Peppermint tea has long been used to treat a variety of health issues. While Europeans first cultivated the plant in the seventeenth century, dried peppermint leaves have been found inside Egyptian pyramids dating back over 3000 years.
Well known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, peppermint is used as a popular remedy for everything from respiratory infections to menstrual pain. Scientific studies have found evidence proving many health benefits of this caffeine-free tea.
Often seen as a natural medication, a cup of peppermint tea can help aid digestion and improve sleep. This article will look at nine peppermint tea benefits and why you should consider adding this tea to your daily diet.
What Is Peppermint?
Peppermint is a hybrid mint variety of water mint and spearmint. When infused in boiling water, dried peppermint leaves release essential oils and nutrients that reduce inflammation and boost immunity.
The high concentration of menthol gives this tea its distinctive scent and flavor. Peppermint is a versatile herb that is used in medicinal and hygiene products, as well as in cosmetics.
Peppermint Tea Benefits
Many people enjoy peppermint tea for its refreshing taste and scent. But there are many great reasons to add peppermint tea to your diet even if you aren’t a tea lover.
1. Improve Digestion
Studies have found that peppermint tea relaxes the gastrointestinal tract, which can improve digestion. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help reduce bloating and minimize abdominal pain.
Drinking peppermint tea after a meal can help relax the stomach muscles and boost the production of bile, which helps the digestion of fat. The menthol in peppermint tea encourages gas to move through the digestive tract, reducing cramps and making bowel movements easier.
While there have been limited studies on tea, peppermint oil has been shown to significantly reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
2. Headache and Stress Relief
Peppermint is helpful in reducing pain caused by headaches and migraines. The menthol that is contained in peppermint acts as a muscle relaxant, expanding blood vessels and releasing tension.
As peppermint tea contains no caffeine, it can have a dramatic effect on reducing stress. The antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties help reduce blood pressure, allowing you to relax and clear your mind.
3. Boost Immunity
Did you know that peppermint tea has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties? Since it can help stop the development and spread of bacteria in the body, a cup of peppermint tea helps fight disease.
Peppermint also contains nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and B vitamins, which are essential in keeping the immune system functioning properly.
4. Freshen Breath
It comes as no surprise that peppermint can help stave off bad breath, leaving your mouth minty fresh. The antibacterial nature of peppermint helps kill bacteria in the mouth, while menthol delivers a fresh scent.
5. Allergy Relief
As a natural way to fight allergies, peppermint outshines most other herbs. Sufferers of seasonal allergies can find relief in a cup of peppermint tea, as it contains high concentrations of rosmarinic acid and powerful antioxidants.
A 2011 study found rosmarinic acid to be helpful in calming the immune system and reducing allergic rhinitis and rhinoconjunctivitis, also known as hay fever. As a natural antihistamine, drinking peppermint tea daily can help reduce the severity of hay fever symptoms.
6. Control Nausea and Menstrual Cramps
People have been using peppermint to treat nausea for many years. Recent studies have shown that its anti-spasmodic properties are great at relieving the pain and discomfort of menstrual cramps as well.
One 2016 study found that the pain and symptoms of menstrual cramps and nausea were reduced after taking peppermint. Drinking peppermint tea helps relax muscles and can ease feelings of nausea caused by illness, motion sickness, or food poisoning.
7. Make Weight Loss Easier
Herbal teas are great for weight loss as they can help control appetite and break down fat. The compounds in peppermint tea help the digestion of fat, while menthol can ease the stomach and make you feel full.
By increasing your metabolism, it helps you burn more energy and shed pounds. Try drinking peppermint tea hot or cold as a snack replacement throughout the day. Its naturally sweet taste makes it the perfect replacement for sugar-rich sodas and juices.
8. Improve Sleep
As peppermint tea is caffeine-free, it’s the ideal drink to finish off your day. It helps to relax muscles and reduce stress while soothing problems like inflammation and headache.
Adding a cup of peppermint tea to your nighttime routine can reduce the need for sleeping tablets and other medications. The soothing aroma of the tea helps calm the mind while providing a sedative effect for some people.
9. Boost Concentration and Memory
One of the best peppermint tea benefits is its effect on memory and concentration. Studies have shown that peppermint increases cognitive performance and enhances memory.
Menthol stimulates the memory center of the brain while making you more alert and boosting concentration. If you find yourself distracted at work, a strong cup of peppermint tea can be a great way to regain focus.
How Much Peppermint Tea Can You Drink?
As we’ve seen, there are many benefits to drinking peppermint tea, but how much tea should you drink each day? While it really depends on what you’re using it for, due to the high menthol content it is generally not recommended to drink to more than 3 cups or 750mL of peppermint tea each day.
For women trying to fend off menstrual cramps, it’s best to drink two to three cups per day leading up to and through menstruation. If you’re trying to treat ongoing digestive issues, drink a cup of tea after each meal to soothe your stomach. For those trying to lose weight, a cup of tea and some fruit can be a great replacement for morning and afternoon snacks.
If you’ve never tried this tea before, what are you waiting for? Once you start enjoying these peppermint tea benefits, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been drinking it for years.