It's more than just a cool drink. Peppermint tea may have some significant health benefits that will have you reaching for the kettle.
What exactly is peppermint tea?
Peppermint tea is a popular beverage made by steeping the leaves of the peppermint plant (Mentha x piperita) in hot water.
The mint plant has been used in food and medicine for centuries, but the peppermint plant is relatively new. It was first cultivated as a hybrid of spearmint and watermint in 18th century England.
Peppermint tea is calorie and caffeine-free, and it is prized around the world for its properties as an aperitif, digestive aid, and sharp, cooling taste.
Peppermint tea varieties
Peppermint tea bags are widely available in the UK, ranging from the bargain basement to the gourmet. Tea bags are a low-cost way to satisfy your peppermint craving. Other flavours include peppermint green tea, peppermint and liquorice tea, and organic peppermint tea.
- A loose leaf
Loose leaf peppermint tea is a daily treat. The ritual of pouring hot water over dried peppermint tea leaves and leaving it to brew for 3 -5 minutes provides a moment of respite in the midst of a hectic day. Loose leaf mint tea can also be used to make iced mint tea, which is herbal tea that has been infused and chilled in the refrigerator.
The most authentic of all, making your own peppermint tea is as simple as steeping fresh peppermint leaves in boiling water. The tea could then be strained into another glass and the leaves discarded or pushed to the bottom with a teaspoon to make a stronger drink.
Before beginning the process, rinse fresh mint tea leaves to remove any soil or bacteria.
What is the purpose of peppermint tea?
Peppermint tea has several health benefits in addition to being a delicious and refreshing beverage.
1. Relieves digestive discomfort
The most well-known medicinal use of peppermint tea is for stomach upsets.
Peppermint oil, which peppermint leaves contain, has been shown in studies to help prevent spasms in the muscles that line the gut.
Herbal remedies, including peppermint oil, have been shown in studies to be effective in the treatment of gastric disorders.
2. Improved breath
Toothpaste and breath fresheners have mint flavours for a reason.
Peppermint is a powerful breath-freshener – and studies have shown rinsing the mouth with peppermint is very effective at removing traces of halitosis (bad breath) (bad breath).
This is due to the fact that peppermint is antibacterial and kills the germs that cause bad breath.
Although peppermint tea does not have the same potency as peppermint oil, you can still enjoy the mouth-freshening effect of mint in every cup.
3. It may assist you in losing weight
Peppermint tea is a calorie-free, hydrating beverage that is always a good choice for weight loss.
But did you know that just the smell of peppermint can temporarily suppress your appetite? Peppermint's role in appetite control is more than just an old wives' tale; it has been scientifically proven.
According to a 2007 study, people who inhaled peppermint several times a day consumed fewer calories and reported less overall hunger.
If you're thinking about having a snack before dinner, see if a large mug of peppermint tea can keep you going.
4. Prevent nausea
A cup of peppermint tea may also provide some nausea relief.
According to one study, the scent of peppermint helped reduce post-operative nausea in women who had a C-section.
Another study discovered a link between drinking water laced with drops of peppermint extract and a reduction in nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients.
5. Relieving cold symptoms
Menthol, the active ingredient in peppermint, acts as a decongestant, opening up your airways and loosening mucus. If you have sinus pain and a stuffy nose, this is great news.
Furthermore, simply sipping a warm, steamy drink when you're feeling congested can help loosen the mucus and provide relief.
6. It may help protect you against disease
Flavonoids, vitamins, and minerals found in peppermint leaves help to support the immune system.
Peppermint is an antioxidant, which means it can help the body rid itself of harmful free radicals that can cause inflammation and lead to a variety of diseases.
The majority of studies have used pure peppermint oil, but the leaves of the peppermint plant do contain the oil, so it's worth drinking up.
7. It may aid in mental clarity
Peppermint is a revitalising and energising flavour. So much so that its scent is thought to increase alertness and concentration, for example, during a test.
Inhaling the scent of peppermint has even been shown to improve memory and recall, so brewing some peppermint tea before your next important Zoom meeting might be a good idea.
8. It is antibacterial
Peppermint tea may aid in the removal of harmful bacteria and food-borne pathogens from your body.
More research is needed, but peppermint appeared to kill E.coli and salmonella that were growing in fruit juice in one study.
When is the best time to drink peppermint tea?
This is entirely up to you. Some people drink it with meals because it cuts through the richness of the food and may aid digestion.
It's also perfectly safe to drink before going to bed. It's caffeine-free and may help you relax for a restful night's sleep.
How many cups of peppermint tea should you consume per day?
Again, the amount of water you can consume in a day is entirely up to you. There is no set limit but be aware that there are some side effects to consider if you consume a lot of peppermint tea.
What are the negative effects of peppermint tea?
"Peppermint tea isn't for everyone," says nutritionist Alexander Thompson. Like all herbal products, does have specific cautions.
For example, people who suffer from acid reflux may find that peppermint aggravates their symptoms. To be safe, anyone with any health conditions or taking any medication should consult with their doctor before drinking peppermint tea."