Sunday, May 27, 2012

Peppermint Tea Instead of Pepto

Raise your hands, all my peeps with IBS (or some form thereof).

Yep, most Speech Therapists suffer from IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and I'm fairly certain it has to do with the higher levels of type A personalities...

After 30 years (yep, I've struggled with IBS since my preschool years), I have tried everything. Especially during those extra difficult years of writing my Honours thesis and completing a master's degree. Stress=IBS for me (yoga has been pretty darn helpful).

During my summer jobs as a bartender, I actually kept a bottle of pepto under my bar at all times. I used to chug it like it was water. Trust me, serving alcohol to a bunch of fishermen can be tricky... especially when you're 19-20 and 100 lbs (it truly was weird the summer we went to the states and I was considered 'underage' even though I had been bartending and id-ing for two summers).

Nothing really worked... until I had my first cup of loose leaf peppermint tea.

Yep, I was flabbergasted to discover that after 26 years of sucking back pepto and popping advil, that a little ole cup of peppermint tea actually worked 100 times better at stopping and soothing severe cramping and digestion problems.

Why is this?

A quick literature review and we find that several researchers have studied using peppermint oil (in capsules) as treatment for IBS sufferers. According to Cappello et al. (2007), peppermint oil is successful when lactose intolerance and celiac disease are ruled out. A 2005 literature review by Grigoleit reveals that 8 of 12 double blind placebo trials found positive results (possibly the 4 other studies were complicated by a misdiagnosis of IBS like Cappello et al. suggested?). Finally, Merat et al. 2010 also found that peppermint oil capsules work well (although it would appear that perhaps they may have been funded by a specific brand of capsule...?).

New research is confirming what Naturopaths and alternative medicines have been recommending for years: that Peppermint oil acts as an anti-pain agent, dampening the pain receptors (which would decrease cramping and resulting unpleasantness).

So, instead of reaching for Pepto (which the active ingredient, 'bismuth' rates a moderate concern on the EWG, and inactive ingredients also have a few moderate hits), or pain medication (which recently has come to light often contain parabens, phthalates and other nasty chemicals)...

.... give loose leaf, organic peppermint tea a try! 

article copyright of EcoYogini at

NB: If you believe you may have IBS, but have never been evaluated by a physician, please consult your family physician! Symptoms of IBS may also be symptoms of more serious medical issues such as Crohn's Disease and shouldn't be ignored.


  1. IBS is another lovely symptom of ME (another Type A condition). Peppermint tea is a lifesaver for me but bizarrely it makes Himself's IBS worse....I don't understand it!!

  2. There is an online seller in the Northwestern US called "Mountain Rose Herbs". They sell loose leaf teas of all kinds, including peperming (and spearmint) in bulk for a LOT cheaper than anywhere else I've seen it. They sell a lot of great items - like rose hip oil, great for skin, soaps, spices etc.

  3. OMG, aren't herbs amazing?! These past four years, I have literally cured (or almost cured) some ailments I have had for 15+ years with nothing but crampbark, peppermint, raspberry leaf and other herbs. It's truly miraculous!


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