In a recent study, researchers investigated the efficacy of peppermint (mentha x piperita) in the treatment of infants with infantile colic.
The results of the study showed that continuous use of peppermint can decrease the frequency of the episodes of colic and reduce the crying duration.
The study took place at the Instituto de Medicina Integral Professor Fernando Figueira in Recife, Brazil with a total of 313 infants. Enrolled infants were examined throughout the study to rule out other health factors that may cause crying. The occurrences of colic at baseline were 3.9 ± 1.1 times per day with an average crying time of 192 ± 51.6 minutes. This was reduced to 1.6 ± 0.6 times per day for a duration of 111 ± 28 minutes at the end of the study. No adverse side effects were observed.
Infantile colic is characterized primarily by crying more than 3 hours per day, 3 days a week for at least 3 weeks while hunger or other illness are not factors. There are many theorized causes of this ailment with none more prevalent than gastrointestinal problems, possibly arising from hyperperistalsis, aerophagia, or cow’s milk allergy. Peppermint leaves are commonly used for digestive problems and have been found to provide relaxing effects on gastrointestinal muscle. Peppermint is commonly used pharmaceutical for the alleviation of gas based on reduction of the surface tension of air bubbles.
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