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Menta piperita (yerba buena)

¿Qué es?

La menta es una planta. Las hojas y el aceite se utilizan para hacer los medicamentos.

La menta se utiliza para el refrío común, la tos, la inflamación de la boca y la garganta, las infecciones de los senos nasales y las infecciones respiratorias. También se usa para los problemas de la digestión que incluyen la acidez, las náuseas, los vómitos, las náuseas matutinas, la indigestión, el síndrome del colon irritable (SCI), los dolores del tracto gastrointestinal superior y de los conductos biliares, el malestar de estómago, la diarrea, el crecimiento exagerada de bacterias en el intestino chico y la flatulencia.

Algunas personas también usan la menta para los problemas menstruales, las molestias del hígado y de la vesícula, para prevenir los espasmos durante una endoscopia y como un estimulante.

El aceite de menta se aplica a la piel para los dolores de cabeza, los dolores musculares, dolor de los nervios, los dolores de muelas, la inflamación de la boca, los trastornos de las articulaciones, la comezón, las erupciones alérgicas, las infecciones bacterianas y virales, para relajar el colon cuando se usan enemas de bario y para repeler los mosquitos.

Algunas personas inhalan el aceite de menta para tratar los síntomas de la tos y resfríos y para aliviar el dolor.

La menta es un agente saborizante comúnmente usado en los alimentos y las bebidas.

En la industria manufacturera, el aceite de menta se utiliza como una fragancia en los jabones y los cosméticos y como un agente saborizante en los productos farmacéuticos.

En 1990, la FDA prohibió la venta sin receta médica del aceite de menta como digestivo debido a que no se había demostrado su eficacia para ese uso. Hoy en día, el aceite de menta se vende como un suplemento dietético. A diferencia de los medicamentos de venta sin receta médica, los suplementos dietéticos no necesitan satisfacer los requisitos de eficacia del FDA antes de poder salir al mercado. Además, a diferencia de los medicamentos de venta sin receta médica en las indicaciones de los suplementos dietéticos está prohibido afirmar que pueden prevenir o tratar enfermedades.

¿Qué tan efectivo es?

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (La Base Exhaustiva de Datos de Medicamentos Naturales) clasifica la eficacia, basada en evidencia científica, de acuerdo a la siguiente escala: Eficaz, Probablemente Eficaz, Posiblemente Eficaz, Posiblemente Ineficaz, Probablemente Ineficaz, Ineficaz, e Insuficiente Evidencia para Hacer una Determinación.

La clasificación de la eficacia para este producto es la siguiente:

Posiblemente eficaz para...

  • Síndrome del colon irritable (SCI). Aunque algunos estudios antiguos sugieren que el aceite de menta no afecta el SCI, la mayoría de la investigación muestra que la ingesta de aceite de menta reduce el dolor de estómago, la distensión estomacal, los gases y los movimientos intestinales en personas con SCI. Relajar el colon durante exámenes médicos, incluidos los enemas de bario El uso del aceite de menta como ingrediente en los enemas parece relajar el colon durante los exámenes donde se necesita colocar un enema de bario. Además, la ingesta de aceite de menta antes de colocar el enema de bario también parece disminuir los espasmos.
  • Molestia por lactancia. La investigación sugiere que la mujer lactante que aplica aceite de menta en su piel se ve menos quebradiza y hay menos dolor en la zona alrededor de los pezones.
  • Acidez (dispepsia). La ingesta de aceite de menta en combinación con aceite de alcaravea parece reducir los síntomas de plenitud y los espasmos estomacales. Un producto combinado específico que contiene hojas de menta (Iberogast Medical Futures, Inc) también parece mejorar los síntomas de la acidez, incluido el reflujo gástrico grave, el dolor de estómago, cólicos, náuseas, y vómitos. The combination includes peppermint leaf plus clown’s mustard plant, German. La combinación incluye hoja de menta y las plantas iberis amara, manzanilla alemana, alcaravea, regaliz, cardo lechoso, angélica, celidonia y bálsamo de limón. Parece reducir en forma significativa la severidad del reflujo, el dolor estomacal, los calambres, la náusea y los vómitos.
  • Espasmos causados por endoscopia. La investigación muestra que el aceite de menta puede reducir el dolor y los espasmos en personas sometidas a una endoscopia, un procedimiento usado para ver la via digestiva.
  • Cefalea por migraña. Aplicar una solución de menta en la piel cuando comienza la migraña y otra vez 30 minutos más tarde parece aumentar el porcentaje de pacientes que experimentan un alivio de los síntomas.
  • Cefalea tensional. Aplicar aceite de menta en la piel parece ayudar a aliviar la tensión causada por la cefalea.

Posiblemente ineficaz para...

