Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), also known as spastic colon, nervous stomach/indigestion, mucous colitis, and intestinal neurosis, is the most common gastrointestinal (GI) complaint reported to physicians. IBS accounts for as many as 50 percent of all referrals to gastroenterologists. If you happen to be part of the estimated 15 percent of the population who could use some help for IBS, you undoubtedly know how debilitating this condition can be.

Lots of folks are reporting that doctors either dismiss the disorder as all being in your head or throw expensive pharmaceuticals at it, most of which have the same side effects as what you are attempting to cure. But one study gives hope to an alternative.

Try the peppermint cure. One interesting finding in a recent study was that peppermint oil seemed to be as effective as prescription drugs at relaxing the muscles in your intestinal tract. Peppermint oil has proven to be very helpful, he says. No more helpful than drugs, but comparable in effectand much cheaper. You get the best benefit by using peppermint oil capsules or ingesting one to two drops of oil before each meal. Look for pure peppermint oil or capsules that contain 0.2 milliliter of peppermint oil per pill.