Peppermint is a hybrid herb that belongs to the mint family and is derived from a cross-combination of spearmint and watermint. It is an incredibly aromatic and beneficial herb that is native to Asia and Europe. Peppermint is a preferred flavoring ingredient in candies, herbal teas, breath mints, and several other foods.
The leaves of peppermint are rich in a wide range of essential oils such as limonene, menthone, and menthol. Menthol is one of the most exciting and influential ingredients in peppermint and provides peppermint its recognizably minty scent and cooling properties.
The mint family, also known as mentha family denotes a group of about 15 – 20 plant species, including spearmint and peppermint. Mint has an incredibly higher antioxidant capacity as compared to any other food. Understanding the use of fresh spices and herbs such as mint in cuisines can provide several health benefits.
Mint Tea: An Overview
In general, mint tea is prepared from peppermint leaves (scientifically Mentha x Piperita) plant which is a blend or a hybrid of water mint and spearmint plant. The perennial peppermint plants have bright green, small leaves and have a tremendous capacity to grow quickly in a wide range of low or medium lit spaces such as a largely-enclosed apartment.
As a result, it is one of the most preferred plants to be grown for beverages and food.
Mint tea is a refreshing, soothing, and delicious way to boost your health, and it has an excellent ability to treat headaches, stomach problems, and inflamed sinus. Also, it aids in improving digestion along with reducing inflammation and pain. It also cures bad breath, relaxes the body and mind, promotes weight loss, and strengthens the immune system.
Nutritional Profile of Mint Tea
Typically, two tablespoons of peppermint contain 2 calories, 0.48 grams carbohydrates, 0.12 grams of protein, 0.30 grams of fiber, and 0.03 grams of fat. Also, mint provides small amounts of phosphorus, vitamin C, iron, vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
10 Effective Health Benefits of Mint Tea
While mint tea offers a wide range of benefits for your skin, overall health, and general wellness, the following ten stands out:
1. Relieves Headaches
As per the Handbook of Herbs and Spices, peppermint tea aids in relieving migraines, headaches, and several other symptoms related to fatigue and stress. Mint elevates your brain’s constricted blood vessels to reduce the severity of your headache, decrease the frequency of migraine, and promote relaxation.
2. Relieves Mental Stress
As per a study published in the Canadian Pharmaceutical Journal (CPJ), peppermint exhibits excellent antispasmodic properties.
The antispasmodic and natural sedative properties of menthol aids in relieving mental stress. Also, caffeine-free mint tea has the potentials to regulate your blood pressure as well as body temperature, thence helping you relax and unwind and reduce your stress levels.
3. Helps Treat Sinus
Peppermint is a potent antispasmodic and thus, helps in reducing the irritating sensations that trigger frequent coughing. As per a study carried out by researchers at the Tufts University, peppermint may aid in soothing the respiratory tract and relieve the symptoms of sinus. It helps to relax the muscles of the chest and throat; it may alleviate the symptoms of flu and cold.
4. Helps Lose Weight
Peppermint tea helps in losing weight. Peppermint is one of the most beneficial herbs for the digestive system and is used extensively for preparing a wide range of weight-loss formulations. Several studies have suggested that the scent of mint tea can help control the appetite and therefore, helps reduce overeating – thence supporting your weight-loss plans.
5. Promotes Sleep
Peppermint is an excellent herb that helps improve the quality of sleep and therefore, treats insomnia and sleeplessness. Peppermint contains zero caffeine, so individuals suffering from sensitive sleep patterns can consume it before going to bed. It also works as a potent muscle relaxant.
6. Treats Upset Stomach
As per the Handbook of Herbs and Spices, peppermint tea also benefits in treating an array of the stomach as well as digestive ailments(1), including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, and indigestion.
Also, peppermint tea is excellent for reducing the symptoms of stomach inflammation such as indigestion, bloating, and cramps. Mint tea aids in stimulating bile flow, which increases the efficiency and rate of digestion to promote regular and healthy bowel movements.
7. Relieves Menstrual Cramps
Several studies indicate that daily consumption of peppermint tea helps improves the symptoms of muscle and menstrual cramps. Due to its anti-spasmodic effects, peppermint tea aids in relaxing constricted muscles and tissues in the uterus for alleviating menstrual cramps in women experiencing premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or dysmenorrhea.
8. Reduces Cholesterol Levels
Peppermint is known to treat dyslipidemia, diabetes, or high cholesterol levels. Also, the unique combination of ingredients in mint tea helps lower ‘bad LDL’ cholesterol levels.
9. Combats Bad Breath
As per a 2014 research, the potent antibacterial properties and menthol flavor of organic mint leaves can help improve your breath. Also, the antibacterial elements in mint tea destroy the germs that tend to cause halitosis, while the menthol in the peppermint tea gives you fresh breath!
10. Treats Fever
As per the Handbook of Herbs and Spices, peppermint tea is extremely beneficial in treating fever. Peppermint tea consists of menthol which tends to cool down and soothe your body internally while drinking hot mint tea can lead to external sweating. As a result, mint tea essentially helps in breaking down your fever and relieve the associated discomfort and inflammation.
How To Make Mint Tea?
Peppermint tea quickly can be quickly prepared at home(2). You need a few dried or fresh peppermint leaves and water. Serves 3.
- Boil 2 to 3 cups of water in a pan.
- Remove the water from the heat and add 8 to 10 peppermint leaves to it. Steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Boil the mixture again.
- You can even add some honey or sugar to the tea.
- Strain the tea in different cups and serve!
Mint Tea – Side effects and Precautions
Apart from the benefits of peppermint tea, It can also have a few side effects on some individuals and therefore, you must consider the following points before including mint tea to your daily diet:
- Avoid using mint to treat digestive problems in case your symptoms are associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) since it can worsen your symptoms.
- Mint oil when consumed in large quantity, can prove toxic. In general, pure menthol is moderately poisonous and must, therefore, never be consumed internally.
- Avoid applying peppermint oil topically on children or infants (especially face) since it may lead to spasms and hamper breathing.
- Use mint carefully if you’re suffering from gallstones.
- It is recommended that you consult a registered medical practitioner before using peppermint.
Mint tea is a soothing herbal tea that is widely appreciated around the world by the proponents of herbal and alternative medicines for its soothing taste, fresh aroma, and a wide range of health benefits.
Peppermint tea helps in treating headaches, stomach problems, and inflamed sinus. Also, it helps in improving digestion along with reducing inflammation and pain associated with fever or digestive disorders. It also helps in relaxing the mind and body, curing bad breath, supporting weight loss, and boosting the immune system.
As with any herbal preparation, mint tea can lead to a few complications in some people and therefore, it is recommended that you consult a registered medical practitioner before including mint tea to your diet daily. In particular, nursing or pregnant women must consume mint tea carefully.