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The human body is a complex structure which at times faces its own issues. Pain here and there in the human body is a common affair. While some pains are excruciating and need medications, there are some other pains that hurt but can be reduced by using some natural and homemade remedies. An example of this would be the wonders of using peppermint oil for esophageal spasms.
What Are Esophageal Spasms?
The esophagus is the tube that connects the stomach of a human being to his or her mouth. Quite literally, the tube is also known as the food pipe. Esophageal spasms are nothing but involuntary contractions of the esophagus. Such spasms or contractions are sudden and are quite painful. such pain can span across a few minutes to a few hours too. While esophageal spasm occurs occasionally and might not require any specific treatment regime, but such pain is excruciating enough to disrupt the normal life of any individual. Certain home and natural remedies, such as the use of peppermint oil, though would be useful in relieving such spasms.
What Causes Of Esophageal Spasms?
Science and medical research have not yet concretely concluded the exact causes of esophageal spasms. However, doctors and researchers relate such esophageal spasms to some kind of abnormal functioning of the nerves which are responsible for controlling the muscles used for swallowing. Here, it is important to understand that esophageal spasms can be of two types and individuals should be aware of both of them;
- Diffuse Esophageal Spasm: While the pain is less intense, such spasms usually cause regurgitation.
- Nutcracker Spasms: Such spasms are intensely painful but do not involve regurgitation.
While the causes have not been identified specifically, there are certain risk factors that are known to trigger esophageal malfunctioning. Some of these risk factors include;
- Consumption of certain types of foods and drinks such as consuming very hot or very cold beverages and red wine
- Reeling under bouts of anxiety and depression
- Suffering from GERD (Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease)
- Certain treatment procedures such as treatment of cancer, surgery of the neck, and radiation over the chest area
- Suffering from High Blood Pressure
What Are The Symptoms Of Esophageal Spasms?
Some of the common symptoms of esophageal spasms are;
- Chest pain (which feels like somebody is squeezing the chest). The pain is often quite intense and excruciating, at times mistaken for heart pain or angina.
- Feeling of some object being stuck in the throat.
- Difficulty while swallowing especially while swallowing specific substances such as hot or cold beverages or red wine.
- Return of food and beverages consumed up the food tract or esophagus which is also known as regurgitation.
- Experiencing heartburn.
How To Use Peppermint Oil For Esophageal Spasms?
While discussing esophageal spasms, it is interesting to note that peppermint oil and peppermint has been found to be the first line of treatment. Uses of Peppermint oil for esophageal spasms have been found very effective in relieving esophagus disorders and ease the difficulty in swallowing in such patients. This is because peppermint oil has been found to be effective in relaxing the muscles and thus prove to be effective in treating distal esophageal spasm.
Some of the common methods in which peppermint oil for esophageal spasms can include;
- Peppermint Extract In Water: Drinking a glass full of water mixed with around five drops of pure peppermint extract before meals can help in preventing such spasms. However, it is important to dilute peppermint extract rather than peppermint essential oil in water for the treatment of esophageal spasms.
- Taking warm peppermint tea also helps in relaxing the esophagus
- Consumption of licorice and menthol based products also have a smooth relaxing effect on the esophagus
- Taking peppermint oil capsules can help in relieving esophageal spasms apart from relieving irritable bowel syndrome
- Consuming Peppermint Lozenge and putting it under the tongue can help in easing the esophageal spasm.
However, it is also important to understand that peppermint oil can actually make matters worse for people suffering from GERD by increasing the risk of acid reflux. Therefore, it is advisable that while planning to take peppermint oil for esophageal spasms, just confirm once with the medical practitioner.