Does Mint Come With Any Adverse Side Effects?

Mint has been used for centuries now and made a reputation for itself for having soothing and cooling properties. It is used for culinary purposes and also as a part of toothpastes, chewing gums, mouth fresheners, insecticides, and more. Essential oils and beverages derived from mint are also very popular. Alas, mint is not all good despite bringing along multiple health benefits.

The Side Effects Of Too Much Mint

It’s no secret that mints come with several many health benefits. They help with digestion, weight loss, getting rid of nausea and headaches, and more. However, like in the case of everything else, mint should also be taken in moderation. It may prove to be harmful rather than helpful if used in excess. While mint can treat asthma and has been used as an agent for lessening symptoms of respiratory disorders, some people can also be allergic to mint.

The herb can lead them to develop asthma or worsen it. Mint’s strong odor can cause breathing difficulties in some people. Excess intake of mint can also cause throat problems among children. This is because the herb can be too strong for them. What’s more, excessive mint usage can cause headaches, heartburn, and skin irritation.

Peppermint tea may interfere with the working of doctor-prescribed medications for indigestion and worsen one’s condition. People who are diabetic and regularly taking medicines should also be careful with their intake of peppermint. Mint also interferes with drugs that are taken for blood pressure, cyclosporine, and stomach acid.

Some side effects that can be caused by the use of peppermint oil include flushing, burning mouth syndrome, headaches, rashes, mouth ulcers, heartburn, and diarrhea. Mint is not advised to be used by those who have GERD, gastrointestinal reflux. This is because mint allows stomach acids to revisit the esophagus. Mint should particularly be avoided by pregnant women as it can take the risk of miscarriage up.

Over and above that, breastfeeding mothers should also be careful with consuming mint as it can cause harm to the baby. Peppermint oil in big doses is toxic. The menthol in mint, when taken on its own, can be poisonous. This explains why excess peppermint oil has been labelled toxic. Furthermore, a person who has had gallstones in the past should also be cautious when taking mint.

Recommended Dosage Of Peppermint

There are several mints that belong to the mint family. These include lemon mint, garden mint, ginger mint, pineapple mint, chocolate mint, peppermint, and spearmint. However, only the last two types are very popular. Experts favor peppermint over spearmint even though the latter has a milder flavor. One must still take peppermint in recommended doses to avoid its negative side effects. Below is a brief account of prescribed peppermint doses:

  • As tea: use 1 tbsp of peppermint leaves in one cup of water. Don’t drink more than thrice a day
  • As capsules: maximum two capsules can be taken thrice a day
  • As tincture: tincture should contain only 10% peppermint oil and 90% ethanol