In April 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that all forms of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) ranitidine (Zantac) be removed from the U.S. market. They made this recommendation because unacceptable levels of NDMA, a probable carcinogen (or cancer-causing chemical), were present in some ranitidine products. People taking prescription ranitidine should talk with their doctor about safe alternative options before stopping the drug. People taking OTC ranitidine should stop taking the drug and talk with their healthcare provider about alternative options. Instead of taking unused ranitidine products to a drug take-back site, a person should dispose of them according to the product’s instructions or by following the FDA’s guidance.

Peppermint is an aromatic plant, created from the blending of watermint and spearmint.

It is used to add flavor or fragrance to foods, cosmetics, soaps, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and other products, and it may have some medicinal uses.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) leaves can be used dried or fresh in teas.

Originally from Europe, peppermint today is cultivated all over the world.

This article is part of a collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods.

Fast facts about peppermint

  • Peppermint is a hybrid of watermint and spearmint.
  • It is available in the forms of leaves, capsules, and oils.
  • Peppermint has shown health benefits for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nausea, skin conditions, headaches, cold, and flu.
  • It can interact with medicines and is not advised for people with gastrointestinal problems.

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Peppermint is a hybrid plant with numerous health benefits.

Peppermint can consist of fresh or dry leaves for use in food or as a tea. Peppermint essential oil is used in tinctures, chest rubs, and creams.

It can also be taken in enteric-coated capsules for swallowing. This allows the peppermint to pass into the intestine.

Peppermint essential oil is a concentrated oil that is extracted from the peppermint plant by steam distillation. The whole fresh or partly dried plant is used before it starts to flower.

The chemical components of peppermint oil are:

  • menthol (40.7 percent)
  • menthone (23.4 percent)
  • menthyl acetate
  • 1,8-cineole
  • limonene
  • beta-pinene
  • beta-caryophyllene

Like other essential oils, peppermint essential oil should not be taken orally and must be diluted with a carrier oil before applying to the skin.

Peppermint is a popular traditional remedy for a number of conditions.

It is believed to have calming effects.

It is used to treat flatulence, menstrual pains, diarrhea, nausea, depression-related anxiety, muscle and nerve pain, the common cold, indigestion, and IBS.


Peppermint calms the stomach muscles and improves the flow of bile, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMM). This makes it suitable for people who have indigestion.

However, it should not be used by people with gastroesophageal reflex disease (GERD), which has different causes.

Irritable bowel syndrome

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American Family Physician