What are the benefits of drinking peppermint tea?
If you’re looking for the benefits of peppermint tea then look no further.
Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita) is an aromatic perennial herb in the mint family.
It is a natural hybrid and a cross between two types of mint- watermint and spearmint.
Native to Europe and the Middle East, peppermint now grows throughout the world.
It is listed in the Ebers Papyrus (an ancient Egyptian medical text of herbal knowledge dating to 1550BC) as a potent remedy for calming stomach pains.
Today, peppermint oil and leaves are used as herbal medicine.
The herb possesses anti-emetic, carminative, and anti-inflammatory properties that can help with digestion, skin conditions, stomach aches, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), joint pains, muscle aches, and other health conditions.
What Is Peppermint Tea?
Peppermint tea is a popular herbal tea made by infusing dried peppermint leaves in hot water.
This aromatic tea can also be made by adding peppermint leaves or oil into white, black, or green tea.
The fresh leaves of peppermint plants contain essential oils such as menthol, limonene, and menthone which have been known for generations to calm an upset stomach and aid digestion.
Sipping on a freshly brewed hot cup of peppermint tea is a refreshing way to stay healthy and boost your immune system.
Below are 15 scientific health benefits of peppermint tea.
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15 health benefits of peppermint tea
1. Relieves Headaches
Peppermint tea has been found to help relieve certain types of headaches, especially those caused by high stress levels or poor diet.
Stress and dietary migraines usually narrow blood vessels in the brain, causing an increased blood pressure that likely leads to the throbbing pain most people experience during headaches.
Peppermint tea bags can act as a muscle relaxant and a pain reliever.
They work like pharmaceutical painkillers, opening up your blood vessels and increasing blood flow.
This effect can potentially bring relief to migraines and ease headache pain.
The aroma of peppermint tea can also help relax your muscles and relieve headache pain.
However, it’s important to note that scientific proof to confirm this benefit of peppermint tea is still missing.
Meanwhile, you can make this herbal tea infusion using dried or fresh peppermint leaves to treat headaches without the need for painkillers or aspirin.
2. Soothes Indigestion
One of the most commonly known benefits of peppermint tea is easing stomach cramps and soothing digestive symptoms like gas, indigestion, and bloating.
Multiple animal studies have found that peppermint can relax your digestive tract and relieve abdominal pain.
The herb can also prevent the contraction of smooth muscles, which may relieve gut spasms.
During a study, 72 people with irritable bowel syndrome were given peppermint oil capsules and the IBS symptoms reduced by 40% after four weeks.
Comparably, the IBS symptoms were reduced by only 24.3% with placebo after the four weeks.
3. Clears Sinuses
Sinus problems can be caused by an infection, inflammation, or swelling of the lining of the sinuses.
This often leads to a blocked or stuffy nose that can cause difficulty breathing through the nose and swelling/pain around your forehead, eyes, and cheeks.
Luckily, menthol, the essential oil in peppermint that provides its cooling properties and minty scent, can help combat sinus problems.
It helps calm inflamed mucous membranes in the throat and sinuses, promoting comfortable breathing and minimizing the likelihood of your sinuses being blocked.
The steam of a hot cup of peppermint tea can also act as a decongestant, helping get rid of phlegm and mucus congestion.
4. Boosts Your Energy
Peppermint tea has been found to be effective at giving an energy boost when you’re feeling tired, fatigued, or sluggish.
Although this kind of tea does not contain any caffeine content or natural stimulants, it can enhance your alertness, focus, and energy.
Twenty-four young volunteers experienced reduced fatigue during a study after taking peppermint oil capsules.
5. Soothes An Upset Stomach
A mug of peppermint tea has a calming and numbing effect that can help soothe an upset stomach and other gastrointestinal tract ailments.
Combined with other natural herbs like ginger root and marshmallow root, peppermint tea can offer a huge variety of health benefits, including easing constipation.
6. Can Help Fight Bacterial Infections
Peppermint possesses antiviral and antibacterial properties, making it one of the best teas for fighting harmful bacteria.
