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Peppermint and Caraway Relieve Symptoms of Dyspepsia, reveals study

Thursday October 25, 2018
Peppermint and Caraway Relieve Symptoms of Dyspepsia, reveals study

A study into using peppermint and caraway to relieve symptoms of painful digestion has shown positive results.

Bloating, heartburn, nausea and feeling full quickly after eating are among the group of symptoms associated with dyspepsia, a painful digestive condition affecting up to 40% of UK adults (1).


Dyspepsia is characterized by a group of bothersome symptoms, including heartburn, bloating, feeling full quickly after eating, and nausea. To remedy digestive symptoms such as dyspepsia, peppermint and caraway have been used for centuries for their therapeutic benefits. Accumulating evidence supports this historical use in patients suffering from functional dyspepsia (2).  


Photo caption:Caraway Seeds


A study conducted by Rich G et. al in Germany investigated the efficacy of using peppermint and caraway in relieving symptoms of dyspepsia and improving quality of life. A total of 114 sufferers of functional dyspepsia were given an oral preparation of peppermint and caraway (90mg peppermint & 50mg caraway) twice daily, or a placebo. After four weeks of supplementation, the symptoms were analysed on the Nepean Dyspepsia Index (NDI).


Overall, supplementation significantly improved symptoms of dyspepsia, as measured by the NDI scale. Compared to placebo, patients that received the peppermint and caraway experienced reduced severity and frequency of digestive symptoms, such as abdominal discomfort, the sensation of pressure and reflux.


It is suggested that peppermint and caraway may alleviate these symptoms as they may improve gastric motility due to anti-spasmodic mechanisms. Additionally, these herbs have been shown to promote gastric emptying, which can reduce abdominal bloating commonly experienced by dyspepsia sufferers (3).  


In conclusion, this recent trial adds to the large body of evidence that highlights a potential role of peppermint and caraway in the treatment of dyspepsia. However, longer-term trials are necessary to confirm these results and further establish its efficacy of use in alleviating symptoms of dyspepsia.


Author: Salma Dawood is a Technical Advisor at Viridian Nutrition. She holds a BSc honours degree in Human Nutrition.

1)      Cooke PA, Gormley GJ, Gilliland A, Cupples ME. Dyspepsia. BMJ 2011; 343;d6234
2)      Rich G, Shah A, Koloski N, et al. A randomized placebo-controlled trial on the effects of
Menthacarin, a proprietary peppermint- and caraway-oil-preparation, on symptoms and
quality of life in patients with functional dyspepsia. Neurogastroenterol Motil. November 2017;29(11):e13132. doi: 10.1111/nmo.13132.
3)      Inamori M, Akiyama T, Akimoto K, Fujita K, Takahashi H, Yoneda M, et al. Early effects of peppermint oil on gastric emptying: a crossover study using a continuous real-time 13C breath test (BreathID system). J Gastroenterol. 2007; 42: 539-542.

The information contained in this article is not intended to treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a health practitioner. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you have a pre-existing health condition or are currently taking medication. Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet.


TAGS: DigestionPeppermint


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