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Is Peppermint Tea Good for You?: Health Benefits of Peppermint Tea

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Last Updated Apr 14, 2021

Is Peppermint Tea Good for You?: Health Benefits of Peppermint Tea

For a very long time, peppermint tea has been enjoyed by many people for its refreshing, cool minty taste as well as medicinal properties. It has traditionally been recommended by herbalists and other natural therapists for its ability to relieve various health conditions and support weight loss. More recently, scientific researchers have been exploring the effects of peppermint tea to the mind and body and verifying the gathered evidence of its history, as well as recognising its health benefits. What are the benefits of peppermint tea and why should you drink it? Read this article to find out.

The Evidence of History

Before the establishment of the scientific methodology for investigating the efficacy of medicinal plants, the effectiveness of plant-derived medicines was established through word of mouth. Peppermint tea was a popular "folk medicine" simply due to its effectiveness and speed in treating various ailments and diseases such as:

  • What can peppermint tea help you with?Tension headaches
  • Stuffy nose and other sinus problems
  • Upset stomach and digestive issues
  • Abdominal pain
  • Menstrual cramps
  • High blood pressure
  • Mental fatigue
  • Allergies
  • Insomnia
  • Stress and anxiety

The aromatic herb is a natural remedy for headaches, colds and stomach pains, which is why it has become a popular ingredient in aromatherapy. Additionally, it is used in topical medicine for the treatment of pain associated with joint conditions like arthritis and skin conditions as well. 

In the past, people who used peppermint tea and oil for its health benefits were less interested in how or why it is working other than the fact that it seemed to work. More recently, those questions have been raised and many of them were answered. Several scientific studies on peppermint revealed that menthol, an active ingredient in the plant, has an antispasmodic effect which provides relief of muscle spasms. This explains why stomach upsets are quickly treated after consuming a fresh cup of peppermint.

Due to the fact that it is a muscle relaxant, peppermint tea has also been found effective in relieving stress. The oils in peppermint leaves, when clinically administered, have shown promise of relieving Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It is also believed that drinking a cup of peppermint tea daily can help relieve the symptoms of IBS.

Why Peppermint Tea is Better Than Coffee and Other Teas

The effects of caffeine, which is the primary ingredient of coffee and other tea leaves, are not always good. Although it can help keep the brain alert, scientific evidence shows that too much of it can cause anxiety and palpitations, deprive you of a restful sleep and cause diarrhoea. Once it affects your sleep pattern, it can cause a negative effect on your cognitive functions. What's worse, once that jolt of energy has worn out after a couple of hours, you're likely to experience daytime fatigue, irritability and poor concentration due to lack of caffeine. 

It's a good thing that the peppermint plant does not have any traces of caffeine that may influence the functions of your brain and body. Whether you drink fresh peppermint tea or add fresh peppermint leaves to your favourite dish, you will receive the benefits of caffeine minus its side effects. Like caffeine, the natural compounds in peppermint leaves, namely limonene and menthone, enhance mental alertness, promote weight loss and fight skin cancer. The best part about drinking peppermint tea is that it doesn't leave you with bad breath unlike coffee and other caffeinated beverages.   

Health Benefits of Peppermint Tea

Health benefits of peppermint tea

Peppermint contains several medicinal properties that give it a multitude of potential health benefits, from preventing bad breath and bloating to improving energy levels and mental clarity. It's worth noting that peppermint tea is beneficial to healthy people as well as those who are suffering from certain health conditions.

Containing antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, it can be effectively used in fighting bacterial infections and as a cleansing agent for the skin. When it comes to skin health, peppermint tea and oil offer a host of beauty benefits as it's packed with Vitamin E and antioxidant properties which delay the signs of ageing and support skin regrowth. The plant's menthol content and antimicrobial properties also help clear pimples, acne and other skin blemishes by reducing the activity of the sebaceous glands which are responsible for the skin's oil production.

The herb's decongestant and antibacterial properties, on the other hand, make it a potentially effective treatment for various respiratory tract diseases, including bronchitis and asthma. It also has a chemical compound called rosmarinic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties to prevent allergy symptoms like an itchy nose, a runny nose or shortness of breath. When applied topically, the natural analgesics of peppermint oil can help relieve all types of pain, including muscle aches, menstrual pain and headaches. 

Considered as the perfect substitute for coffee, caffeine-free peppermint tea helps improve concentration without disrupting your sleep. Daily commuters and students can benefit loads from the natural compounds in peppermint leaves that can be obtained by steeping the fresh mint leaves in hot water before drinking.

A study revealed that the aroma of peppermint tea helps drivers stay alert and relaxed, especially when they're stuck in heavy traffic. Another study revealed that it helps students maintain their focus while studying for their exams.

Besides taking it in the form of tea, the benefits of peppermint can also be reaped through peppermint oil capsules. A 2018 study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information revealed that the encapsulated herbs reduced mental fatigue and improved mental performance in the individuals who took them compared to those in the placebo group.

A clinical study conducted on the antibacterial and antiseptic properties of peppermint essential oils also revealed that a blend of peppermint oil with cinnamon and lemon can speed up the process of wound healing and prevent the growth of bacteria.  

Other herbal teas are no match for the efficacy of peppermint as its medicinal purposes can undeniably address a wide range of health conditions. Whether you're looking for organic breath mints or a natural health tonic for your upset stomach, you can get it from fresh peppermint leaves.

Side effects of drinking peppermint tea

Side Effects of Drinking Too Much Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea may lead to a few side effects when taken in excess, that's why health care professionals caution patients with gastric problems related to excess stomach acid like ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease. You can enjoy a cup every now and then, but do not drink peppermint tea continuously for more than two months as it can cause nausea or the mouth to dry out. However, the positive effects of peppermint tea still outweigh the negative, hence making it a healthful, healing and relaxing drink. So, sit back, relax and inhale the fresh scent of peppermint tea while enjoying its refreshing taste.

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Originally published on Jun 12, 2018

FAQs About Peppermint Tea

Does peppermint tea have caffeine?

No, peppermint tea is actually caffeine-free. So if you are an insomniac or just having trouble sleeping, this type of herbal tea is perfect for you. It can help you get a more restful and sound sleep because it acts like a muscle relaxant.

Can you drink peppermint tea while pregnant?

Peppermint is actually one of the most commonly used herbal medicines for pregnant women. Several studies have shown that it doesn't harm the mother or the baby. So yes, drinking peppermint tea is okay during pregnancy. However, avoid consuming this tea in large amounts because it can promote menstruation. But in moderation, it's safe to drink peppermint tea while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Do you put milk in peppermint tea?

Yes, you can. Most people do drink peppermint tea without milk. But it actually test really good with milk and honey. So basically, it's all about your preference and taste.

Is peppermint tea good for acid reflux?

Most caffeine-free herbal teas are good for acid reflux. But try to avoid peppermint tea, as well as spearmint tea, because mint triggers acid reflux. Furthermore, according to a study conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center, peppermint relaxes the sphincter muscle, which closes off the stomach from the esophagus. When this happens, stomach acid an pour back into the esophagus and cause GERD or acid reflux, as well as heartburn.

Is peppermint tea good for dry cough?

Peppermint is a natural ingredient that is good for easing cough symptoms, including dry cough. Menthol in peppermint soothes the throat, breaks down mucus and clears the sinuses. So yes, peppermint tea can be beneficial when you have dry cough.

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