Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is an aromatic herb that comes under the mint family. It is a hybrid variety formed by crossing water mint and spearmint. It is native to Asia and Europe and has been used for several hundreds of years for its minty taste. People used peppermint as a flavoring agent in their dishes. But now, it is used as one of the ingredients in a variety of modern products like tea, candies, and even toothpaste. It not only adds flavor but also offers various health benefits.
People love consuming tea as a way of refreshment. But instead of consuming caffeine tea, you can go with herbal additions that are healthy to your body. In that line, peppermint tea is an excellent caffeine-free herbal tea and can be consumed regularly to yield potential benefits.
Peppermint leaves boast several essential oils like limonene, menthone, and menthol that offer cooling properties and a minty scent. So you can add them to your regular diet without any confusion. If you have any clarifications, then go through the article to make it clear.
Health Benefits of Peppermint Tea
Peppermint extract or peppermint tea has many potential health benefits and here we’ll cover them all along with its preparations and side effects.
1] Ease Digestive Issues
Peppermint can relieve digestive symptoms, such as gas, indigestion, and bloating.
Some studies done on animals have reported that peppermint has the ability to relax muscles in the digestive system and can ease pain. It also prevents the muscles from contracting and can relieve spasms in your gut.
Research has been done on people with irritable bowel syndrome and they were given peppermint oil for the treatment. As a result, peppermint oil has shown significant improvements than a placebo.
Peppermint oil capsules are also available and they too provide the same benefits.
In addition, some clinical trials have also reported that consuming peppermint tea can reduce abdominal pain and indigestion.
2] Relieve Headaches
Peppermint is an excellent pain reliever. Drinking peppermint tea can treat certain types of headaches. It also helps in relaxing the muscles.
The menthol present in peppermint oil increases the blood flow and provides a cooling sensation. Thus, your pain gets reduced.
In a clinical study in 35 people with migraines, researchers have found that peppermint oil reduces pain more effectively than a placebo oil. It had reduced pain within two hours.
People believed that the aroma of peppermint tea can help relax muscles and reduce headaches. But there is no scientific evidence to support this effect. However, applying peppermint oil to your forehead may help in decreasing headaches.
3] Best Refreshing Agent
Do you know why peppermint is used as a common flavoring in mouthwashes, toothpaste, and chewing gums? This is because peppermint has antibacterial properties that can kill germs that cause dental issues. Its pleasant smell may improve your breath.
A study was made on people who had undergone spine surgery and they had given a solution made of peppermint, lemon, and tea tree oils for treatment. The researchers were surprised by the test results. They had shown a huge improvement in bad breath symptoms, compared to those who did not use those oils.
The compounds in peppermint are very effective in improving dental health. In addition, drinking peppermint tea will also give you the same effect.
4] Relieve Clogged Sinuses
Peppermint possesses antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties that can fight various diseases. One of the active compounds present in peppermint is menthol. It helps in improving the perception of airflow in your nasal cavity. So, consuming peppermint tea regularly may fight clogged sinuses, common cold, and allergies. The steam from peppermint tea can also help you breathe easier.
Further, warm liquids, such as chicken broth and tea, have also been shown to improve the symptoms of sinus congestion. Not with the help of liquids, but with their vapors. But this is not a permanent solution, it just works temporarily.
Though peppermint tea has not been studied for its effects on nasal congestion, some evidence suggests that it might be helpful.
5] Improves Energy
It is said that peppermint tea can improve energy levels, but how? The natural compounds present in peppermint have the ability to reduce daytime fatigue. Peppermint oil capsules also work effectively in reducing fatigue and thus improving energy levels. But this beneficial effect on energy was not proved scientifically in any studies.
Further, in a study, peppermint oil aromatherapy has shown a reduction in the incidence of daytime sleepiness.
6] Help Relieve Menstrual Cramps
Peppermint acts as a muscle relaxant that helps in relieving menstrual cramps. Though peppermint tea does not have any studies to show this effect, the compounds present in peppermint have been shown to improve these symptoms.
A study in women with painful periods has concluded that peppermint extract capsules are as effective as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug in reducing the duration of pain and cramps. And so researchers found that peppermint tea could have similar effects.
7] Fight Bacterial Infections
Peppermint is boasted with antibacterial properties that can identify and kill the harmful bacterias present in our body. But there are no studies to show that peppermint tea has antibacterial effects. Though peppermint tea was not tested, peppermint oil has shown these effects.
In a study, peppermint oil was found to kill and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria like Salmonella, E.Coli, and Listeria in mango juices and pineapple. It can also kill several types of bacteria that lead to illnesses in humans, including Staphylococcus and pneumonia-causing bacteria.
Further, menthol found in peppermint has the effect of reducing the bacterias found in your mouth.
8] Enhances Sleep
Peppermint tea is an ideal choice to have before bed as it is naturally caffeine-free. It acts as a muscle relaxant and helps you relax before bedtime. A study on rats proved that peppermint oil has lengthened their sleeping time.
Therefore, researchers confirmed that peppermint tea is also beneficial for sleep.
