Peppermint Plant Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a disorder that involves abdominal pain and cramping, accompanied by changes in bowel movements may affect over 20 percent of the population. A groundbreaking research triggered by the University of Adelaide claims that peppermint can soothe IBS. Peppermint apparently activates an ‘anti-pain’ channel in the colon, relieving inflammatory pain within the gastrointestinal tract.

Peppermint has already been recommended by naturopaths for IBS patients. However, here is some clinical evidence as to how, peppermint may alleviate pain. This hybrid mint probably acts through a specific anti-pain channel named TRPM8 to decrease pain sensing fibres, particularly those activated by mustard and chilli. The debilitating condition particularly targeting women appears associated with a former bout of gastroenteritis, which leaves nerve pain fibres in a heightened state.

As a result, Dr Stuart Brierley and colleagues found that when mechanisms within the gut wall alter, an ongoing pain occurs. Other than gastroenteritis and food intolerance, IBS can possibly be caused by food poisoning, stress, a reaction to antibiotics, and in some cases due to genetic factors as well. Additional investigations will be initiated to develop treatments for a range of intestinal diseases.

The research is published in the journal Pain.