Mint offers more than the great smell and a refreshing taste. Do you know that different species of mint, used in tea, can help you stay healthy? Read and learn more about the benefits of mint tea (or find out why rose tea is good for you).
All About Mint
First of all, mint tea is a bright, refreshing herb that has been historically used to help people stay well and enhance their immune health.
Let’s talk about the mint family. There are so many benefits to growing and cooking with mint. That’s why so many dishes, teas, and ointments incorporate mint, to begin with. And did you know the following plants are all members of the same family as mint?
And many of the herbs used in traditional medicinal teas contain members of the mint family. Of course, there are also plenty of essential oils, extracts, and perfumes that use mint, too. But can mint real help heal your ailments?
Where Can You Find Mint Tea?
Peppermint tea originated in Europe. The menthol taste of mint tea has secured mint’s position at the top of the favorite teas list.
Furthermore, peppermint tea is so easy to find. Of course, you can grow it yourself in the shadiest corners of your home garden. Peppermint also does well when its potted indoors. Or you can find it in almost every market — no matter where you go.
To make your own dried mint tea, collect mint sprigs from your garden. Hang them upside down. Once the leaves are dry, you can store them in a Tupperware or mason jar until you’re ready to brew your tea.
What Does Peppermint Tea Taste Like?
Peppermint tea tastes cool, refreshing and clean. Some types of mint tea even have notes of vanilla. Mint can also leave a little tingle on your tongue (and your skin). It’s great to freshen your breath and invigorate your palate.
The Health Benefits of Mint Tea
Mint tea is renowned for its beneficial health properties. In vitro studies have shown peppermint to have antimicrobial effects. That means peppermint can help kill harmful microorganisms or slow their growth. Peppermint is also known for its antiviral activities. Other health benefits of mint may also include antioxidant, antispasmodic, and anti-allergenic potential.1
Not only that, but in some cases, peppermint may have a calming effect on the heart rate and systolic blood pressure, too.2 And other types of mint, like Mentha piperita, have been shown to support healthy cholesterol levels.3
If you’re looking for a natural way to keep your body feeling its best, perhaps it’s time to learn more about mint tea.
The Antibacterial Properties of Fresh & Dried Peppermint Leaves
A common cold feels terrible. It’s like there’s nothing to do but wait for it to go away. But there are ways to help your body fight a common cold while soothing some of your symptoms. A hot mug of peppermint tea could potentially improve both fronts.
Mint tea can cool and relax your sore throat muscles. This could help soothe that sore throat tickle, or even calm your cough.
The steam can help ease skin soreness in and around your nose, too. That’s because menthol has calming potential. You see, menthol stimulates cold receptors in your nasal mucosa to create airflow.4
Peppermint tea’s antibacterial properties could potentially help stop harmful bacteria. The nutrients in mint tea may even help strengthen your immune system. That means your body is better supported to itself against ailments. Thanks to the vitamin B and antioxidants in mint, your body might be able to fight off “bugs” more easily.5
What are the Effects of Peppermint on Your Stomach?
Mint tea devotees have referred to dried peppermint leaves as “stomach healers.” Why? Well, certain compounds in mint might soothe gastrointestinal pain and help with digestion. Whether it’s a stomach ache or functional dyspepsia (aka indigestion)… menthol may help relax your stomach muscles to ease discomfort.
The menthol in peppermint boosts the release of gastric fluids that can process the food you eat. This could help keep digestion regular, so problem foods move through you smoothly.
Can Mint Helps Calm Nausea and Bloating?
When it comes to nausea, look to menthol. The menthol in peppermint tea leaves supports bile production in your stomach. That’s a good thing, because bile can help you digest food. Breaking down food better can help diminish ailments like constipation, diarrhea, and nausea.
If you deal with an irritable tummy and bloating, use mint to help relax and soothe your digestive muscles.7 Peppermint tea helps gas travel through your body, easing bowel hypersensitivity. That means it helps relieve the urgency for bowel movements, bloating, nausea, and abdominal pain.8,9
What Makes Mint Able to Fight Bad Breath?
How do you keep your breath fresh? Do you use mints, mouthwash, and toothpaste as breath fresheners? You’re on the right track, as most of those breath fresheners contain mint or are mint-flavored. Luckily, the aroma of mint tea, caused by menthyl acetate, can sometimes mask your bad breath.
The antibacterial activity of mint also helps get rid of germs and bacteria.
In addition to regular dental care, simply sip peppermint tea, prepare a mug as soon as you wake, or after a garlicky or odorous meal.
Does Mint Tea Contain Caffeine and Can It Reduce Stress?
While it is not entirely clear whether peppermint tea can reduce stress, it won’t add to your stress. That’s because, unlike green or black tea and coffee, there is no caffeine in mint tea.
Again, there are some who say that mint has sedative qualities. But if you’re looking to improve your health, peppermint tea can help with cutting down on caffeine.
Unlike green tea, mint tea is decaffeinated. You can have as much as you like without stressing that you might not be able to sleep. Also, you’ll skip the jitters you get from drinking too much coffee or green tea. So, in a way, you will be better at managing your stress.
Ready to Steep Your Tea? It’s Simple!
Making mint tea is easier than you might think. A tea infuser is necessary if you’re using loose tea or dried tea from your garden. Boil your water, but quickly turn off your burner and pour the boiling water into your mug. Let it sit.
Depending on your personal preference, you should steep your tea from 3 to 7 minutes. If you like dark tea, leave the tea bag in your mug. With fresh leaves, muddle your tea to release the flavor and maybe let the tea steep longer. Then… enjoy.
Are There Negative Effects of Mint Tea?
Now, as much good as mint tea can do, there have also been a few cases of minor side effects. For instance, some have reported:
- Allergic reactions
- Perianal burning
- Blurred vision
These potential side effects are minor and rare. But if you experience discomfort, stop consumption and speak with your healthcare professional.
A Mint Tea Party for Your Health
It’s clear that drinking mint tea can do a lot to benefit your health… and the lovely and refreshing taste can’t be beaten.
Making tea with spearmint leaves and peppermint leaves can be fun. The next time you have guests over, delight them with hot or iced tea. And let them know they’re drinking their way to better overall wellness.