Capsules: Relief for Indigestion

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Caraway and peppermint oils may work together to relieve the discomfort of indigestion, a recent study shows.

The majority of forty-five people who participated in the study–all regular sufferers of in­digestion–were greatly relieved after taking a combination of oils of caraway (Carum carvi) and pep­permint (Mentha xpipe­rita), according to results of the study, which was conducted in Germany. None of the participants had ulcers, but nearly half of them suffered from both indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome.

The nineteen participants in the test group took a combination of 50 mg of caraway oil and 90 mg of peppermint oil in enteric-coated capsules three times daily, while the others took a placebo. After four weeks, researchers noted that:

•In the test group, 63 percent of participants became pain-free, versus 25 percent of the people in the placebo group.
•Only 10.6 percent in the test group reported medium to severe pains, compared with 55 percent of those on the placebo.
•A total of 95 percent of those in the test group had less gas and fewer complaints of fullness, tension, and pressure, whether or not they had irritable bowel syndrome.


May, B., et al. “Efficacy of a fixed peppermint oil/caraway oil combination in non-ulcer dyspepsia.” Arzneimittel-Forschung/Drug Research 1996, 46(12):1149-1153.

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