How does mint help nausea?

A handy trick I learned about a year ago was whenever I felt nauseous, I should chew a piece of mint gum. I was told that the menthol in the mint gum is what alleviates nausea – naturally, I had no idea what that meant. Since I just got over a spell of nausea a few days ago with the help of several pieces of mint gum, I wanted to ask: what about mint gum (or specifically, menthol) helps get rid of nausea?

The main difference I noted whenever chewing gum when I felt queasy was that it helped relax and soothe my stomach. But how and why does it do that? According to LiveStrong, the answer lies within one of the main ingredients – menthol. When ingesting menthol through peppermint, it relaxes your stomach muscles and gets rid of that tight, uncomfortable, cramping feeling that your stomaches get whenever you feel sick. In other words, it acts as a kind of cooling massage to your stomach – kneading all of the knots out until your stomach is stretched, relaxed, and comfortable. This can actually be related to why people tend to feel more relaxed and at ease when smoking cigarettes that contain menthol – it has the same effect.

Any precautions? Yes, but not many. LiveStrong noted that using peppermint as a relief agent should be avoided by people with certain stomach or gastrointestinal problems, as this can actually cause more pain. In other words, the best use of peppermint as a nausea relief would be when you’re sick from food related causes, anxiety, nerves, etc., instead of serious medical concerns and ailments. *(Disclaimer: this is not to undermine the severity of people with anxiety. I am referring to anxiety as for example, being nervous to give an oral presentation in front of the class. In other words, just being nervous).*

Is the use of peppermint for nausea limited to just gum? Nope! A person can use peppermint oils, candy, tea leaves, gum, etc. to alleviate nausea, although peppermint oils would most likely be the most effective route, as it has the most concentration of menthol and a lesser amount of sugar compared to the other options.

Peppermint gum has helped me whenever I had nausea from the day I found out about it. It is a useful “life hack” and can benefit a lot of people that might not have known of its usefulness. So in the end, if you’re feeling nauseous and don’t want to take an Alka Seltzer or force yourself to get sick, peppermint gum can be a helpful alternative. And of course, if symptoms persist, go to the nurse or doctor for additional help.

Web source: Here

Photo source: Here

5 thoughts on “How does mint help nausea?

  1. Raegan S Pechar

    I’ve had this concept engraved in my mind for years, thanks to my mom who has always been an advocate for mint after meals. Who would have thought that menthol had the ability to assuage upset stomachs? I use peppermint oil for EVERYTHING – no joke. Headache? Peppermint. Tired? Peppermint. Feeling stuffy? Peppermint. I’m starting to believe it’s a bit of a placebo effect, but hey, it works! Here is an article of other herbs that are helpful with easing an upset stomach:

  2. Mansi M Patel

    Hey Wendy! As someone who gets carsick frequently, I associate the smell of mint to helping with nausea. However, I wonder whether it is the scent/flavor of mint that helps with the nausea or the act of chewing/producing more saliva that does the trick for me, so I’m not sure if the peppermint oils would work for me, but everyone is different. Interesting post!

  3. Wendy Sun

    I always wondered why I feel better after eating a mint or chewing gum. I get carsick easily and chewing gum definitely helps nausea. I find it interesting that menthol reduces stress in stomach muscles. I wonder if it is just the taste of the menthol that helps with nausea or the fact that you are chewing/tasting something. Does flavored gum like watermelon also help nausea? Or not as much compared to mint flavored? There are also many other health benefits of mint which I found intriguing.

  4. Adelaide Christine Edgett

    Back in High School, my mom always gave me peppermint tea to help me get over my stomach illnesses. It’s interesting to see the actual mechanisms behind that, though I wasn’t aware of it’s effects on long term stomach issues. I’m mostly interested in this article because seeing as peppermint gum works just as well, this info might be useful when the hangovershit.

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