No consistent, good-quality patient-oriented evidence is available on peppermint oil (Mentha piperita). So, the authors based their conclusions on the criteria in the strength of recommendation taxonomy (SORT).

SORT is a patient-centered approach to grading evidence in the medical literature.

  • A-level: Consistent and good-quality patient-oriented evidence
  • B-level: Inconsistent or limited-quality patient-oriented evidence
  • C-level: Consensus, usual practice, opinion, disease-oriented evidence, or case series for studies of diagnosis, treatment, prevention, or screening.

Peppermint oil is “probably effective” (B-Level) for the following conditions.

  • Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms
  • Non-ulcer dyspepsia (indigestion)
  • Reducing spasm during gastrointestinal procedures
  • Tension headache

You can read the doses and safety considerations. But even the recommended doses of peppermint oil should not be used in infants, very young children, or women who are pregnant or lactating.

4/21/07 13:11 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.