[Peppermint oil in the acute treatment of tension-type headache]

Schmerz. 2016 Jun;30(3):295-310. doi: 10.1007/s00482-016-0109-6.
[Article in German]


Tension-type headache is the most frequent form of headache. The local topical treatment with peppermint oil (oleum menthae piperitae) has proven to be significantly more effective than placebo in controlled studies. Peppermint oil targets headache pathophysiology in multiple ways. The efficacy is comparable to that of acetylsalicylic acid or paracetamol. Solutions of 10 % peppermint oil in ethanol are licensed for the treatment of tension-type headache in adults and children above 6 years. It is included in treatment recommendations and guidelines by the respective professional societies and is regarded as a standard treatment for the acute therapy of tension-type headaches.

Keywords: Acetaminophen; Acetylsalicylic acid; Mode of action, peppermint oil; Tension-type headache; Treatment outcome, peppermint oil.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / therapeutic use
  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adult
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Controlled Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Humans
  • Mentha piperita
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage*
  • Tension-Type Headache / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Plant Oils
  • Acetaminophen
  • peppermint oil
  • Aspirin