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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 981352, 4 pages
Research Article

Effectiveness of Mentha piperita in the Treatment of Infantile Colic: A Crossover Study

Instituto de Medicina Integral Prof. Fernando Figueira (IMIP), Rua dos Coelhos, 301 Boa Vista, 52050-080 Recife, PE, Brazil

Received 26 April 2012; Accepted 25 May 2012

Academic Editor: Xiu-Min Li

Copyright © 2012 João Guilherme Bezerra Alves et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Infantile colic is a distressing and common condition for which there is no proven standard treatment. Objective. To compare the efficacy of Mentha piperita with simethicone in treatment for infantile colic. Methods. A double-blind crossover study was performed with 30 infants attending IMIP, Recife, Brazil. They were randomized to use Mentha piperita or simethicone in the treatment of infantile colic during 7 days with each drug. Primary outcomes were mother_s opinion about responses to the treatment, number of daily episodes of colic, and time spent crying, measured by a chronometer. Mann-Whitney and chi-square tests were used to compare the results. This study was previously approved by the Ethical Committee in Research at IMIP. Results. At baseline daily episodes of infantile colic was 3.9 (±1.1) and the mean crying time per day was 192 minutes (±51.6). At the end of the study daily episodes of colic fell to 1.6 (±0.6) and the crying duration decreased to 111 (±28) minutes. All mothers reported decrease of frequency and duration of the episodes of infantile colic and there were no differences between responses to Mentha piperita and simethicone. Conclusions. These findings suggest that Mentha piperita may be used to help control infantile colic. However, these results must be repeated by others studies.