Side Effects Of Peppermint Oil

If you follow sensible guidance, observe the cautions and never use pure essential oil direct on your skin, then peppermint essential oil is an extremely safe form of pain relief.

However, as with any medication (even one of the oldest known to humanity), there are side effects if not used properly or in extreme cases.


Peppermint essential oil comes from the peppermint plant. According to Wikipedia, it is…

“…a hybrid mint, something between watermint and spearmint.”

As well as being used to provide a pleasant scent in soaps and cosmetics, peppermint oil is a common food flavouring and has a number of other purposes – including some for pain relief.

We have looked at peppermint oil’s potential for treating migraines, headaches, fibromyalgia and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) among other uses. In these articles, I have demonstrated the not insubstantial clinical data that now exists in support of their usage.

As with any medicine or indeed any substance that is likely to be consumed or inhaled, there is always the chance of an allergic reaction or other side effect.

While the chances of this happening may be extremely small, and often only down to misuse, they are still important to recognise just in case.

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Side Effects Of Peppermint Oil

Observed side effects (whether through sheer bad luck or poor usage) include –

  • Allergic reactions (the most likely)
  • Diarrhea with anal burning
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Rashes
  • Mouth Ulcers
  • Skin Irritation (not necessarily due to an allergic reaction)
  • Difficulty breathing (if used topically)
  • Difficulty speaking and breathing (in children)
  • Respiratory collapse
  • Burning mouth syndrome
  • Flushing
  • Acute renal failure

Drug Interactions

There are no known or listed drug interactions with peppermint essential oil.

However, caution should always be taken when trying anything for the first time and you should consult your doctor or local pharmacist before starting a new regime, especially if you are on existing medications.


Do not use in infants and children. Do not use if pregnant or during breast feeding. Avoid use in patients with the absence of hydrochloric acid in the gastric secretions (achlorhydria) with enteric coated caps.


Use with caution if you suffer with a hiatal hernia.

Direct side effects of peppermint oil can also be viewed at

In the event of an overdose, contact a doctor or local hospital immediately. Should you notice side effects, report these immediately to your doctor.

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References Used –

1. Peppermint.