Botanical perspectives on health peppermint: more than just an after-dinner mint

J R Soc Promot Health. 2001 Mar;121(1):62-3. doi: 10.1177/146642400112100113.


Throughout history different species of mint have been used across the globe for their varying properties, both medicinal and culinary. Today, the commercial sales of mints are expanding each year--and at the end of a large meal after-dinner mints are frequently served. But why do we take them? Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is usually taken after a meal for its ability to reduce indigestion and colonic spasms by reducing the gastrocolic reflex. It is a naturally occurring hybrid cross between water mint (M. aquatica) and spearmint (M. spicata) and is best known for its role as a popular flavouring agent. Less well recognised is peppermint's potential role in the management of numerous other medical conditions including certain procedures, e.g. colonoscopy. With the growing popularity of herbal remedies, among both the public and medical practitioners, it would seem that now is an opportune time to consider further what peppermint has to offer the world of medicine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / drug therapy
  • Dyspepsia / drug therapy
  • Flatulence / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Mentha piperita
  • Nausea / drug therapy
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*


  • Plant Extracts