Peppermint arthritis

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Studies indicate topical usefulness of peppermint extracts in multiple medical conditions including headache, muscle aches, post-herpetic neuralgia, toothache, oral mucosal inflammation, itching, hives and as an antibacterial, antiviral agent. It also has been used as a mosquito repellant.

Orally, the oil has been used for colds, coughs, irritable bowel syndrome, dyspepsia, and dysmenorrhea. The oil is obtained by steam distillation of the above-ground parts of the flowering peppermint plant.

It contains 28-28 percent menthol, 20-31 percent menthone and 3-10 percent methyl acetate. Its topical action is as a counterirritant. This is where its effectiveness in arthritis has been used as an ingredient in various topical preparations. It has in vitro antibacterial and antiviral effects. It also increases salivation. It inhibits the cough reflex.

Adverse reactions from topical use include skin irritation and contact dermatitis. Application to the face, nasal, chest areas of babies, small children can cause laryngeal and bronchial spasms leading to respiratory collapse.

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