Peppermint oil has shown promising yeast fighting activity in therapeutic dosages. The Tehran University of Medical Sciences conducted research for alternative approaches to vaginitis in 2011 and found that peppermint displayed anti-candida effects. In 2010, Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection published research where, out of 30 plant oils, peppermint and eucalyptus demonstrated the most effective antifungal properties at .12% and .15% concentration. Peppermint, spearmint, and thyme were shown to have stronger antifungal activity than bifonazole (the commercial fungicide) in a 2009 article published by Molecules as well as in research published by the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2005. Many studies have concluded that more research and specific dosage is needed for treating yeast infections with peppermint however it can be beneficial.
Before I continue with this article, you should know I've recently compiled a list of science-backed ways to get rid of candida yeast infections. You can download my free Candida Report here if you haven't yet.
Other Benefits and Uses
Essential oils have been studied for antibacterial effects for ages now, Molecules published a 2010 study that found peppermint oil to be as effective as antibiotics, though oregano oil showed the highest antimicrobial activity. Both peppermint and oregano oil contains carvacrol, a compound known to help fight bacteria and yeast. Eric did a video on oregano oil in his special food for candida series which you can watch below:
Peppermint tea and oil concentrations relieve digestive symptoms, including IBS, diarrhea, flatulence and nausea. The addition of rosemary, thyme oil, or caraway seed to peppermint extract assists in digestive aid. A literature search published by Phytomedicine in 2005 evaluated 16 clinical trials and found that of 8 studies using placebos, participants assigned peppermint oil showed significant benefits.
Rubbing peppermint essential oil on temples and earlobes can help alleviate sinus congestion and headaches, including migraines. I have found that for my own migraines, drinking peppermint tea helps lift the tension as well. The herb is also found in many joint rubs to help relieve muscle pain, and chest rubs as it has expectorant qualities.
Mixing 4-10 drops of peppermint oil into 8oz of water and using the mixture as a spray is often used to deter mice, fleas, spiders and ants.
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If taking peppermint for digestive health, use enteric coated softgels to avoid digestive upset. Adults may take 0.2-0.4mL twice daily for candida, or three times a day for IBS support. For children over 8, 0.1-0.2mL may be taken up to three times a day. Make sure to incorporate Canxida Remove and Restore in your treatment as well.
Externally, one or two drops of peppermint oil can be mixed with carrier oil or diluted with 4oz of water and rubbed or sprayed in affected areas. Note: that peppermint oil can have a cooling, tingling effect on the skin, so do not use too much oil, particularly when applying to sensitive areas. One drop of oil may be rubbed on the temples or earlobes, or mixed with a base and spread around the forehead for headaches.
Not sure if you have a yeast infection? Take our free quiz to find out.
What Forms of Peppermint are Best?
Peppermint is available in many different forms. The oil should be taken in enteric coated softgels or capsules if being used internally. While the oil extract has been studied most for antifungal properties, peppermint tea can help during a candida cleanse. The tea is consumed in place of caffeinated drinks, and may still contain antibacterial and yeast-fighting properties while also being beneficial for soothing the stomach and relieving gas and bloating. Six tea bags may be used in a bath to help relieve muscle pains or reduce fever, while the essential oil may be diluted and applied on the skin for more localized problems such as ringworm.
Peppermint powder can be used both internally and externally, and is easily incorporated into foods, drinks, and cosmetics for external use. Tinctures are best used for respiratory concerns.
Peppermint is safe for most people. Some individuals may have allergies, and those on cyclosporine or medication changed by the liver should consult their doctor before use, as peppermint may decrease the speed that the liver breaks down medication. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers may take peppermint in amounts normally found in food, however supplementation has not been studied. People with a hiatial hernia, gastroesophageal reflux, or who do not produce hydrochloric acid should not take peppermint oil.
High amounts of peppermint oil can cause nervous system problems, nausea, or loss of appetite. Peppermint oil, when taken in extreme dosages, may cause kidney failure or death because of toxic effects. To avoid overconsumption, follow directions on the package or bottle. No more than ten drops of essential oil should be used on the skin daily. Essential oils should not be taken by mouth unless they are food-grade or under doctor supervision.
Peppermint belongs to the mint plant family. Similar herbs are pennyroyal and spearmint. While peppermint seems to be more effective for health benefits, spearmint is gentler. Pennyroyal is less potent in beneficial properties yet has a more pungent flavor. Thyme has also shown antifungal activity in research. For antibacterial support, oregano is an alternative option.
To read about more alternatives, see our article, How Spices Can Help Against Candida Albicans.
Can It Cause Die Off Reaction?
Peppermint has a slight anesthetic effect on mucous membranes in the GI tract which may cause similar effects as die-off. These symptoms can be avoided by taking enteric coated softgels or drinking tea to soothe the digestive tract.
Cases of die-off have been reported during external use of peppermint oil by way of hypoglycemia, particularly during liver detoxification.
What is the Difference Between Mint and Peppermint?
Mint is the plant family (mentha) that peppermint belongs to. Spearmint and pennyroyal are other common herbs from the same plant family.