Tea has long been associated with many health benefits. Everything from black teas to promote weight loss and boost metabolism, to dandelion tea for liver and cellular health. There are so many health factors associated with various types of steeped leaves. But peppermint tea has been associated with many benefits that will have you stocking up on variations of the herb. Here are some of the benefits, side effects, and more information that was gathered from experts.
What is peppermint tea exactly?
Peppermint is a cross between water mint and spearmint and is grown throughout Europe and North America, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH). The leaves and concentrated oil have been used for medical purposes dating back to ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt. Much of the research done on peppermint references the oil, not just the leaves steeped in hot water. But peppermint tea has some research and anecdotal evidence to support some great health benefits as well.
Even though some of the benefits of herbal teas are exaggerated, peppermint tea is one that has had some serious perks in clinical trials. The important thing to know is if you’re sipping on peppermint tea and finding you’re getting the benefits or are enjoying the cup, that’s great. If you’re not getting the benefits you’re looking for, there’s no point in continuing.
What are the benefits of peppermint tea?
- Helps with digestion
When it comes to peppermint, perhaps the most known and science-backed benefit is digestive support. There are clinical studies that show it helps with the digestive tract, upset stomach, and irritable bowel syndrome.
The essential oils in peppermint may help relax your digestive system, which can sooth stomach aches, and ease constipation, say the experts. Many of the studies done on peppermint for stomach issues were focused on peppermint oil, which is a more concentrated version of peppermint than tea. Give the tea a try if you’re looking for digestive support.
One review determined that in animal studies peppermint has a relaxing effect on gastrointestinal tissues, and human studies have found that peppermint has positive effects on irritable bowel syndrome. Additionally, studies have found peppermint oil has benefits for the treatment of abdominal pain disorders in children.
When someone in Turkey complains about stomach problems, the first advice they’ll get is to drink peppermint/lemon tea.
- Provides respiratory relief
Next time you have a cough, a cup of peppermint tea may ease your discomfort. Research has found peppermint tea has potential benefits in relieving symptoms of acute respiratory tract infections, and other studies have found the vapors of peppermint oil potentially have antibacterial agents against respiratory tract pathogens.
- May improve focus
Recent studies have found that peppermint can improve cognitive functioning. This is a great option for those who don’t want to start their day with caffeine. Just be sure the tea you’re brewing isn’t mixed with black or green tea, which are caffeinated.
One study found peppermint oil benefits focus, improves the ability to perform cognitive tasks, and reduces mental fatigue. Another study found peppermint could reduce sleepiness.
- Supports the immune system
We’re not saying you can forgo washing your hands if you regularly sip a steamy cup of tea, but research suggests peppermint has antibacterial properties that make it good for inhibiting food-borne pathogens. Additional research suggests peppermint has antiviral, and anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties that could ward off disease.
Many doctors state that because peppermint tea may have a calming effect, it may support a stronger immune system and promote general wellness. A famous dietitian, Maya Feller says that peppermint tea has antioxidant properties, which can be helpful for the immune system and quell free radicals.
- Potentially helps headaches
Research has found peppermint oil can increase blood flow and relax muscles in the forehead. Plus, other studies have found menthol (the active ingredient in peppermint) can improve migraine problems.
- May ease menstrual cramps
Experts in the field note that though peppermint isn’t a treatment or cure, there has been some research indicating that it can help with abdominal pain. Because peppermint tea has relaxing properties, it may help with reducing pain associated with menstrual cramps.
- Encourages a healthy mouth
A review of some early studies has linked peppermint to the protection against oral diseases, and other research found peppermint is an effective antiseptic solution against oral pathogens.
Peppermint tea and oil side effects
As for the side effects of peppermint tea, some medications can interact with teas or herbs. If you are taking medications, be sure to check with your doctor before making peppermint tea a regular part of your life.
It has been determined that people with GERD or acid reflux may find peppermint tea relaxes the esophageal sphincter even more and cause extra discomfort. An expert in the field, notes that anyone with a history of kidney stones should speak to their doctor before enjoying their peppermint tea.
That’s it for now my friends; see you all the next time.