Potential pharmacological and toxicological basis of the essential oil from Mentha spp

  • I.T.A. Peixoto
  • V.F. Furlanetti
  • P.C. Anibal
  • M.C.T. Duarte
  • J.F. Höfling
Keywords: Mentha spp., Antimicrobial activity; Essential oil.


During the past few years, interest in the potential clinical and pharmacological basis of the efficacy and safety of herbal medicines has increased greatly, due to widespread domestic self-medication with these agents. Some authors have analyzed the use of Mentha ssp. in the pharmacological industry. The essential oil from Mentha spp. is used to treat discomfort of the gastrointestinal tract, irritable bowel syndrome, myalgia and neuralgia, as well as oral mucosal inflammation, and also as an expectorant, an antimicrobial and an ingredient in many analgesic creams. The essential oil also contains chemical compounds that are associated with side effects such as nausea, vomiting, allergic reactions, flushing and headaches. Therefore, the purpose of the present review was to examine the literature on the efficacy and safety of the possible clinical and pharmacological uses of the essential oil from Mentha spp. in human beings.

Narrative Review