Are there any benefits of consuming peppermint tea? It’s not only a delicious hot beverage, it comes with several health benefits that make it even more enjoyable. Keep reading to learn about all seven peppermint tea benefits.
What is peppermint tea?
Peppermint tea is a popular herbal tea and caffeine-free tea made from peppermint leaves, which are in the mint family. It has a minty taste and a slight sweetness to it, making it a great way to wind down in the evening.
Like other herbal teas, it does not contain caffeine so it’s safe to have in the afternoon or before bed. That being said, it’s also fine to have during the day, especially if you are consuming it for its health benefits.
Where to buy peppermint tea
You can likely find peppermint tea at one of the grocery stores around you. It’s fairly popular and widely available. If you cannot find peppermint tea, any kind of mint tea should have a similar effect. You can purchase peppermint tea as loose leaf tea or in tea bags (which I prefer).
If you are unable to find peppermint tea in any of your local grocery stores, you can always purchase it online. Most teas are shelf stable and travel one. Try out one of these highly rated options:
How to make homemade peppermint tea
You can also make homemade peppermint tea from scratch using peppermint leaves. Firstly, grind the fresh mint leaves. This will release the oil and flavor from the fresh leaves. Then, pour hot water (not boiling) into a cup and add the peppermint leaves. Let the tea steep for about 8-10 minutes. Steep for longer if you desire a stronger flavor. Then, remove the tea leaves using a fork or spoon. Add sweetener if desired and then enjoy!
History of peppermint as medicine
Peppermint has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. There are records from ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt stating peppermint was used for digestive disorders and other ailments.
Today, peppermint is not just used in traditional medicine. It is used all over the world, including North America, and there are scientific studies showing various benefits. There is especially a lot of promising research into its role in irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, which I will discuss further later in this article.
7 Health Benefits of Peppermint Tea
What health benefits can you experience after sipping on a cup of mint tea? Here are seven health benefits of peppermint tea that are supported with studies. While there still needs to be more research to confirm these benefits, it’s worth a try considering peppermint tea is safe to consume.
Ease a upset stomach
There is evidence to suggest that peppermint can be effective at improving digestion and gut health. In a small study of 43 participants, they found an herbal formula including peppermint oil improved digestive symptoms by 60-80%. Plus, they were able to reintroduce food “triggers” after three months.
The other clinical trials that study peppermint and upset stomach focus more on irritable bowel syndrome, which I will discuss in greater detail later in the article. Overall, it’s clear peppermint has a positive effect on the digestive system for most.
There is also evidence to suggest that peppermint can improve nausea. In a study of 100 participants, they found that peppermint oil significantly improved nausea and vomiting symptoms.
In a study of 77 participants, they found that chewing on peppermint gum can reduce visual motion sickness. This is a great intervention if you suffer from motion sickness when in a car, on a helicopter or boat.
Relieve IBS symptoms
There is evidence to suggest peppermint can improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. In a double-blind trail of 190 participants, they found peppermint oil capsules significantly improved abdominal pain, discomfort and IBS severity. These effects have been confirmed in a meta-analysis of studies.
If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, speak to your doctor to see if peppermint oil is right for you. It can be a great way to supplement your current treatment plan and reduce uncomfortable symptoms.
There is some evidence to suggest peppermint oil can help reduce esophageal muscle spasms since it acts as a muscle relaxant. In a small study of eight patients with chest pain or dysphagia who have diffuse esophageal spasm, they found that peppermint oil eliminated simultaneous esophageal contractions.
This condition is rare, but if you suffer from esophageal spasm, speak to your doctor to see if peppermint oil is an appropriate therapy for you.
Relieve menstrual cramps
There isn’t much evidence to suggest that peppermint oil can relieve menstrual cramps, but there are some small studies to suggest it could potentially be effective. In a study of 127 school-aged girls who suffer from dysmenorrhea, they found that peppermint extract significantly reduced pain intensity and duration.
If you suffer from menstrual cramps during your period, it may be worth trying peppermint oil capsules or peppermint tea to reduce pain.
Clear nasal passages
If you have a runny nose, you may notice that the smell of peppermint seems to clear your nasal congestion. Surprisingly, this isn’t supported by scientific evidence. The menthol in peppermint doesn’t actually do anything, but it does give the illusion of opening up your airways.
Even though it may not be real, it can give you the feeling of breathing easier, which is sometimes all you need to feel better. It’s worth a try if you have a stuffy nose and want to feel better.
The best method to consume peppermint
You can consume peppermint in tea form or in peppermint oil capsules. While peppermint tea contains peppermint oil, you won’t get a very large dose, meaning you probably won’t get all the benefits. If you want to maximize the effects of peppermint, I would recommend using peppermint oil capsules. Stick to the recommended dose though, too much can lead to unpleasant side effects.
Side effects of peppermint tea
Overall, it seems peppermint is safe when consumed by mouth in typical doses. This being said, some people may experience some annoying side effects like heartburn, nausea, abdominal pain and dry mouth.
In very rare cases, peppermint oil can cause an allergic reaction. If you have a history of food allergies, speak to your doctor before trying peppermint. Along with this, if you are pregnant, you should absolutely speak to your doctor before trying peppermint, especially in high doses.
Along with this, it may cause further issues if you have gastrointestinal reflux disease or acid reflux since it can cause stomach acids to flow back up into your esophagus. Speak to your doctor if you have this condition.
Other teas with health benefits
There are plenty of varieties of teas that provide health benefits. Some provide energy since they contain caffeine, while others are herbal teas that provide more medicinal benefits. Here are a few teas that have health benefits.
- Green tea: Increased alertness, reduced blood pressure and cholesterol, prevention of symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease
- Black tea: Lower risk of death including cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart disease and stroke
- Oolong tea: Reduced cancer risk, reduce cholesterol, anti-oxidation and anti-microbial effects, increased weight loss
- White tea: Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, protection against skin damage
- Yerba mate: Protective effect on liver cells, stimulation of the central nervous system, anti-inflammatory effects, positive effect on cardiovascular system
- Ginger tea: Improves nausea and vomiting, improved digestive function, reduced risk of colorectal cancer, anti-inflammatory functions
- Chamomile tea: May be helpful for generalized anxiety disorder, benefit for upset stomach, improved diarrhea in children and colic in infants, improved sleep quality
- Rooibos tea: Cardioprotective, anticarcinogenic
- Hibiscus tea: Reduced blood pressure and blood lipids, lowers blood glucose, reduced body fat, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory
Overall tea is a great way to start and end the day (just make sure you stick to herbal at night). If you are looking for an alternative to coffee, you should try out green, black, oolong, yerba mate or white tea.