In man, peppermint oil has induced allergic contact dermatitis, particularly around the mouth arising from its use in toothpaste and mouth wash. An asthmatic response has also been reported. A peppermint oil preparation caused severe skin burns in one individual after accidental exposure, whilst peppermint capsules taken orally have produced burning sensations in the stomach, throat and anus, and heartburn.

Peppermint oil was of low acute oral toxicity to rats and mice, although high doses caused gastro-intestinal, liver and central nervous system effects. Brain lesions and kidney injury have been reported in rats given repeated oral doses. Oral studies in mice and dogs failed to reveal similar effects. There were suggestions of immunosuppression in mice treated orally. Peppermint oil was not mutagenic in a limited Ames bacterial test but there was indirect evidence of DNA damage in other bacteria. Equivocal results have been reported in assays for chromosomal damage in mammalian cells in culture.

Date of Publication: 1999

Number of Pages: 10

CAS Number*: 8006-90-4

Format: PDF available for immediate download

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