Herbal remedies for dyspepsia: peppermint seems effective

Prescrire Int. 2008 Jun;17(95):121-3.


(1) Functional dyspepsia is extremely common, yet few if any treatments have been shown to be effective. This review examines the potential benefits and risks of using herbal products in treating symptoms of dyspepsia. (2) About forty plants have been approved in France in the composition of products traditionally used for dyspepsia. (3) The clinical efficacy of most of these plants has not been assessed. Some essential oils can cause severe adverse effects, including seizures. Herbal teas appear to be safe when used appropriately. (4) A few randomised controlled clinical trials suggest that peppermint essential oil is effective in reducing abdominal pain, flatulence and diarrhea in patients with "irritable bowel syndrome". Peppermint tea, containing essential oil, has no known adverse effects. (5) There is no sound reason to discourage patients from using herbal teas made from plants such as lemon balm, German chamomile or star anise.

MeSH terms

  • Beverages
  • Consumer Product Safety
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Dyspepsia / therapy*
  • France
  • Herbal Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Mentha piperita*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Plant Oils