Acid reflux is an incredibly uncomfortable ailment that many of us go through. When we experience this burning sensation, we are willing to do whatever it takes to get rid of this terrible feeling.
However, there are many things that are "supposed to" work for acid reflux yet not all of them are effective. One of the most known ones is peppermint.
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Is peppermint good for acid reflux?
Peppermint can ease the symptoms of acid reflux in some people, but it can make the experience worse for others. The same properties that make peppermint a good remedy for acid reflux also relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), letting the stomach contents rise up to your esophagus and throat. Ultimately, this can lead to worse symptoms.
How healthy is peppermint?
Furthermore, the compounds found in peppermint help activate anti-pain receptors in the colon. As a result, drinking peppermint tea or sucking on some mint candy can help ease stomach pain resulting from, for example, eating too much spicy food.
Furthermore, peppermint can also be used to treat symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) as it has anti-inflammatory properties. It helps in digestion and relaxing the digestive tract muscles, which are often constricted in people suffering from IBS.
Peppermint can also be used topically in the form of creams or essential oils. In this form, it can prevent itching. It has been proven to both lessen the itchiness severity and decrease the length.
Some research even suggests that massaging peppermint oil into your scalp can stimulate hair growth, but more data needs to be collected to be certain of that. However, it does help soothe the scalp, so it's a good addition to your daily haircare routine.
In its oil form, peppermint can also relieve clogged sinuses. This is especially helpful during the winter season when everybody seems to be getting a cold or flu.
Simply pouring a couple of drops of peppermint oil (make sure not to overdo it) into a bowl of hot water will do the trick. After that, lean over the steam, making sure not to burn yourself, and cover your head with a towel.
A 5- to the 10-minute session should help you breathe easier and ease your runny nose as well.
In addition, peppermint is a muscle relaxant, which makes it a helpful remedy for headaches. It has been proven that applying peppermint oil topically to your temples helps with migraines and lessens the severity of the symptoms.
What's more, the menthol in peppermint helps increase blood flow and cools down your skin, which also brings relief from pain.
Finally, it's worth noting that while peppermint has potential health benefits for humans, it's toxic to cats and dogs. So, if you plan to add aromatherapy to your life, make sure to do it outside of your pets' reach to make sure that your pets won't consume or inhale it.
Is peppermint tea good for acid reflux?
Peppermint tea might be particularly good for acid reflux as it contains hot water. Water helps dilute stomach acids, which are the root cause of heartburn and acid reflux.
However, you should only consume a limited amount of peppermint tea if your acid reflux is severe as mint that's too strong can worse the symptoms.
Using store-bought peppermint tea is a good idea as it doesn't contain too much peppermint so it's very unlikely to upset your stomach. Additionally, peppermint tea is caffeine-free, so you can drink it at any time of the day or night.
Since acid reflux means that stomach acid is rising up to your esophagus, it can also help you keep your breath fresh.
Many people struggle with mouth odor so consuming peppermint tea is a good idea to combat this issue while preventing nausea. The same effect can be achieved by chewing peppermint gum or taking peppermint capsules.
Another way to use all the health benefits of peppermint — especially if you're not a fan of tea — is to drink peppermint-infused water.
Not only is this drink incredibly hydrating and healthy but it also helps indigestion. The best way to prepare such water is to use fresh leaves instead of extracts as the water will be gentler for your stomach and provide you with all the benefits without any preservatives.
Are peppermint oil capsules good for acid reflux?
There is not enough research on peppermint oil capsules and whether they help with acid reflux. However, some people claim that they do, in fact, help them.
The only thing important here is that these capsules contain a high concentration of peppermint, so if your acid reflux is bad, you may want to limit their consumption to only when necessary instead of taking them daily.
Nevertheless, peppermint capsules are very helpful with IBS and digestive issues, such as bloating and nausea.
These capsules are made from edible peppermint oil (remember that regular store-bought peppermint oil is not the same so don't consume it), and they have a wide variety of uses.
For example, they are very good after some surgeries, such as endoscopy, as they relax your digestive muscles, making recovery faster and easier. They may also help dilute stomach acid, thus preventing or easing the symptoms of heartburn.
It's also important to remember that even though peppermint oil capsules can be bought over-the-counter, make sure to consult your doctor if you suffer from severe acid reflux or heartburn.
While peppermint is natural and healthy, it can make certain conditions worse and it also interacts with certain medications.
So, if you're taking any prescription drugs, make sure that consuming peppermint won't negatively affect their effectiveness.
As with everything, all home remedies are subjective, and what works for you might not work for someone else.
Peppermint definitely has some acid-neutralizing properties, so it's worth giving it a shot if you suffer from acid reflux or GERD.
However, always listen to what your body is telling you, consult your doctor, and adjust accordingly.