Alternative health practitioners have long touted peppermint tea’s health benefits. It’s a natural way to relax the nervous system and it can help people have more restful sleep, especially because it’s caffeine free.
Peppermint tea may improve your health in a number of ways. For instance, peppermint tea is considered excellent for the digestive system, and it can relieve some symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It is also used to promote better sleep, relieve stress, improve mental alertness, eliminate bad breath, and boost the immune system.
In this article, we will explore the potential health benefits of peppermint tea. We’ll also compare the healing drink to another popular tea in a peppermint tea vs. green tea section.
Moreover, we’ll discuss when to drink peppermint tea for maximum health effects, as well as the precautions and side effects associated with peppermint tea.
15 Fantastic Health Benefits of Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea’s health benefits are plentiful. Health practitioners wanting to provide relief without drugs have used peppermint tea for over 10,000 years, as documented by archeologists.
The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health has found that a cup of the beverage will help with heartburn and upset stomach. Here are the top 15 peppermint tea benefits.
1. Aids in Digestion
Peppermint tea relaxes the digestive tract and promotes proper bile flow, two actions that keep your digestive system functioning at optimal levels.
At the same time, peppermint tea can help move trapped gas through the body, reducing symptoms like bloating, stomach pain, and flatulence. It is also able to relieve spasms and cramps in the gallbladder and bile duct.
By relaxing your digestive system, it can also help maintain steady bowel movements, which helps prevent hemorrhoids from occurring.
2. Relieves IBS symptoms
As mentioned, peppermint tea is a popular digestive aid, and it is used for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in particular. Consumption of peppermint tea can soothe the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which relieves IBS symptoms such as bloating and abdominal pain.
One 2007 study saw that peppermint oil reduced IBS symptoms by 50% in 75% of those who used it. Research published in 2011 also found that peppermint activates an “anti-pain” channel in the colon, which soothes inflammatory pain in the GI tract.
3. Promotes a Better Night’s Sleep
Having a warm cup of peppermint tea before bed can help improve sleep, thanks to the menthol in the leaves, which allows the muscles in the body to relax. This can even contribute to more vivid dreams.
4. Relieves Stress
The menthol in peppermint leaves is a muscle relaxant and a sedative; drinking a cup of this herbal infusion promotes overall body and mind relaxation. It can also reduce blood pressure because of its anti-inflammatory properties; this is also one of the reasons why peppermint is a popular herb in aromatherapy.
Take 10 minutes from your busy day to sip a cup of peppermint tea and try to focus on being calm.
5. Supports the Gallbladder and Liver
If there are small gallstones present, drinking peppermint tea might help break them down into smaller pieces. It also helps promote the flow of bile from the gallbladder to your liver, resulting in fewer issues and attacks if you have a troubled gallbladder.
And as noted, peppermint tea can also help ease the pain and discomfort of gallbladder attack spasms and cramping.
6. Promotes Mental Alertness
The scent of peppermint has an effect on the brain, so drinking a cup of the tea and inhaling the aromatic scent can help the mind stay focused. It’s ideal for students and those who work through the night.
7. Keeps Bad Breath at Bay
There’s a reason why peppermint is found in toothpaste, mouthwash, chewing gum, and candy: its strong flavor and scent is good at masking bad odors, such as those found in the mouth as a result of halitosis.
But not only that, peppermint leaves are antibacterial so they actually kill some of the bacteria that contribute to the bad breath, allowing for cleaner, fresher-smelling breath.
8. Calms Troubled Skin
Peppermint tea benefits skin as well. Hormonal skin troubles like acne can persist throughout adulthood and can be difficult to treat, but a natural solution can possibly be found with peppermint tea. The tea boosts estrogen levels in some people, and that boost can often equal balancing the hormonal issues and thereby helping get rid of the acne*.
9. Helps Ease Headaches and Migraines
So many human ailments stem from stress, tense muscles, and blood vessels constricting too tightly. In headaches and migraines, blood doesn’t flow easily in these constricted vessels, causing pain.
Peppermint leaves are known to relax muscles, so drinking the tea when a headache or migraine strikes will ease the pain and allow blood to flow properly again. For greater effects, combine drinking the tea with aromatherapy by using a diffuser or a warm bath.
10. Combats Coughs and Congestion
When added to hot water, menthol acts as a terrific agent for loosening and breaking up the thick mucus that lines the lungs when sick, making it easier to remove by coughing. It’s also a great aid for sore and itchy throats, and dry coughs.
11. Helps to Lose Weight
The strong scent of peppermint tea has been found to reduce appetite, and a cup of the drink could suppress food cravings and help you feel full for longer periods of time. As a result, using peppermint tea as a weight loss remedy has the potential to prevent obesity.
