Thumbs-up for after-dinner mints. Menthol and carvone soothe the smooth muscle lining the digestive tract, preventing muscle spasms (antispasmodics).
In Germany, where herbal medicine is more mainstream than in the United States, an over-the-counter digestive remedy, Enteroplant, has two active ingredients: peppermint oil (90 milligrams/capsule) and caraway oil (50 milligrams/ capsule). German researchers gave 45 people with chronic indigestion either a placebo or Enteroplant (one capsule three times a day with meals). After 4 weeks, the placebo group reported no change in abdominal distress, but 95 percent of the peppermint-caraway group reported significant improvement, with 63 percent declaring themselves pain-free.
Related: The Best Home Remedies For A Healthy Mouth
In another German study, the scientists gave 118 adults with chronic indigestion either a standard pharmaceutical (ciapride, 10 milligrams three times a day before meals) or Enteroplant before meals. Four weeks later, the herbal treatment produced slightly better results.
Commission E, the expert panel that evaluates herbal medicines for the German counterpart of the FDA, endorses peppermint for indigestion and abdominal distress.
The article 15 Herbs to Treat Food Poisoning originally appeared on Rodale Wellness.