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 benefits, peppermint tea tastes delicious and is good for your overall health and wellbeing!
The most prominent compound related to the health 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 that is 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 several studies indicating that peppermint is beneficial in the treatment of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). A study published in BMJ (British Medical Journal) in 2008 found peppermint oil to 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 IBS 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
Drinking peppermint tea can help with relaxing and relieving stress and headache. The compounds found in peppermint have muscle-relaxing and pain-relieving properties which can help with relaxation and certain types of headaches.
Peppermint tea is often used in aromatherapy for reducing stress and improving the feeling of wellbeing. 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 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. Menthol is a muscle relaxant and it helps by relaxing throat muscles, opening up airways, and relieving congestion. Furthermore, the antibacterial compounds in peppermint help with fighting the harmful pathogens in your system while the antioxidants boost your immune system. These qualities make peppermint tea and 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. Research has confirmed that peppermint creates an unfavorable environment for bacteria and also suggests that it can help with preventing plague and caries, but more studies are needed to confirm it. This is why most kinds of toothpaste and many bottles of mouthwash contain peppermint.
The best way to use peppermint 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, peppermint tea aids your digestion and tastes great, so I often drink it after a meal alone, or with dessert.
Peppermint Tea Health Benefits
Peppermint tea is one of my favorite teas for many reasons. I love the scent of peppermint tea, and it also tastes great with honey or just as it is. It also contains many compounds with antibacterial and antioxidant properties, which provide many health benefits.
Making a cup of delicious peppermint tea is easy. Just add the desired amount of fresh or dried peppermint to boiled water and let it steep for 5 to 15 minutes. You can adjust the amount of peppermint and steeping time depending on how strong you like your tea. Then pour it into a glass and add some sweetener if you like. I often use a bit of organic raw honey as a sweetener. Then you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy your cup of tasty peppermint tea!
Here is a nice video about the health benefits of peppermint tea and how to make it:
Peppermint tea has a few potential side effects. If you have problems with acid reflux, you should be careful with drinking 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 peppermint tea. Any side effects are unlikely to occur, but it is possible, especially if you consume a large quantity of very strong peppermint mint tea.
You can buy fresh peppermint to make your tea, or you can even grow it yourself. An easier and more convenient option is to buy peppermint tea. I recommend that you check out my article related to mint tea products, to find a good quality peppermint tea or a great tasting tea blend that contains peppermint.
Please comment below and share your experiences related to the health benefits of peppermint tea.