When peppermint oil was tested on common food-borne bacteria like salmonella, E. coli, and listeria, the scientists found that it killed and effectively stopped the growth of the three bacteria.
The oil can also kill Staphylococcus bacteria that cause skin infections, meningitis, pneumonia, and other illnesses.
7. May Promote Weight Loss
Peppermint tea is an interesting beverage.
It is low in calories and curbs unnecessary food cravings while treating digestive problems, leading to weight loss.
In addition, its sweet flavor makes it a pleasant choice for those trying to lose some weight.
In a small human study, 13 people were given peppermint oil capsules.
They saw a reduction in their appetite compared to the control group.
On the contrary, an animal study found that the mice given peppermint extracts gained more weight than those who did not take the extract.
8. Freshens Your Breath
Several natural herbs can fight against bad breath– peppermint is one of the best herbs for this purpose.
The strong menthol present in peppermint makes it a common flavoring for toothpaste, chewing gums, and mouthwash.
The pleasant breath mint neutralizes odors, while its antibacterial and antiseptic properties help kill germs that cause dental plaque.
It also prevents the development of fungus that cause mouth infections.
During a study, schoolgirls who were given a peppermint mouth rinse experienced an improvement in their breath after one week compared to those who did not receive the peppermint rinse.
Although scientific evidence that a cup of hot peppermint tea has a similar effect is lacking, the main ingredients in peppermint leaves have been found to freshen breath.
9. May Relieve Menstrual Cramps
Because peppermint acts as a natural painkiller and muscle relaxer, it can be very helpful when it comes to relieving menstrual cramps.
Although these benefits of peppermint tea have not been studied, the compounds in the plant have been found to improve menstrual cramps symptoms.
10. Improves Sleep Quality
Drinking peppermint tea before bed can help you sleep for longer hours and improve sleep quality.
Peppermint is a naturally caffeine-free tea, and it possesses relaxing properties which can help reduce muscle tension and digestive issues, helping you relax before bedtime.
11. Improves Concentration
Peppermint has been found to improve memory, alertness, and concentration.
Studies examining the effects of peppermint oil when consumed by ingestion and inhalation found that young adults performed much better on cognitive tests after taking capsules of peppermint oil.
In a second study, researchers found that the aroma of peppermint oil improved memory compared to that of ylang-ylang (an essential oil).
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12. May Help With Seasonal Allergies
Peppermint tea may offer quick relief from seasonal allergic reactions.
Peppermint possesses rosmarinic acid, a compound frequently found in herbal plants and is mainly responsible for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities.
The acid has been shown to reduce allergic symptoms such as itchy eyes, runny nose, and asthma.
13. Enhances Your Immune System
The antiviral and antimicrobial properties of peppermint tea may fight and kill bad bacteria in the upper respiratory tract.
This property can also support your body’s immune system, making peppermint tea a great beverage for treating common cold ailments.
14. It Is Caffeine Free
As noted earlier, peppermint tea is naturally caffeine-free, making it a refreshing drink and a beneficial alternative to caffeinated drinks like black tea and coffee.
Avoiding caffeinated drinks in the evening can help avoid sleep problems like nighttime awakenings, sleeplessness, and poor sleep quality.
15. It Is Sugar-Free
Peppermint tea is a great choice for those looking to reduce their sugar intake.
This cup of tea has a natural sweetness and refreshing aroma, making it a healthier way to hydrate than sugar-sweetened soft drinks.
Health Benefits of Peppermint Tea - The Bottom Line
Peppermint tea is a healthy beverage that can be served hot or cold and enjoyed at any time of the day.
It contains natural compounds that may benefit your health in multiple ways.
The invigorating aroma of peppermint tea can also help you wake up in the morning.
Peppermint has been shown to boost the immune system, enhnace the digestive system, improve concentration, and freshen breath.
Although there is not much research into the efficacy of peppermint tea, the herbal beverage is generally considered safe and effective.
However, there are some potential side effects of peppermint tea.
And in very rare cases, peppermint tea may interact with medications.
Hence, it’s a good idea for pregnant women to avoid drinking peppermint tea.
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