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Overview Information

Japanese mint is a plant. It is native to North America and Asia. The oil is removed from the plant parts that grow above the ground and used to make medicine.

Japanese mint oil is used for gas (flatulence), indigestion (dyspepsia), gallstones, common colds, fever, joint pain, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

In manufacturing, Japanese mint is used as a fragrance in toothpaste, mouthwash, gargles, soaps, detergents, creams, lotions, and perfumes. Commercially it is used as a source of menthol.

How does it work?

Japanese mint oil is thought to prevent intestinal gas, stimulate bile flow, and fight infections.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Gas (flatulence).
  • Indigestion (dyspepsia).
  • A long-term disorder of the large intestines that causes stomach pain (irritable bowel syndrome or IBS).
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the mouth and throat.
  • Common cold.
  • Cough.
  • Fever.
  • Sore throat.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Headache.
  • Toothache.
  • Cramps.
  • Earache.
  • Pain.
  • Gallstones.
  • Cancer.
  • Muscle cramps, when applied to the skin.
  • Nerve pain, when applied to the skin.
  • Itching, when applied to the skin.
  • Hives, when applied to the skin.
  • Joint pain, when applied to the skin.
  • Muscle pain, when applied to the skin.
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the main airways in the lung (bronchitis), when inhaled.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of Japanese mint for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Japanese mint oil is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken appropriately by mouth. It can cause stomach upset in some people.

When applied to the skin: Japanese mint oil is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when applied to the skin. It can cause allergic skin reactions in some people.

When inhaled: There isn't enough reliable information to know if Japanese mint is safe when inhaled. It can worsen asthma. It can also cause flushing or headache in some people.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if Japanese mint is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: Japanese mint oil is LIKELY UNSAFE for use in infants and children, especially when applied around the nose. It can trigger serious breathing problems.

Asthma: The menthol in Japanese mint oil might make asthma worse.

Gallbladder conditions such as inflammation, gallstones, or a blocked bile duct: Don't use Japanese mint oil if you have one of these conditions. It could make your condition worse.

Liver disease: Don't use Japanese mint if you have a liver problem. It could make your condition worse.



We currently have no information for JAPANESE MINT Interactions.



The appropriate dose of Japanese mint depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Japanese mint. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • Jirovetz L, Wlcek K, Buchbauer G, et al. Chemical composition, olfactory evaluation and antioxidant effects of essential oil from Mentha canadensis. Nat Prod Commun. 2009;4(7):1011-6. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
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