  • Náuseas después de un procedimiento quirúrgico. Inhalar menta podría aliviar las náuseas ya que mejora la respiración después de la cirugía. Sin embargo, inhalar aceite de menta no parece ser más efectivo que inhalar alcohol o solución salina para reducir las náuseas después de la cirugía.
  • Recuperación después de la cirugía. Otro estudio muestra que la ingesta de un producto específico de menta (Copermin) 3 veces por día durante 5 días después de una cirugía no afecta la distensión estomacal o la acidez. Otro estudio muestra que la ingesta de cápsulas de aceite de menta no alivia la distensión o el dolor de estómago después de una cirugía.

Insuficiente evidencia para hacer una determinación para...

  • Halitosis (mal aliento). La investigación preliminar muestra que una combinación específica de aceite de árbol de té, menta y aceite de limón puede mejorar el aliento si se usa durante 3 minutos.
  • Función mental. La investigación preliminar sugiere que la menta mejora levemente la memoria y el desempeño en las tareas mentales, pero no mejora la atención y la velocidad para completar tales tareas.
  • Placa dental. La evidencia preliminar muestra que el aceite o extracto de menta combinado con otras hierbas reduce la placa dental. Sin embargo, la menta no parece ser mejor que los tratamientos convencionales.
  • Espasmos en el esófago La evidencia preliminar muestras que la ingesta de agua con 5 gotas de aceite de menta detiene los espasmos esofágicos.
  • Sofocos. La evidencia preliminar sugiere que una combinación de menta y espray neroli hydrolat podría aliviar los sofocos en mujeres sometidas a tratamientos quimioterapéuticos por cancer de mama.
  • Alivio del dolor causado por herpes. La información preliminar sugiere que aplicar aceite de menta en la piel podría brindar cierto alivio en el dolor persistente causado por el herpes.
  • Picazón de la piel (prurito). La investigación preliminar sugiere que aplicar un producto específico que contiene un componente de la menta, mentol junto con alcanfor y fenol puede reducir la picazón de cuero cabelludo.
  • Estrés. La investigación preliminar muestra que el aromaterapia con menta puede reducir el estrés.
  • Tuberculosis. La investigación preliminar sugiere que inhalar menta durante 20 minutos durante 2 meses mejora la efectividad del tratamiento con medicamentos convencionales para la tuberculosis.
  • Dolor de muelas.
  • Comezón de la piel.
  • Infecciones.
  • Nauseas matutinas.
  • Náuseas y vómitos.
  • Periodos menstruales dolorosos.
  • Crecimiento excesivo de bacterias en los intestinos.
  • Infecciones del pulmón.
  • Espasmos del estómago y de la vesícula.
  • Tos y los síntomas del resfrío.
  • Inflamación de la boca y el revestimiento del tracto respiratorio.
  • Dolor muscular y de nervios.
  • Otras afecciones.
Se necesita más evidencia para aprobar a la menta piperita para estos usos.

¿Cómo funciona?

El aceite de menta piperita parece reducir los espasmos en el tracto digestivo. Cuando se aplica sobre la piel puede producir una sensación de calor, la cual alivia el dolor debajo de la piel.

¿Hay preocupación por la seguridad de su uso?

La menta y el aceite de menta SON PROBABLEMENTE SEGURA cuando se toma por vía oral en las cantidades en las que se encuentra normalmente en los alimentos o cuando se la aplica en la piel. La hoja ES POSIBLEMENTE SEGURA cuando se toma en cantidades medicinales o cuando se aplica a la piel. La hoja es POSIBLEMENTE SEGURA cuando se toma en las cantidades que se usan como medicina y a corto plazo (hasta 8 semanas). Se desconoce la seguridad del uso de la hoja de la menta a largo plazo.

La menta piperita puede producir algunos efectos secundarios que incluyen acidez y reacciones alérgicas como enrojecimiento de la piel, dolor de cabeza y heridas en la boca.

El aceite de menta, cuando se toma por vía oral en tabletas con un recubrimiento especial (entérico) para prevenir el contacto con el estómago ES POSIBLEMENTE para los niños mayores de 8 años.

Advertencias y precauciones especiales:

Embarazo y lactancia: Es PROBABLEMENTE SEGURO tomar menta durante el embarazo y la lactancia si se toma en las cantidades en las que se encuentra normalmente en los alimentos. Sin embargo, no se sabe lo suficiente sobre la seguridad de tomar cantidades más grandes como las que se usan como medicina. Es mejor no tomar estas cantidades más grandes si está embarazada o amamantando.

Una afección al estómago en la que el estómago no está produciendo ácido clorhídrico (aclorhidria): Si tiene esta afección no use aceite de menta piperita en tabletas con recubierta entérica. La recubierta entérica podría disolverse antes de tiempo en el proceso digestivo.

