Peppermint (Mentha piperita) and albendazole against anisakiasis in an animal model

Trop Med Int Health. 2014 Dec;19(12):1430-6. doi: 10.1111/tmi.12399. Epub 2014 Oct 20.


Objectives: Therapy against anisakiasis requires invasive techniques to extract L3 , and an effective drug against this nematode is needed. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of peppermint essential oil (EO) and its main components against the parasite in comparison to albendazole, a drug currently prescribed to treat anisakiasis.

Methods: We conducted in vitro experiments and studied an experimental model simulating the human infection in Wistar rats. We used polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism to identify A. simplex s.s. and A. pegreffii and determine any differences in their pathogenicity and susceptibility to the treatments.

Results: The in vitro and in vivo experiments both showed that the larvicidal activity of peppermint EO, menthol, menthone and menthyl acetate is higher than that of albendazole. Large stomach lesions were observed in 46.7% of the albendazole-treated rats, whereas no gastrointestinal lesions were detected in those treated with peppermint EO, menthol, menthyl acetate or menthone.

Conclusions: In this animal model, treatment with peppermint EO or its main components was more effective than was treatment with albendazole. Lesions were more frequently produced by A. simplex s.s. larvae than by A. pegreffii larvae.

Keywords: Aceite Esencial de Menta; Albendazol; Anisakiasis; Mentol; Mentona; Metilacetato; acétate de menthyl; albendazole; anisakiase; anisakiasis; huile essentielle de menthe poivrée; menthol; menthone; menthyl acetate; peppermint essential oil.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Albendazole / pharmacology
  • Albendazole / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Anisakiasis / drug therapy*
  • Anisakiasis / pathology
  • Anisakis / drug effects*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Larva / drug effects
  • Mentha piperita / chemistry*
  • Menthol / pharmacology
  • Menthol / therapeutic use
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Oils / chemistry
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Species Specificity
  • Stomach / drug effects
  • Stomach / pathology


  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Extracts
  • Plant Oils
  • Menthol
  • menthone
  • peppermint oil
  • Albendazole