DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2319-2003.ijbcp20192185

Effects of peppermint, chewing gum on memory, cognition, alertness, reaction time, arithmetic skills and athletic performance during laboratory induced stress in undergraduate medical students

Piyush Prashant Gandhi, Riyaz Ahmed Siddiqui

Abstract


Background: Many medical students are dealing with day to day stress in their lives and they need to be both physically and mentally active to counter and overcome their daily problems. In such scenario, a non-pharmacological adjunct could prove useful to counter all of it so that they can work more efficiently. Many universities do recommend the use of peppermints and chewing gums. This study is conducted to see if any of these items actually have an influence on cognitive and physical abilities.

Methods: A non-randomized controlled trial was performed on the undergraduate medical students of  N.K.P. Salve Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre belonging to the age group of 18-21 years. They were given normal flavoured gum, mint flavoured gum and peppermint. A series of cognitive and physiological tests in both stressful and stress free environments were performed.

Results: Consumption of peppermint in a stressful environment showed increase in attention span of the subjects and it increased the intelligence Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-R (WAIS-R) in both stress free and stressful environments. As compared to normal gum, peppermint and peppermint gum proved to be more effective. There was no significant change observed in alertness, reaction time, arithmetic ability, short term memory and fatigue index in any of the subjects.

Conclusions: Peppermint has caused increase in the attention span and intelligence of medical students in a stressful work scenario. Peppermint gum was found to be more beneficial than normal gum.


Keywords


Cognitive skills, Peppermint gum, Psychomotor, Stressful environment

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