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Peppermint essential oil drug contraindications

By 4:43 AM ,

The aromatic and versatile peppermint plant is used by herbalists to treat illnesses such as irritable bowel syndrome, tension headaches, congestion, skin conditions and indigestion. Peppermint's essential oil, composed mainly of menthol oil, is extracted from the stems and leaves. While peppermint oil is a valuable botanical remedy, it can interact adversely with some medications, including antacids and diabetic drugs.

Peppermint Oil
Oil of peppermint consists of 50 percent to 75 percent the volatile oil menthol. Peppermint oil is widely employed to give flavor to candies and medicines and to lend fragrance to beauty products. It is known for its relaxing and cooling properties, and helps to soothe skin irritations and muscle aches. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, or UMMC, research demonstrates peppermint's value as a remedy for irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion thanks to its antispasmodic effects. It is important to fully inform your doctor about any herbal supplements that you are taking.

Antacids can cause specially coated, or enteric, peppermint oil pills to dissolve in the stomach, resulting in nausea and heartburn. The pills' enteric coating is designed to pass intact through the stomach and dissolve in the intestinal tract. Antacids lower stomach acid, which might cause the enteric coating to melt in the stomach. UMMC cautions that after taking enteric peppermint supplements, you should wait two hours before ingesting antacids. Common antacids include magnesium sulfate, aluminum hydroxide and calcium carbonate, ranitidine, omeprazole and famotidine. Please talk with your physician about any health questions you might have.

If you receive an organ transplant, your doctor might prescribe cyclosporine, which can prevent your body from rejecting the new organ. It does this by repressing your immune system. Peppermint oil can reduce the time it takes your body to metabolize cyclosporine. As a result, you might be more prone to the medication's side effects, according to MedlinePlus.

Medications Metabolized by the Liver
One of the liver's primary purposes is to break down and filter food, toxins and medications. Peppermint oil could slow the liver's processing of some medications, such as ibuprofen, diclofenac, meloxicam, celecoxib, amitriptyline, warfarin and losartan, cautions MedlinePlus. This could cause the medications to remain in your system longer, boosting the drug's effects and possible side effects. If you take prescription drugs, consult your qualified health care provider before taking peppermint oil supplements.

Other Medications
Other drugs that could cause adverse interactions with peppermint oil are diabetic medications and drugs for high blood pressure. Research indicates that peppermint oil might lower blood pressure and blood glucose levels, notes the UMMC.

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