9] Aids in Weight Loss
Peppermint tea has a pleasant sweet flavor and is naturally calorie-free. If you’re trying to lose weight, then this is the smart choice to keep yourself healthy and a perfect fit. A study in 13 healthy people has reported that peppermint oil capsules had reduced appetite compared to those who have not taken peppermint.
Peppermint tea is free of calories that can reduce your appetite. Its sweet aroma help satisfy your sweet tooth. However, more studies are needed on peppermint for weight loss.
10] May Improve Seasonal Allergies
Peppermint leaves contain rosmarinic acid which is a major compound responsible for allergic reactions. Rosmarinic acid is mostly found in the plants of the mint family and especially in the rosemary plant.
Therefore peppermint leaves can reduce the symptoms of allergy, such as running nose, itchy eyes, and asthma.
The research was conducted on 29 people who have seasonal allergies and were given an oral supplement containing rosmarinic acid. As a result, they had tremendously improved in their symptoms of itchy eyes, itchy nose, than those who have taken a placebo. Therefore, they concluded that peppermint is more than enough to relieve allergies and related symptoms.
A study in rats with peppermint extract has also shown improvements in allergic symptoms, such as itchy nose and sneezing. So you can consume peppermint tea daily without any doubt.
11] Improves Concentration
Drinking peppermint tea on a regular basis may help improve your concentration ability. So that you can concentrate and focus on what you do. But there are no studies related to this effect on peppermint tea.
While this beneficial effect has been proved scientifically with peppermint oil. 24 young and healthy people were given peppermint oil capsules and they performed better on cognitive tests. Smelling peppermint oil has also shown improvements in memory and alertness, compared to other popular essential oils.
Therefore, by inhaling or consuming this peppermint oil you can increase concentration, memory, and mood. As it does not contain caffeine, it provides refreshment and gives a morning energy boost.
12] Soothes skin
The menthol found in peppermint may help soothe the skin and treat conditions such as dermatitis. A study performed on 84 babies having candida diaper dermatitis have been cured when applied peppermint oil topically. Thus, menthol helps in treating dermatitis more effectively than regular treatments.
13] Relieves Stress
Studies have shown that peppermint is good in reducing stress, anxiety, frustration, and fatigue. The International Journal of Neuroscience reports that it may even have positive effects on self-confidence.
14] Strengthen Your Immune System
Peppermint tea may also help in boosting the immune system as it possesses anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. It can also deal with the symptoms of the common cold. Menthol in peppermint may help release mucus from the lungs and thus helps in breathing. It can also enhance the airflow through the nasal cavity.
15] Reduces Nausea
This herbal tea is considered likely safe during pregnancy. That’s why it’s often used in treating nausea and vomiting, as a safer alternative to regular medicine.
16] Includes Anti-tumor Activity
Studies on animals showed that peppermint is cytotoxic and may have potential benefits in dealing with tumors and cancers. However, there is not much research to support these effects.
17] Helps in Protecting Liver
Both peppermint oil and peppermint tea are highly rich in antioxidants that help in detoxification and protect the liver.
Easy to Add to Your Diet
Peppermint tea is quite delicious and is very easy to add to your diet. It is available in tea bags, loose-leaf tea, powder, peppermint oil, etc. You can purchase any of them or simply grow the peppermint plant in your house. It just needs very little space to grow, whether in a pot or soil.
Don’t hesitate to add peppermint tea to your daily diet. As it is naturally caffeine-free, you can drink it at any time of day.
Enjoy it as a post-meal treat in the afternoon to aid digestion, or in the morning to boost your energy levels, or before bed to help you relax.
How to Make Peppermint Tea
You can easily make fresh peppermint tea at home by just using only peppermint leaves and hot water.
- Add 2 cups of water to a pot and leave it to boil.
- Add 4 to 5 peppermint leaves to the boiling water.
- Cover the pot and let the leaves steep for 5 minutes in water.
- Add sugar or honey for taste. (if needed)
- Then strain the tea into a glass and enjoy the pleasant taste and aroma.
How Much To Consume
A person can drink peppermint tea at any time throughout the day.
As it contains zero calories, you can use it as a great alternative to fruit juices, soda, and other sugary drinks. But adding flavor with honey, sugar, or cream can add calories to the tea.
Peppermint tea is generally very safe for all age groups. However, some people have claimed that consuming peppermint tea can trigger heartburn. So if you’re allergic to peppermint avoid drinking peppermint tea. Also, consult your medical advisor before consuming it.
Can You Drink Peppermint Tea While Pregnant?
The American Pregnancy Association has jotted peppermint tea as a safe beverage during pregnancy. It is often used for relieving nausea and preventing vomiting. Thus making it a good herbal choice during pregnancy.
However, keep in mind that nothing is safe when gone beyond the limit. A cup of peppermint tea seems to be safe during pregnancy. Also, avoid over-consuming caffeine-free herbal teas while you’re pregnant.
Peppermint tea is a popular herbal tea that is naturally caffeine-free and has zero calories. Some research has suggested that peppermint may have a number of health benefits, such as fresher breath, reducing pain from headaches, solving digestive issues, and much more.
Although peppermint tea is very safe, it is better to drink in limited amounts. Enjoy the sweet and pleasant aroma of peppermint tea!