Diarrea: Si usted tiene diarrea el aceite de menta piperita con cubierta entérica podría producir quemazón en el ano.

¿Existen interacciones con medicamentos?

Moderadas
Tenga cuidado con esta combinación
Ciclosporina (Neoral, Sandimmune)
El cuerpo descompone la ciclosporina (Neoral, Sandimmune) para eliminarla. El aceite de menta piperita podría disminuir la rapidez con la que el cuerpo descompone la ciclosporina (Neoral, Sandimmune). El tomar aceite de menta piperita junto con ciclosporina (Neoral, Sandimmune) podría aumentar el riesgo de que la ciclosporina (Neoral, Sandimmune) produzca efectos secundarios.
Medicamentos modificados por el hígado (Sustratos del Citocromo P450 1A2 (CYP1A2))
Algunos medicamentos son modificados y descompuestos por el hígado. El aceite de menta piperita podría disminuir la rapidez con que hígado descompone algunos medicamentos. El tomar aceite de menta piperita junto con medicamentos que son descompuestos por el hígado puede aumentar los efectos y efectos secundarios de algunos medicamentos. Antes de tomar aceite de menta piperita consulte con su proveedor de atención médica si toma medicamentos que son alterados por el hígado.

Algunos de los medicamentos que son alterados por el hígado incluyen amitriptilina (Elavil), haloperidol (Haldol), ondansensetron (zofran), propanolol (Inderal), teofilina (Theo-Dur, otros), verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, otros) y otros.
Medicamentos modificados por el hígado (Sustratos del citocromo P450 2C19 (CYP2C19))
Algunos medicamentos son modificados y descompuestos por el hígado. El aceite de menta piperita podría disminuir la rapidez con que hígado descompone algunos medicamentos. El tomar aceite de menta piperita junto con medicamentos que son descompuestos por el hígado puede aumentar los efectos y efectos secundarios de algunos medicamentos. Antes de tomar aceite de menta piperita consulte con su proveedor de atención médica si toma medicamentos que son alterados por el hígado.

Algunos de estos medicamentos que pueden ser modificados por el hígado incluyenomeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), pantoprazole (Protonix), diazepam (Valium), carisoprodol (Soma), nelfinavir (Viracept) y otros.
Medicamentos modificados por el hígado (Sustratos del citocromo P450 2C9 (CYP2C9))
Algunos medicamentos son modificados y descompuestos por el hígado. El aceite de menta piperita podría disminuir la rapidez con que hígado descompone algunos medicamentos. El tomar aceite de menta piperita junto con medicamentos que son descompuestos por el hígado puede aumentar los efectos y efectos secundarios de algunos medicamentos. Antes de tomar aceite de menta piperita consulte con su proveedor de atención médica si toma medicamentos que son alterados por el hígado.

Algunos medicamentos que son modificados por el hígado incluyen dicloflenac (Cataflam,Voltaren), ibuprofeno ( Motrin), meloxicam (Mobic), piroxicam (Feldene), celecoxib (Celebrex), amitriptilina (Elavil), warfarina (Coumadin), glipizida (Glucotrol), losartan (Cozaar) y otros.
Medicamentos modificados por el hígado (Sustratos del citocromo P450 3A4 (CYP3A4))
Algunos medicamentos son modificados y descompuestos por el hígado. El aceite dementa piperita podría disminuir la rapidez con que hígado descompone algunos medicamentos. El tomar aceite de menta piperita junto con medicamentos que son descompuestos por el hígado puede aumentar los efectos y efectos secundarios de algunos medicamentos. Antes de tomar aceite de menta piperita consulte con su proveedor de atención médica si toma medicamentos que son alterados por el hígado.

Algunos medicamentos que son modificados por el hígado incluyen lovastatina (Mevacor), ketoconazol (Nizoral), itraconazol (Sporanox), fexofenadina (Allegra), triazolam (Halcion) y muchos otros.
Menores
Preste atención a esta combinación
Antiácidos
Algunos productos de aceite de menta piperita están cubiertos con una recubierta especial (entérica). Los antiácidos se usan para disminuir la cantidad de ácido en el estómago. La baja cantidad de ácido en el estómago puede hacer que las recubiertas de estos productos de aceite de menta piperita se disuelvan muy rápido. A veces, cuando estos productos se disuelven muy rápido pueden producir acidez y nausea. Tome antiácidos por lo menos 2 horas después de tomar productos de aceite de menta piperita.

