Health

Stomach bloating: Best oil known to help irritable bowel syndrome and reduce symptoms

Stomach bloating typically describes what happens when too much gas fills up the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. With no exit for expulsion, the tummy tends to stretch and swell. This may result in painful cramps that last for hours, diminishing a person's overall quality of life. Taking peppermint oil may help to reduce both your symptoms of bloating and to help cure irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Drinking peppermint tea or taking peppermint supplements may help reduce symptoms in the digestive tract.

Various studies have noted that the oil in peppermint is a helpful remedy for IBS and its symptoms in adults.

Peppermint oil acts as a natural antispasmodic in the body, which helps reduce bloating and gas.

In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, the impact of peppermint oil on irritable bowel syndrome was investigated.

The study noted: "Peppermint oil (PO) has intrinsic properties that may benefit patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms. 

"The irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic, functional gastrointestinal syndrome characterized by relapsing abdominal pain and altered bowel habits, with either predominant symptoms of diarrhoea or constipation.

"Peppermint oil (PO) is a naturally-occurring carminative herb containing monoterpene compounds that target the pathophysiology of IBS.

"In the most comprehensive meta-analysis to date, PO was shown to be a safe and effective therapy for pain and global symptoms in adults with IBS."

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Using a traditional remedy such as peppermint oil can be a safe and effective method to lessen the digestive symptoms associated with IBS, said the Digestive Centre for Wellness.

The site added: "Peppermint oil acts as an antispasmodic and relaxes the smooth muscles in the intestine as well as helps to minimize symptoms of indigestion, gas, and bloating, all common with IBS.

"It is important to note that if taking capsule forms of peppermint oil, they must be enteric coated in order for proper breakdown and absorption.

"This minimizes the potential digestive side effects.

"Avoid teas and peppermint flavoured products, as they are insufficient for full symptom control and often lead to digestive side effects such as heart burn or irritation of the mouth."


Peppermint oil improves digestion and relieve bloating by increasing gastric emptying, stimulating secretion of digestive juices and bile, says Dr Sarah Brewer.

She added: "It also has a relaxing effect on the intestinal tract to relieve spasm. Peppermint is therefore taken to relieve bloating, indigestion, colic, intestinal cramps, flatulence, diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome. 

"The results from 12 clinical trials, involving almost 600 people, explored the effectiveness of peppermint oil, fibre or antispasmodic drugs (eg mebeverine, hyoscine, otilonium bromide) in treating IBS. 

"The number needed to prevent one patient having persistent symptoms was 11 for fibre, 5 for antispasmodics, and 2.5 for peppermint oil, making it the most effective treatment." 

You can drink peppermint tea as required or take a peppermint capsule (100mg) per day. 

Stomach bloating may also be caused by constipation, trapped wind, irritable bowel syndrome, or even by swallowing too much air.

You could swallow air by drinking through a straw, or by talking with your mouth full of food.

Speak to a doctor if your bloating symptoms don't go away, said the NHS. It could be caused by something more serious, including ovarian or bowel cancer.

While stomach pain is unlikely to be caused by a type of cancer, it's always worth getting it checked by a medical professional.



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