12. For Motion Sickness
How does peppermint tea treat motion sickness? It has an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and overall soothing effect on the stomach due to its menthol content. This herbal tea can target symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and dizziness, especially in pregnant women and those traveling by land, sea, or air.
Peppermint tea can also treat other motion-related issues like diarrhea and stomach pain.
13. For Immune System Health
Peppermint tea is also an incredible immune system booster. The antibacterial and antimicrobial properties in peppermint tea are able to ward off pathogens that lead to illnesses like the common cold and flu, and prevent symptoms like coughing, fatigue, and fever.
The antioxidant content in peppermint may also keep your immune system healthy by fighting free radicals.
14. For PCOS and Hirsutism
Another benefit of peppermint tea is its impact on hormonal balance. Many use peppermint tea for PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) in particular, due to its anti-androgen effect. This can ease PCOS symptoms like acne and stress while also improving unwanted, male-pattern hair growth in women—also known as hirsutism.
What does science say about peppermint tea and hirsutism? Research has shown that regular peppermint tea consumption significantly reduces free testosterone and increases hormones beneficial for hair growth, such as estradiol and luteinizing hormone.
15. For Menstrual Cramps
Daily peppermint tea consumption can also reduce the severity of menstrual cramps and related abdominal pain. Congestion of the pelvic area is common during menstruation. However, drinking more hot liquids like peppermint tea will promote blood flow to the pelvic area, and therefore help the pelvic muscles relax.
Peppermint Tea vs. Green Tea: Which Is Better?
Let’s compare peppermint tea and green tea. For starters, peppermint is made from the Mentha piperita plant, whereas green tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. Other teas that come from this plant include black tea, oolong tea, and pu-erh tea. Furthermore, peppermint tea is caffeine free, whereas teas derived from the Camellia sinensis do contain the stimulant.
Although both teas have antioxidants, the most common types found in green tea are polyphenols known as catechins, as well as other flavonoids. Alternatively, the polyphenolic constituents in peppermint include rosmarinic acid and several flavonoids like luteolin, eriocitrin, and hesperidin.
Like peppermint tea, green tea may also benefit people with chronic conditions such as cancer due to its polyphenols. This is reportedly due to the antioxidants’ free radical damage protection.
Moreover, both peppermint tea and green tea may reduce your appetite, which may prevent weight gain. Some studies suggest green tea is also beneficial for bone health, diabetes management, eye disease prevention, and memory loss.
So, which tea is better? It will depend on the particular health problem you are targeting, as well as your personal tolerance for caffeine.
When to Drink Peppermint Tea for Maximum Benefits
In this section, we will detail when to drink peppermint tea for maximum benefits and how much you should be drinking.
Peppermint tea can be consumed during breakfast, in mid-morning, half an hour before dinner, or as snack at night. Drinking a mixture of appetite-suppressing peppermint tea and green tea in the morning is an excellent way to increase your metabolism.
At the same time, peppermint tea before bed may allow you to sleep better due to its relaxing menthol content. Try having a cup of peppermint tea while reading a book in bed. This will set you up for a peaceful rest.
When it comes to peppermint tea, how many cups a day should you drink? For maximum benefits, it is best to consume two to three cups daily.
How do you consume peppermint tea? For an easy peppermint tea recipe, use one tablespoon of chopped fresh peppermint leaves and add a cup of boiling water. Let it steep for about five minutes, strain the peppermint leaves, and enjoy.
Precautions and Side Effects of Peppermint Tea
Although there are many great benefits, there are also some peppermint tea side effects and precautions to consider as well. For starters, since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not oversee the production of tea, there is no guarantee that teas like peppermint are free from contaminants.
You can reduce the risk of contamination by purchasing peppermint tea from a reputable manufacturer.
As for side effects, while peppermint tea is safe for most pregnant women, it is thought that large amounts may trigger a miscarriage. Peppermint may also cause breathing problems in some children and infants, even in small doses.
In some people, peppermint tea may also worsen acid reflux since the tea can increase the backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus. Also, you should not consume peppermint tea if you are allergic to menthol.
Are there drug interactions with peppermint tea to keep in mind? It may, in fact, interfere with drugs used to treat blood pressure issues, diabetes, and excess stomach acid. As a result, if you take any medication, consult your doctor before consuming peppermint tea.
Final Thoughts on the Health Benefits of Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea benefits have been well-documented for centuries and provide natural relief for many common ailments that don’t need over-the-counter pharmaceutical solutions.
From restless nights to nausea and headaches, peppermint tea’s muscle-relaxing properties can alleviate stress from the body, and its antibacterial properties can ease bad breath and digestive issues.
Even if the health issues mentioned are of no concern, sipping a warm cup at the end of the day can promote a feeling of overall peace and comfort, and help you unwind from a long, stressful day.
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