Stomach bloating: Take peppermint to help relieve abdominal pain and soothe IBS symptoms

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Bloating is an uncomfortable feeling one gets when eating the wrong type of foods or simply eating too quickly. The condition is a tricky one as it can sometimes signal a far more serious health condition underlying and for this reason it’s imperative one monitors both their symptoms and their diet to ensure its nothing to worry about. To help relieve the symptoms of the condition experts advise the power of the mint.

Peppermint may relieve digestive symptoms, such as gas, bloating and indigestion.

Animal studies indicate that peppermint relaxes your digestive system and may ease pain. It also prevents smooth muscles from contracting, which could relieve spasms in your gut.

A review of nine studies in 926 people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) treated with peppermint oil for at least two weeks concluded that peppermint provided significantly better symptom relief than a placebo.

READ MORE: Stomach bloating: When your bloating could signal something more serious

In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, a novel delivery system of peppermint oil as an effective therapy for irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.

The study noted: “This is a four-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of PO or identical placebo three times daily in patients fulfilling Rome III criteria for IBS-M.

“The primary endpoint was the change from baseline in the Total IBS Symptom Score after four weeks of treatment.

“Seventy-two patients were randomised to peppermint oil or placebo.

“At four weeks, peppermint oil was associated with a 40 percent reduction in a total IBS symptom score from baseline, superior to the 24.3 percent decrease observed with placebo.

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“The decrease in the total IBS Symptom Score of 19.6 percent in the peppermint group at 24 hours was also significantly larger than placebo.

“At trial completion, patients in the peppermint oil group experienced greater improvement in multiple improvement in multiple individual gastrointestinal symptoms as well as in severe or unbearable symptoms, compared to placebo.”

The study concluded that peppermint oil formulation designed for sustained release in the small intestine is a safe, effective treatment capable of providing rapid relief of IBS and bloating symptoms.

Nutritionist Maeve Madden said: “Mint is a marvellous aid to digestion,” said Madden, in her book ‘Beat Your Bloat’.

“I suppose that’s why so many cultures have fresh mint tea after their meals.

“Mint contains a compound called menthol that aids in the normalisation of intestinal contractions.

“This is the perfect home remedy for anyone suffering with IBS.

“The natural oils found in mint help to break down and remove gas from the digestive tract.”

The use of peppermint oil has been found to be an effective and safe treatment for those suffering from bloating, abdominal pain or discomfort associated with IBS.

The healing properties of peppermint are apparently related to its smooth muscle relaxing ability.

Once the smooth muscles surrounding the intestine are relaxed, there is less chance of spasm and the indigestion that can accompany it.

The menthol in peppermint may be a key reason for this bowel-comforting effect and simply chewing on the mint has proven to be just as effective.

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