Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is characterized by abdominal pain and
discomfort, bloating, cramping, excessive gas and altered bowel habits,
which may include constipation or diarrhea. Peppermint oil is a natural
antispasmodic and appears to lessen symptoms of IBS. It may help relax
the smooth muscles of the the intestines. In recent studies with about
400 patients, researchers found that 74% of patients taking peppermint
oil capsules twice a day for up to 3 months experienced symptom relief
compared to only 35% of those who took a placebo.