Peppermint oil (Menthae piperitae aetheroleum)

Published March 13, 1986; Revised March 13, 1990, September 1, 1990, and July 14, 1993.
List of German Commission E Monographs (Phytotherapy)


Name of Drug

Menthae piperitae aetheroleum, peppermint oil.

Composition of Drug

Peppermint oil consists of the essential oil of Mentha piperita L. [Fam. Lamiaceae], obtained by steam distillation from freshly harvested, flowering sprigs, and its preparations in effective dosage.

Peppermint oil contains a minimum of 4.5 percent and a maximum of 10 percent (w/w) esters, calculated as menthyl acetate, at least 44 percent (w/w) free alcohols, calculated as menthol and a minimum of 15 percent and maximum of 32 percent (w/w) ketones, calculated as menthone.



Spastic discomfort of the upper gastrointestinal tract and bile ducts, irritable colon, catarrhs of the respiratory tract, inflammation of the oral mucosa. External:

Myalgia and neuralgia. Contraindications Obstruction of bile ducts, gallbladder inflammation, severe liver damage. In case of gallstones, to be used only after consultation with a physician.

Preparations containing peppermint oil should not be used on the face, particularly the nose, of infants and small children.

Side Effects

None known.

Interactions with Other Drugs

None known.


Unless otherwise prescribed:


Average daily dosage:
6 - 12 drops. For inhalation:
3 - 4 drops in hot water. For irritable colon:
Average single dose 0.2 ml;
Average daily dose 0.6 ml in enterically coated form. External:

Some drops rubbed in the affected skin areas. In semi-solid and oily preparations 5 - 20 percent; In aqueous-ethanol preparations 5 - 10 percent; In nasal ointments 1 - 5 percent essential oil. Mode of Administration Essential oil and galenical preparations for internal and external application.