Peppermint oil overdose

Poisoning from an overdose of peppermint oil.

Poisonous Ingredient 

  • menthol

Where Found 

  • used as a flavoring agent in various products  
  • used as an antiseptic and local anesthetic  
  • used in herbal medicine as a spasmolytic

Note: This list may not be all inclusive.


  • body as a whole       o twitching       o Convulsions       o incoordination  
  • respiratory       o slowed breathing       o shallow breathing       o may also be rapid  
  • gastrointestinal       o Abdominal pain       o diarrhea       o nausea and Vomiting  
  • heart and blood vessels       o slow heartbeat       o flushing  
  • nervous system       o unconsciousness       o dizziness       o Depression

Home Treatment 
Call Poison Control.

Before Calling Emergency 
Determine the following information:

  • the patient’s age, weight, and condition  
  • name of product (as well as the ingredients and strength if known)  
  • the time it was swallowed  
  • the amount swallowed

Poison Control, or a local emergency number 
They will instruct you if it is necessary to take the patient to the hospital. See Poison Control centers for telephone numbers and addresses. Take the container with you to the emergency room.

What to expect at the emergency room 
Some or all of the following procedures may be performed:

  • Administer castor oil.  
  • Use gastric lavage.  
  • Give milk or mineral oil.  
  • Give other fluids, with the amount being determined by kidney function.  
  • Treat the symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis) 
Survival past 48 hours is usually a good sign that recovery will occur. If damage to the kidneys has occurred, it may take several months to heal.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 6, 2012
by Dave R. Roger, M.D.

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All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.