I’d like to share with you some benefits of peppermint for women with IBS. Peppermint and fennel are two of the best IBS relieving foods, along with anise, caraway, chamomile and ginger. Peppermint has always been a favorite of mine, ever since I was a child. I’ve had digestive issues for most of my life, and peppermint has always brought great relief, in multiple ways. If you suffer digestive disturbances and haven’t tried peppermint yet, give it another thought. There are so many wonderful benefits of peppermint for IBS that you’ll wish you had started using it much sooner.
1. Naturally Calming
One of the main benefits of peppermint for women with IBS is that it is a naturally calming herb. It lowers inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract and also calms down the muscles in the tract reducing the potential of cramps or spasms. Peppermint is also naturally calming to the mind. IBS is greatly related to stress, which contributes to the problem further. Sometimes when I’m stressed, a cup of peppermint tea is just what I need to relax a little. Brew up a cup for yourself with lemon, ginger root, and a touch of stevia if you want. It’s so relaxing and calming you’ll easily be able to avoid reaching for that cookie to tame your stress instead.
As I mentioned, peppermint is great for taming spasms in the digestive tract that come with IBS, such as diarrhea, gas, bloating and frequent painful spasms. It helps to smooth the lining of the gastrointestinal walls and stop spasms fairly quickly. You can take tea or capsules and both are effective for this. Just avoid those peppermint candies. They’re high in sugar, which will only exasperate spasms and inflammation. Also, stay away from gum as the sugar alcohols in gum are terrible for your IBS and will make matters worse.
3. Fights Constipation
Peppermint is a unique herb that fights constipation. It doesn’t cause a laxative effect at all, but because it smooths the walls of the GI tract, it helps to push wastes from the body. It is also very soothing to the stomach, and can bring relief pretty quickly. I find the best way to use it for this is as a hot tea, as the hot beverage factor contributes to helping constipation too.
4. Digestive Aid
If you suffer indigestion from you IBS, peppermint can also greatly improve your symptoms. It naturally helps digest foods and is great to drink with or after a meal or snack. I find it just as effective as digestive enzymes, though I’d recommend those too.
IBS can be very depressing, and cause a sour mood quickly. Though it’s not a magic pill for happiness, peppermint is actually great to lift your mood and spirits. Just the scent can help, but sipping a tea is the best way to get the benefits of this.
6. Volatile Oils
Peppermint, like all herbs and spices, contain volatile oils. These are found in plants and they contribute to helping IBS in many ways most people wouldn’t consider. These volatile oils contain high amounts of nutrients, and antioxidants that fight inflammation and imbalance in the body, especially in the stomach. Peppermint is high in volatile oils so long as you choose fresh leaves, or a great tea brand. I like Heather’s Tummy Teas which contain organic peppermint and are very high in volatile oils. You can buy the tea bags or the loose leafs in this brand as well. I buy mine online and have about a two months supply for anywhere from $8-$14. You can find it here if you’re interested: iherb.com.
7. Easy to Use
The best benefit of using peppermint for IBS is you can use it almost anywhere. I use alcohol free peppermint extract in my hot cocoa or morning coffee which I stir in with cocoa powder to make a mock Starbucks Peppermint Mocha at home. I also use the oil in smoothies for a minty flavor and a teeny drop goes along way. You can even use it to make homemade mint flavored yogurt, or just put a tiny drop in your tea if you don’t want to buy a tea. From the array of peppermint teas, extracts, oils and capsules, it’s almost impossible not to find a way to use peppermint for IBS. It’s also found in many digestive aid teas and some digestive enzyme blends as well.
I find a mixture of multiple “weapons” as I like to say, work best and they all come from nature alone,, with peppermint being my favorite. If you have IBS, what do you find helps best for you?