Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal disorder causing abdominal pain, bloating and either diarrhea or constipation.  IBS is extremely common, affecting up to 20% of the population, and unfortunately can be a debilitating condition with standard medicines only modestly effective.  A new study published in the journal Pain  demonstrated how the plant peppermint helps to relieve the pain associated with IBS.

While naturopaths have prescribed peppermint for gas pain for years, there has been little knowledge as to how the herb actually works.

The researchers at University of Adelaide have shown that peppermint actually activates an “anti-pain” channel in the colon.  This channel is called TRPM8 and once it is activated it decreases the pain sensing fibers in the colon.

Since IBS has no cure, this is potentially the first step in determining a new type of mainstream clinical treatment.    What is also interesting is that the researchers also speculate that certain food items like mustard and chilies decrease  TRPM8 which is how they believe those foods can cause abdominal pain.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a broad diagnosis with potential causes being bacterial overgrowth, infection, food intolerance and stress.  So  whenever you have belly pain, taking a little peppermint may help relieve some of the discomfort.

Disclaimer: The information presented on this website is not intended to take the place of your personal physician’s advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Discuss this information with your healthcare provider to determine what is right for you.  All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical condition