One of the most popular herbal teas in the world, the peppermint tea, packs a punch. You can brew it by simply boiling a couple of peppermint leaves in water or get those convenient tea bags. Yes, it’s that easy. And it’s not just meant to calm you down and set you up for a good night’s rest (since it’s caffeine-free). The beverage, with menthol and menthone as main components, is highly refreshing. Peppermint-coated pills are used for several ailments like indigestion, motion sickness, nausea and more. Peppermint tea works in a similar way.
Peppermint’s Latin name, Mentha Piperita comes from the Greek nymph called Mintha and Latin piper meaning pepper. Interestingly, the nymph was believed to have metamorphosed into the plant. Peppermint is a natural hybrid of watermint and spearmint. Native to Europe and Asia, the tea is rich in phenols and flavonoids and comes with a lot of antioxidant perks.1
Peppermint tea’s health benefits are well reviewed and backed by science. So what are the benefits of peppermint tea? Read on to find out.
1. Fights Colds, Cough And Flu
Peppermint is cooling, then how does it relieve symptoms of a cold? Peppermint tea is an effective decongestant and can provide you relief when you are feeling under the weather. Menthol, the main component of peppermint, thins the mucus, loosens phlegm, clears up a sore throat and breaks a cough.2
2. Relieves Menstrual Cramps
You can say goodbye to those horrible menstrual cramps with a couple of cuppas of peppermint tea. Peppermint has an analgesic action, making it a natural painkiller. It’s calming and its relaxing flavor, along with antispasmodic qualities, render it highly effective in dealing with menstrual cramps that time of the month.3
In a study conducted on 900 rural Egyptian girls to assess the herbal remedies they use to relieve menstrual cramps, they rated peppermint above other herbs as a cramp reliever.4
3. Does It Help Lose Weight?
Peppermint extract features in a lot of weight loss supplements these days – and for good reason, too! The digestive herb stimulates gastric and bile secretions and enhances bowel motility. Peppermint tea can, therefore, aid your weight loss efforts by keeping your liver and stomach working at their optimal best. Add green tea to the mix or get your hands on green tea infused with peppermint to maximize the benefits.5
4. IBS Slayer
We all know about the potential of peppermint as a digestive–there’s a reason it’s passed around after a large meal. Peppermint has the ability to reduce indigestion and colonic spasms. 6
When we brew peppermint tea, its oils get released into the water which are very effective for managing IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and related symptoms. These include abdominal pain, distention, flatulence, stool frequency and consistency. Peppermint also relaxes the muscles for a pain-free passing of digestive gas.7
5. Supports The Liver
Peppermint tea and peppermint, in general, regulate appetite and enhances bile production. Studies suggest that it may even be instrumental in breaking down cholesterol stones in the gallbladder and bile ducts.8
6. Keeps Cancer At Bay
Peppermint has shown some strong antioxidant and anti-tumor action, both of which protect us from cancer.9 It is a natural immunomodulator and also has chemopreventive potential.
In a 6.6-year French study involving 4396 women, an inverse relationship between herbal tea consumption and breast cancer was observed. Results of the study suggested that regular consumption of antioxidant-rich herbal tea like peppermint tea and chamomile tea may have a role in the prevention of cancer.10
7. Peppermint Tea And Pregnancy
Pregnancy comes with a volley of physical changes and mental anxiety. The digestive system often goes for a toss in several pregnant women and they experience GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). According to a study, peppermint tea is proven to ease this condition.11
While certain teas like green tea and ginseng tea may not be advised during pregnancy, peppermint tea is absolutely safe for you and your baby. The tea also helps manage morning sickness during the initial stages of pregnancy. So whenever you feel nausea coming on, just brew a pot!12
But It’s Not All Hunky Dory
As much as the herbal tea has going for itself, it is not recommended for everyone. Peppermint tea does have side effects that include a certain level of toxicity in high doses. Allergic reactions are also possible, though not common. Those suffering from GI reflux must keep the cuppas to a minimum as it may worsen the symptoms. Those with kidney stones and hiatal hernia are also advised caution.13
According to a study, female rats were administered large doses of peppermint tea, replacing it with drinking water. At the end of the experiment, these rats were observed to have damaged uterine tissue. The damage even included cell death in the endometrium.14
So, what is the right dosage? One or two teaspoons of dried leaf brewed in 8 ounces of water and taken through the day is good. 15
Yes, peppermint tea has many benefits. But as we often say, have it in moderation.
|↑1, ↑3, ↑7, ↑8, ↑15||Gardiner, Paula. Peppermint (Mentha piperita).Longwood Herbal Task Force|
|↑2||Raja, R. Ramasubramania. “Medicinally potential plants of Labiatae (Lamiaceae) family: an overview.” Research Journal of Medicinal Plant 6, no. 3 (2012): 203-213.|
|↑4||Yassin, Shadia AT. “Herbal remedy used by rural adolescent girls with menstrual disorders.” J Am Sci 8, no. 1 (2012): 467-73.|
|↑5||Koithan, Mary, and Kathryn Niemeyer. “Using Herbal Remedies to Maintain Optimal Weight.” The journal for nurse practitioners: JNP 6, no. 2 (2010): 153.|
|↑6||Spirling, Lucy I., and Ian R. Daniels. “Botanical perspectives on health peppermint: more than just an after-dinner mint.” The journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health 121, no. 1 (2001): 62-63.|
|↑9, ↑13||McKay, Diane L., and Jeffrey B. Blumberg. “A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.).”Phytotherapy Research 20, no. 8 (2006): 619-633.|
|↑10||Hirvonen, Tero, Louise I. Mennen, Angelika De Bree, Katia Castetbon, Pilar Galan, Sandrine Bertrais, Nathalie Arnault, and Serge Hercberg. “Consumption of antioxidant-rich beverages and risk for breast cancer in French women.” Annals of epidemiology 16, no. 7 (2006): 503-508.|
|↑11||Ahmed, Eman M. Sayed, Saher M. Soliman, and Hisham M. Mahmoud. “Effect of Peppermint as One of Carminatives on Relieving Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) During Pregnancy.” Journal of American Science 8, no. 4 (2012).|
|↑12||Ebrahimi, Neda, Caroline Maltepe, and Adrienne Einarson. “Optimal management of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.” Int J Womens Health 2, no. 1 (2010): 241-248.|
|↑14||Güney, Mehmet, Baha Oral, Nermin Karahanli, Tamer Mungan, and Mehmet Akdogan. “The effect of Mentha spicata Labiatae on uterine tissue in rats.”Toxicology and industrial health 22, no. 8 (2006): 343-348.|