex and Ibuprofen) potentially interact with peppermint.
How to Take Peppermint Supplements
Peppermint enjoys widespread popularity today. Consumers can find this product available for consumption by mouth in a variety of forms:
- People consume peppermint leaves directly as garnishes on salads or as additives to beverages, such as coffee or tea.
- The can consume peppermint oils in recommended doses in a variety of forms, including enteric-coated tablets, capsules and some liquid formulations
- Peppermint flavorings extracted from the plant appear in a wide array of commercial confectionary and food products.
Additionally, peppermint oils occur in numerous topical preparations. Many companies market peppermint as an ingredient of pastes (e.g. toothpaste), solids (e.g. bar soaps), and solutions (e.g. mouthwash rinses). Peppermint tinctures not intended for oral consumption remain popular for some topical applications.
Due to its popularity as a decongestant, peppermint oil remains available in aerosolized and spray forms also. Some companies market oils for use as aromatherapy peppermint mists, for instance. Aromatic fragrances derived from the peppermint plant serve as popular perfume and air spray additives, also.
What to Look For in a Good Peppermint Formulation
Unlike some dietary supplements, peppermint remains extensively available in the commercial marketplace today. Its useful chemical constituents have contributed to its success as a widely used flavoring. This plant remains the subject of extensive ongoing scientific research.
The peppermint plant serves as a constituent in a wide variety of popular consumer products. A customer may find it helpful to select peppermint formulations related to the intended desired use of this herb
For example, to take advantage of peppermint’s soothing effects against itching skin, a topical preparation offers optimal benefits. By contrast, to calm an upset stomach and relax the digestive tract, consuming peppermint as an herbal tea may prove more useful. Someone suffering from nasal congestion may wish to use peppermint in a chest rub, mist or cough drop form.
Fortunately, many companies offer excellent peppermint products. Consumers enjoy a multitude of choices for obtaining this herb in a readily available form. It makes sense to locate a manufacturer with a strong commitment to customer safety and service.
Additionally, since so many different types of peppermint formulations occur in the marketplace, you’ll want to exercise care before consuming this herb internally: some formulations exist for internal use, and others for external use only. A manufacturer’s formulation should clearly label the contents of a dietary peppermint product and provide detailed information about the intended form of use and recommended dosages.