Algunos de los antiácidos incluyen carbonato de calcio (Tums, otros), dihidroxicarbonato de sodio y aluminio (Rolaids, otros), magaldrato (Riopan), sulfato de magnesio (Bilagog), hidróxido de aluminio (Amphogel) y otros.
Medicamentos que disminuyen la cantidad de ácido en el estómago (Bloqueadores H2)
Algunos productos de aceite de menta piperita están cubiertos con un recubrimiento especial (entérico). Algunos medicamentos que disminuyen la cantidad de ácido en el estómago podrían hacer que el recubrimiento de estos productos de aceite de menta piperita se disuelvan muy rápido. Cuando los productos de aceite de menta piperita se disuelven muy rápido pueden a veces producir acidez y nausea. Tome los medicamentos que disminuyen el ácido en el estómago por lo menos 2 horas después de tomar los productos de aceite de menta piperita con recubierta entérica.

Algunos medicamentos que disminuyen el ácido en el estómago incluyen cimetidina (Tagamet), ranitidina (Zantac), nizatidina (Axid) y famotidina (Pepcid).
Medicamentos que disminuyen la cantidad de ácido en el estómago (Inhibidores de la bomba de protones)
Algunos productos de aceite de menta piperita están cubiertos con un recubrimiento especial (entérico). Algunos medicamentos que disminuyen la cantidad de ácido en el estómago podrían hacer que el recubrimiento de estos productos de aceite de menta piperita se disuelvan muy rápido. Cuando los productos de aceite de menta piperita se disuelven muy rápido pueden a veces producir acidez y nausea. Tome los medicamentos que disminuyen el ácido en el estómago por lo menos 2 horas después de tomar los productos de aceite de menta piperita con recubierta entérica.

Algunos medicamentos que disminuyen el ácido en el estómago incluyen omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), rabeprazole (Aciphex), pantoprazole (Protonix) y esomeprazole (Nexium).

¿Existen interacciones con hierbas y suplementos?

Hierro
La menta reduce la absorción del hierro cuando se ingieren ambos al mismo tiempo.
Quercetina
La menta aumenta la absorción de la quercetina cuando se ingieren ambos al mismo tiempo.

¿Existen interacciones con alimentos?

Alimentos
Algunos productos de aceite de menta piperita están recubiertos con una cubierta especial (entérica). Estos productos deben tomarse entre las comidas.

¿Qué dosis se utiliza?

Las siguientes dosis han sido estudiadas en investigaciones científicas:

POR VÍA ORAL:
  • Para el malestar estomacal: Se ha usado 90 mg de aceite de menta piperita al día en combinación con aceite de alcaravea. También se ha usado un producto específico de combinación que contiene hoja de menta piperita y varias otras hierbas (Iberogast Medical Futures, Inc) en una dosis de 1 ml tres veces al día.
APLICACIÓN A LA PIEL:
  • Para los dolores de cabeza tensionales: Se aplica sobre la frente y las sienes una solución de 10% de aceite de menta piperita en etanol y se repite en 15 y 30 minutos.
USO COMO ENEMA:
  • Para disminuir los espasmos del colon cuando se usa un enema de bario: Se agrega 8 ml de aceite de menta piperita a 100 ml de agua junto con Tween 80, un agente que disminuye la tensión superficial. Después de remover la fracción insoluble se agregan 30 ml de la solución restante de menta piperita a 300 ml de la solución de bario.

Otros nombres

Black Peppermint, Bo He, Brandy Mint, Chinese Peppermint, Corn Mint, Extract of Mentha Piperita, Extract of Peppermint, Extract of Peppermint Leaves, Extract of Peppermint Leaves, Extrait de Feuilles de Menthe de Poivrée, Extrait de Mentha Piperita, Extrait de Menthe Poivrée, Feuille de Menthe Poivrée, Field Mint, Herba Menthae, Huile de Mentha Piperita, Huile de Menthe Poivrée, Huile Essentielle de Menthe Poivrée, Lamb Mint, Mentha arvensis, Mentha halpocalyx, Mentha lavanduliodora, Mentha Oil, Mentha Piperita, Mentha Piperita Extract, Mentha Piperita Oil, Mentha x piperita, Menthae Piperitae Aetheroleum, Menthae Piperitae Folium, Menthe, Menthe Anglaise, Menthe Poivrée, Menthe Pouliot, Menthe Sauvage, Menthe Verte, Menthol, Mint, Mint Balm, Oil of Peppermint, Paparaminta, Peppermint Essential Oil, Peppermint Extract, Peppermint Leaf, Peppermint Leaf Extract, Peppermint Oil, Sentebon, Western Peppermint, Yerba Buena.

Metodología

Para saber más sobre cómo este artículo fue escrito, refiérase a la metodología de la Base exhaustiva de datos de medicamentos naturales.

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Documento revisado - 02/16/2015