Asthma/AllergyPeppermint OilPeppermint Oil

Review: Peppermint (Manta piperita)

It’s a popular herb used in many forms (ie, oil, leaf, leaf extract, and leaf water).

Researchers at the San Diego-Rady Children’s Hospital, in California, compiled what’s known.

Here’s what we know.

  • Peppermint oil has the most uses.
    • Data on the oil are considered relevant to the leaf extract formulations as well.
    • Topical preparations are used to calm pruritus and relieve irritation and inflammation.
  • Uses for flavoring and fragrance
    • Cosmeceuticals
    • Personal hygiene products
    • Foods
    • Pharmaceutical products
  • Characteristics
    • A fresh sharp menthol odor and a pungent taste followed by a cooling sensation.
  • Sensitivity
    • Frequent application to impaired skin may contribute to sensitization.
    • Many allergic contact dermatitis reactions to peppermint oil have been reported.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Although peppermint oil is known for its many properties, its role as a sensitizer should be recognized so as to aid in the diagnosis of both dermatitis and oral conditions and to allow the initiation of proper avoidance measures.”

If you’re interested, a very detailed review, a bit dated, is here.

4/10/11 22:48 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.