Jun 13, 2023
Peppermint Oil Aromatherapy: A Promising Solution for Pain Relief
Researchers have confirmed that peppermint oil aromatherapy has incredible potential for relieving pain. The study was focused on patients who were facing postoperative pain following open heart
Researchers have confirmed that peppermint oil aromatherapy has incredible potential for relieving pain. The study was focused on patients who were facing postoperative pain following open heart surgery. Not only was the peppermint oil treatment effective in diminishing pain, but was also found to improve patients’ sleep quality.
Open heart surgery is a significantly invasive procedure that carries a high risk of severe pain, anxiety, and sleep deprivation. Adequate pain management promotes swift recovery and may minimize the likelihood of postoperative complications. However, pain medication presents its own set of problems, such as extending the period of mechanical ventilation needed and escalating the risk of complications, mortality, and healthcare costs.
As researchers are increasingly investigating alternatives to pharmaceutical solutions, aromatherapy has emerged as a promising option. Previous studies have suggested the potential benefits of inhaled essential oils, with peppermint oil being a common choice in palliative care. This led researchers to examine whether peppermint oil could lessen postoperative pain and enhance sleep quality in heart surgery patients.
The study involved sixty-four adults who were randomly divided into two groups. The first group was administered 0.1ml of 10% essential peppermint oil, while the second received 10 ml distilled water. These treatments were administered half an hour before their breathing tube removal and then thrice daily through a nebulizer until the second night post-surgery – seven doses in total.
After the two-day period, the average pain severity score in the aromatherapy group was significantly lower compared to the comparison group. Furthermore, sleep quality scores revealed a marked improvement in the aromatherapy group. Patients treated with peppermint oil aromatherapy needed less pharmaceutical pain relief than the other group.
The pain-relieving properties of peppermint oil are attributed to its main components – carvone, limonene, and menthol. Referring to previously published studies, researchers also mention the relaxing and sedative effects of peppermint essential oil. Reducing postoperative stress and pain can improve sleep quality in patients after heart surgery.
Although this trial was small, the results show that inhalation of peppermint essential oil can reduce pain intensity and improve sleep quality after open heart surgery. Peppermint oil can be safely used as a complementary treatment for pain relief and to make patients more comfortable after heart surgery.
Peppermint oil is derived from the peppermint plant through steam distillation. It contains menthol and menthone, which are responsible for many of its health benefits. Peppermint oil has been found to be beneficial for gastrointestinal health, pain relief, clearing the respiratory tract, and enhancing mental health.
While peppermint oil has numerous benefits, it should be used with caution. Direct application to the skin can cause allergic reactions or skin irritation for some individuals. It’s advisable to do a patch test before using it widely. It is also important for children, pregnant or nursing women to seek approval from a healthcare provider before using peppermint oil.