Peppermint is a hybrid of spearmint and watermint, and it has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. It is known for its many health benefits and is often used as a digestive aid, remedy for colds, stress reliever, relaxant, and breath freshener.
Even if you are not sick or looking for specific health effects, peppermint tea tastes delicious and is good for your overall health and wellbeing!
The most prominent compound related to the benefits of mint is menthol. Menthol can be used for pain relief and it also improves blood circulation. Peppermint oil contains up to 48% of menthol, while most of the other mint species contain a much lesser amount of it. This is why peppermint is the most common mint used as a herbal remedy.
Helps with Upset Stomach and Aids Digestion
Menthol is an effective remedy for upset stomach due to its calming effects. It helps with relaxing the tense muscles that cramp and cause stomach pain. Menthol also improves blood circulation and relieves inflammation that is often related to stomach problems.
Peppermint aids digestion by increasing the amount of bile and helping with gas movement, thus relieving bloating and stomach cramps.
A study from 2012 concludes that peppermint tea reduced the symptoms of non-ulcer dyspepsia in 60-95% of patients. Increased bile also helps with reducing the symptoms of constipation and diarrhea and aids with the optimal function of the digestive system.
There are also several studies indicating that peppermint is beneficial in the treatment of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
It is a very painful and annoying condition that I have also suffered from. I found that following a suitable diet and drinking a herbal tea that contains peppermint after a meal helps with avoiding the pain and other symptoms related to IBS.
My favorite option is Buddha Teas Organic European Peppermint Tea as it is super delicious and organically grown, so there is no risk of ingesting chemicals from fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides.
A 2008 study published in BMJ (British Medical Journal) indicates that peppermint oil can be an effective remedy for IBS. Another study from 2001 found that after 2 weeks of ingesting enteric-coated, pH-dependent peppermint oil capsules, 75% of the subjects had reduced severity of pain associated with IBS.
Researchers have also been able to discover how peppermint works in the gut to reduce IBS symptoms. People suffering from this condition have hypersensitive nerve fibers in their colon, which causes abdominal pain. The high amount menthol in peppermint has antispasmodic qualities and it also causes the pain-sensing nerve ends in the gut to become less sensitive, thus reducing the severity of IBS symptoms for the majority of people.
Reduces Stress and Relieves Headache
When I feel that I’m getting stressed and cranky I usually try to take a break, listen to relaxing music, and enjoy some peppermint tea.
Peppermint tea is often used in aromatherapy for reducing stress and improving the feeling of well-being. It also contains natural sedatives and is caffeine-free, which further helps with relaxing.
It is not uncommon, that after getting home from work one would experience a combination of stress, headache, and overall tension. I think that one of the best ways to relax after a long day, is to have a nice warm cup of peppermint tea!
Remedy for Flu and Common Cold
Usually harmless, but still one of the most irritating things is getting the flu with symptoms like cough, sore throat, headache, fever, and constantly feeling tired. There are many herbal teas you can use to combat these symptoms and peppermint tea is one of the best.
Peppermint contains many antibacterial and anti-inflammatory compounds. This helps your body with fighting the harmful pathogens in your system while the antioxidants of peppermint boost your immune system.
In addition, menthol’s muscle relaxant properties help by opening up airways, relaxing throat muscles, and relieving congestion.
These qualities make peppermint tea an excellent remedy for colds, as it does not only relieve your symptoms but also helps you with getting healthy faster.
Keeps Your Breath Fresh
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a common and very unpleasant problem.
Peppermint provides an effective way of fighting against bad breath due to its fresh scent and antibacterial properties. This is why most kinds of toothpaste and many bottles of mouthwash contain peppermint.
Research has confirmed that peppermint creates an unfavorable environment for bacteria and also suggests that it can help with preventing plaque and caries. However, more studies are needed to confirm its effectiveness.
The best way to use peppermint tea against halitosis is to drink it frequently during the day. Also, if you eat foods that contain garlic or onion, it can cause an unpleasant smell, and drinking peppermint tea after the meal helps with neutralizing the odors. In addition, it aids your digestion and tastes great, so I often drink it after a meal with a dash of honey, or with dessert.
Potential Side Effects
Drinking peppermint tea is generally considered safe but it has a few potential side effects.
If you have problems with acid reflux, you should be careful with consuming peppermint tea. Its muscle-relaxing properties can cause the esophagus and other relevant muscles to relax and allow more stomach acid to flow up.
Also, if you are pregnant, consult your doctor before drinking it.
Any side effects are unlikely to occur, but it is possible. Especially if you consume large quantities of very strong peppermint mint tea on a regular basis.
How to Make It
You can buy fresh peppermint to make your tea, or you can just grow it yourself. This plant is easy to grow in your garden, balcony, or even indoors. One of the easiest ways to grow it is to get a hydroponic garden kit for indoors.
Here is a nice video about growing peppermint and drying the leaves so you can have a stash of homegrown herbal tea:
Making a cup of delicious peppermint tea is easy:
- Boil some water in a kettle. Fresh spring water is the best option, but you can just use regular filtered water as well.
- Add the desired amount of fresh or dried peppermint leaves to the freshly boiled water. Cover and let it steep for 5 to 15 minutes.
- Pour it into glasses or mugs and add some sweetener if you like. I often use a bit of organic raw honey to make my tea sweet.
Then it’s time to just sit back, relax, and enjoy your cup of tasty herbal tea!
You can adjust the amount of peppermint and steeping time depending on how strong you like your tea.
If you want to try something a bit more special, here is my traditional Moroccan mint tea recipe. It is usually made with spearmint, but you can also use peppermint if you want.
Peppermint Tea Has Many Health Benefits
Peppermint tea is one of my favorite teas for many reasons. I love its fresh scent and it also tastes great with honey or just as it is. It also contains many compounds with antibacterial and antioxidant properties, which provide various health benefits.
The easiest and most convenient option is to buy it in tea bags or as a loose leaf tea. There are also many delicious herbal tea blends that combine peppermint with other healthy ingredients. I recommend that you check out my article related to different mint tea brands to find the best products for your preference.
Please comment below and share your experiences related to the health benefits of peppermint tea.
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