Peppermint and caraway oil: proven effect on GI symptoms

Gastrointestinal disorders patients often use alternative treatments like herbal oils. A meta-analysis examined randomised studies to determine their efficacy.

What you should know about the effects of peppermint and caraway oil on gastrointestinal disorders:

Naturopathic active ingredients: is it all just hocus-pocus?

Many sufferers of gastrointestinal complaints in particular would like an alternative to conventional medicine. However, naturopathic remedies sometimes have a reputation for not really being effective. Yet oils, plants and herbs have been used in traditional medicine for many centuries - apparently with good results. A recent meta-analysis has now investigated whether a combination of peppermint and caraway oil has an effect on gastrointestinal complaints in functional dyspepsia or irritable bowel syndrome.

Randomised studies: a rarity in naturopathy

Researchers analysed several randomised studies that compared the effects of the oil mixture with placebo or other medications. As there is often not enough money to carry out such studies, they are not available for all naturopathic medicines. The current meta-analysis is therefore also special.

Do peppermint and caraway oil help with gastrointestinal complaints?

The results of the analysis are clear: the combination of peppermint and caraway oil led to a significant improvement in dyspeptic complaints compared to placebo and other medications. There were also positive effects on existing irritable bowel symptoms.

Overall, the naturopathic product was well tolerated and safe to use.

Key take-away for medical practice

The meta-analysis shows that a peppermint and caraway oil mixture can have a positive effect on dyspeptic complaints and irritable bowel symptoms. In particular, the naturopathic product performed favourably compared to placebo. Such a combination could therefore represent an effective, gentle and safe therapy option for many sufferers.