Mentha piperita (Peppermint)

Chapter 105 Mentha piperita (Peppermint)

Mentha piperita (family: Labitae)

Common name: peppermint

image General Description

Peppermint is a natural hybrid of garden spearmint (Mentha spicata) and water mint (Mentha aquatica). First described in England in 1696, peppermint now grows all over the world.1 The two most popular varieties are white peppermint (Mentha piperita var. officinalis) and black peppermint (M. piperita var. vulgaris). Both are typical members of the mint family, that is, herbs with square stems, horizontal rhizomes, and lanceolated leaves with a serrated edge. Black peppermint has deep red stems with purplish-tinged dark green leaves, whereas white peppermint has green stems with lighter green leaves. Both varieties produce purple flowers during the summer months. For medicinal effects, the aerial portion of the plant is the most widely used.

image Pharmacology

The pharmacology of peppermint is attributed almost entirely to its menthol components. The major categories of actions for peppermint and menthol are as follows:

Antispasmodic Effects

The mechanism behind peppermint oil’s antispasmodic effects was determined. Researchers concluded that peppermint oil inhibits contractions of isolated smooth muscles by blocking the influx of calcium into the muscle cells.4,5 Researchers hypothesized that the clinical effectiveness of peppermint oil in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a result of inhibition of the hypercontractility of intestinal smooth muscle, thereby returning the muscle to its proper tone.

Sep 12, 2016 | Posted by in MANUAL THERAPIST | Comments Off on Mentha piperita (Peppermint)
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