Menthacarin attenuates experimental colitis

Phytomedicine. 2020 Oct:77:153212. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2020.153212. Epub 2020 Apr 8.


Background: Peppermint oil and caraway oil are established remedies in gastroenterological medicine because of their spasmolytic/analgesic effects.

Purpose: We investigated whether Menthacarin, a combination of both oils, exerted anti-inflammatory effects in a dextran sodium sulphate (DSS, 2%) murine model of colitis.

Study design and methods: C57BL/6 mice were orally administered Menthacarin in doses of 10, 30, 60, and 120 µg/g body weight (BW), and control mice received 0.2% agar, 10 µl/g BW, during 8 days of DSS-induced colitis. Colitis was monitored by BW measurements and colonoscopies. Colons of euthanised mice were excised for histological staining and ELISA measurements of the cytokines TNFα, IL-6, IL-10, IL-1β, and TGF-β.

Results: Menthacarin-treated mice compared to controls showed improved macroscopical and microscopical parameters and lower BW loss during the course of colitis. Menthacarin changed the colonic cytokine profile towards a regulatory/anti-inflammatory phenotype.

Conclusion: Menthacarin attenuates experimental colitis and may be a promising add-on therapy for the treatment of IBD.

Keywords: Caraway; Inflammatory bowel disease; Menthacarin; Peppermint; TRPA1; TRPM8.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Colitis / chemically induced
  • Colitis / diet therapy*
  • Colitis / metabolism
  • Colitis / pathology
  • Colon / drug effects*
  • Colon / metabolism
  • Colon / pathology
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Dextran Sulfate / toxicity
  • Male
  • Mentha piperita
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Cytokines
  • Plant Oils
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • peppermint oil
  • caraway oil