Tiktok can be an excellent place for information and hacks that make your life easier. However, the problem with it, and all other social media sites, is that misinformation can spread so quickly. This is especially a problem regarding nutrition information and gut health, as these are very trendy topics. Follow along with this TikTok series diving into whether or not these hacks are Fact or Fad?
Disclaimer: I will not be posting these TikTok accounts from which I have gotten this information because I don’t believe we should attack these individuals. This article is to help you realize that not everything you see online is accurate and to do more research yourself or work closely with a registered dietitian who can help you discern what is evidence-based or not.
The TikTok: One creator mentions that drinking hot peppermint tea after a large meal “literally erases it”. Another creator says that peppermint tea cured all her digestion issues and practically eliminated all her bloating.
The Science: There have been multiple studies about the use of peppermint oil via enteric-coated capsules in individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The conclusion is that peppermint oil is a safe, short-term treatment for individuals with IBS, and can reduce symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, and digestive issues by 40%. However, when it comes to peppermint tea, research showing its effect on gut health, long-term or short-term is limited. Assuming the creator meant that peppermint tea is to be used to reduce bloating in individuals without IBS, there is limited research. Some animal studies have shown peppermint to relax GI tissues, yet this has not been replicated in human trials.
What To Do: Speak with a doctor before taking any supplements, but peppermint oil capsules may be helpful in reducing abdominal issues associated with IBS. In terms of peppermint tea helping “erase” a meal, or reduce bloating, there isn’t significant research to show that it is helpful. Simple things like walking after your meal may help reduce bloating, but if you suffer from chronic bloating, speak with a dietitian.