10 Dangerous Side Effects Of Peppermint Oil

Written by Tanya Choudhary

Peppermint oil is often chosen for its calming effects and other benefits it offers. But recent research sheds some light on the side effects of peppermint oil. While some of these are mild, others require medical attention.

This aromatic oil is a sign of hospitality in many cultures. It is a popular fatigue-easing and de-stressing agent. Also, it is known to manage many health ailments, including irritable bowel syndrome and headaches. But the side effects of this oil should also be kept in mind, and one must know how to manage these undesirable effects effectively. Learn more about the possible negative effects of peppermint oil and how they can impact your health. Read on.

Peppermint Oil Side Effects

Listed below are the potential side effects caused by peppermint oil:

1. Harmful For The Digestive System

Even though peppermint oil is used to calm down a disturbed digestive system, the relaxing nature could potentially trigger indigestion and heartburn. Studies suggest that relaxing the sphincter muscles could probably result in the gastric acids flowing backward into the esophagus. Hence, people suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease and hiatal hernia should be careful while using peppermint oil. Studies also indicate that people with gastroesophageal reflux diseases are known to be at a higher risk for developing nausea and heart burns if they use antacid capsules coated with peppermint oil (1).

[ Read: Side Effects Of Peppermint Tea ]

2. Skin May Erupt Into Rashes

Med Line Plus, a health portal run by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health,  points out that people who used peppermint oil had eruptions and rashes on their skin. Hence, it is advisable to use a maximum of 0.4 milliliter peppermint a day, the dose divided into three equal parts, to avoid these skin issues (2).

3. Intense Headaches And Dizziness

This is one of the most discussed peppermint oil side effects. Various studies conducted on the potential dangers of peppermint oil report people suffering from intense headaches and dizziness after using this essential oil. This could probably arise due to the overuse of the same.

4. Large Doses Lead To Risk Of Seizures

Studies indicate that using this essential oil in extremely large dosages are known to have grave negative impacts on the user, including muscular weakness, brain damages and seizures. If you are experiencing nausea, difficulty in breathing, slowed heartbeat, dizziness, and/or convulsions, then it could be because of using peppermint oil. Call in for medical care at the earliest to avoid complications.

[ Read: Benefits Of Peppermint For Health ]

5. Breathing Problems In Children And Infants

It is safer for adults use peppermint oil, in recommended doses, for steam inhalation and other purposes. However, children and infants should strictly be kept away from the nuances of this oil. Studies have proven that they could be at a risk of life threatening conditions, such as invasive spasms preventing their breathing ability (3).

6. Blisters In The Mouth And Nostrils

Peppermint oil is akin to menthol. And, so if you are allergic to menthol, then you might probably develop blisters in your nostrils and mouth if you use peppermint oil for inhalation. Avoid any medication that has peppermint oil in its ingredient list to avoid these side effects. This is considered to be one of the major peppermint oil inhalation side effects.

7. Interactions With Prescription Drugs

This oil is known to interact with certain prescription drugs, triggering unwanted and uninviting complications. Drugs, such as cyclosporine and antacids quite often come with a coating of peppermint oil. In these cases, the coating breaks down faster, triggering heart burns or GERD on a dangerous level. Plus, the over the counter medications for acid reflux also interact with this oil in the above outlined way, with the dangers transitioning into life threatening ones (4).

8. Slows Down The Rate Of Heart Beat

Studies suggest that peppermint oil might slow down the rate of your heart beat (5). So, if you are suffering from any cardiovascular conditions, then please stay away from this oil.

9. Harms Lungs

It has been reported that this oil, when used in the form of injections, could possibly harm your lungs, with the worst being a complete damage (4).

10. Unsafe For Pregnant And Lactating Women

Researchers are yet to prove the safety of this oil to be used by a woman when she is either pregnant or lactating. Studies suggest that the use of this oil, in certain cases, during the initial stages of pregnancy, could result in uterine relaxation. This, in turn, could result in miscarriage. So if you have a history of miscarriages, then please stay safe.

While it has been noticed that the side effects of peppermint oil occur mainly due to improper usage.  Studies have strictly advised the non-usage of this oil by the following category of people to avoid any kind of complications:

  •   Infants and children.
  •   Pregnant and breastfeeding women.
  •   People having a history of heart diseases.
  •   People suffering from gallstones.

Peppermint oil is known for its calming effect. However, it may also cause some negative effects. The side effects of peppermint oil include rashes, headaches, dizziness, and blisters in the mouth and nostrils. It may also interact with certain medications and may exhibit toxicity if used in higher amounts. Peppermint oil should be kept away from children and infants as it may trigger breathing issues. The oil, in large doses, may also lead to seizures and harm the digestive system. It is also unsafe for the lungs and pregnant and lactating women. Caution is highly advised.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does peppermint raise blood pressure?

No. Your systolic blood pressure drops significantly after consuming about 50 microliters of peppermint essential oil (6).

Can I spray peppermint oil on my bed?

Yes, it is safe to spray peppermint oil on the bed. However, ensure it is appropriately diluted as it may otherwise lead to nausea, dizziness, and headaches.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. A Novel Ileocolonic Release Peppermint Oil Capsule for Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    https://pure.rug.nl/ws/portalfiles/portal/76112978/Weerts2018_Article_ANovelIleocolonicReleasePepper.pdf
  2. Review article: The physiologic effects and safety of Peppermint Oil and its efficacy in irritable bowel syndrome and other functional disorders
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5814329/
  3. A near fatal case of high dose peppermint oil ingestion- Lessons learnt
    https://journals.lww.com/ijaweb/Fulltext/2012/56060/A_near_fatal_case_of_high_dose_peppermint_oil.16.aspx
  4. Therapeutic Uses of Peppermint –A Review
    https://innovareacademics.in/journal/ajpcr/Vol2Issue2/187.pdf
  5. Instant effects of peppermint essential oil on the physiological parameters and exercise performance
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4103722/#:~:text=It%20seems%20that%20peppermint%20has
  6. Instant effects of peppermint essential oil on the physiological parameters and exercise performance
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103722/

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