A Little Peppermint Oil Goes a Long Way for IBS Patients

JANUARY 21, 2016
Amy Jacob
Peppermint oil is the latest irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) treatment recommended by gastrointestinal specialists.
According to a previous article published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the study authors pursued a meta-analysis of the available options to manage IBS.
The assessment included management options like various prescription therapies such as antispasmodics, antidepressants, and non-prescription options, such as peppermint oil, probiotics, and fiber.
While the other treatment methods had been previously considered, peppermint oil was slightly new on the block and warranted four studies with a total of 392 patients. Results found that three of the four studies received a Jadad score – a scoring system measuring the quality of the study on a scale of 0 to five – of four or higher.
Upon further analysis of all the different IBS management methods, the team noted, “the Highest efficacy is currently found for peppermint oil, followed by psychotherapeutic and psychopharmaceutical interventions and probiotics. Traditional antispasmodic therapy has moderate efficacy, whereas the list of motility-affecting drugs yielded weak clinical results, and therapies of bran and fiber are of no value in IBS.”
Michael S. Epstein, MD, a leading gastroenterologist, concluded in a news release, “These findings maybe somewhat surprising to many people, but there is a growing body of evidence supporting the use of peppermint oil in IBS.”
Despite favorable results, the researchers acknowledged further studies and longer clinical trials with peppermint oil are necessary.

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