Peppermint Tea: benefits and side effects

Peppermint tea is one of the oldest drinks known to humankind. Peppermint tea leaves have been found inside ancient Egyptian pyramids from 3,000 years ago. It was also drunk by the Romans, the Greeks, the Persians, and native Australian aboriginal tribes used mint leaves and bark in herbal medicines.

Peppermint is a hybrid plant, a cross between watermint and spearmint.  Also known by its Latin name, Mentha × piperita, peppermint tea has a delicious, fresh taste as well as a whole host of health benefits, including reducing headaches, aiding digestion and weight loss, promoting sleep, fighting bacterial infections, increased energy and concentration, and helping beat bloating. The tea does all this while tasting great and giving you super fresh breath.

Relieves symptoms of indigestion and IBS

Every year over 50% of Australians experience problems with their digestive system. Some people turn to prescribed medications to help beat uncomfortable cramps, bloating, gas, constipation, and water retention. However, over 14 studies have proven that peppermint tea has a relaxation effect on the muscle in your gut, meaning it has been proven to help you digest food without experiencing the negative symptoms.

According to studies, the muscle relaxing is so effective it can also be used to relieve symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It’s thought that the menthol in the mint encourages the fluids in your gut to flow more, meaning your food slips down more easily and is digested quicker.

 

 Summary

Studies have shown that ingesting peppermint can help relieves symptoms of indigestion including gas, cramps, constipation and bloating.

 

 Aids weight loss

Another benefit of increased fluids in your gut is weight loss. If your body is effective at breaking down food and processing the nutrients while breaking down the fats, your body will convert food into energy rather than storing it as fat on your body. Peppermint can also help you lose weight because it has appetite-suppressant qualities meaning you just don’t want to eat when you’ve had peppermint. This is why people choose to chew gum when trying to lose weight. However, the mint flavouring in gum is minimal so, drinking tea or taking capsules or oil is more effective for long-term weight loss.

 

Summary

Peppermint can help aid weight loss by encouraging a healthy gut so food is used as energy, not stored as fat.

 

 Fights fatigue and improves concentration

Since your body is more effective at digesting food, you will experience fewer symptoms such as bloating, gas, and cramps. Additionally, drinking peppermint tea should make you feel less lethargic and more energetic. Your body is able to convert your food into energy rather than storing it as fat reserves.

The peppermint also works by blocking certain neurotransmitters in your brain, which makes you feel sleepy. Studies have shown the effect of the peppermint is to make people feel more alert and less likely to take a nap in the middle of the day. Considering nearly 50% of Australians nap several times a week, you may find replacing your coffee with peppermint tea is a more effective way to stay awake.

As well as helping you stay awake, some studies also show that the effect peppermint has on your brain can help you concentrate better and remain more productive. Similar studies also show that mint can be used to help recall and long-term memory. The studies found that drinking mint tea, using mint oil orally and as an aroma, helped people perform better in tests as well as improving long-term memory recall.

This means that regular drinking of peppermint tea could help improve your memory, help you pass a test, and ensure you are focussed. The effect of mint was so powerful that participants in the studies didn’t even need to ingest the mint; smelling it was enough.

You may think that with improved energy levels and increased concentration that peppermint tea must be high in natural caffeine or not suitable to drink before bedtime, but you’d be wrong.

Peppermint tea is caffeine-free, and the muscle-relaxing qualities have also been proven to help people relax before bedtime. The relaxing properties in the tea mean you are likely to fall asleep more quickly. Digestive issues often keep people awake at night as they experience pain, and while their bodies try to process food, so peppermint tea is the perfect after-dinner drink.

 

Summary

Although the plant is caffeine free, peppermint can help boost energy levels and improve concentration. The menthol also helps memory and recall.

 

 Relieves menstrual cramps

The muscle-relaxing qualities of the tea can also help relieve the pain of menstrual cramps. One study found that drinking peppermint tea was as effective in relieving menstrual cramps as over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory drugs. As well as preventing contractions in the muscles, peppermint effectively shortened cramps.

 

Summary

The muscle relaxing effect of mint helps shorten and minimise menstrual cramps.

 

Helps relieve migraines and tension headaches

Along the same lines as this, other studies showed that peppermint was an effective cure for headaches and migraines. The muscle-relaxant effect of the tea has a similar effect in relieving headaches caused by tension or stress. As well as noticeably reducing the pain of a stress headache, the cooling sensation or the menthol acts as a block for pain. It’s also thought that menthol helps increase blood flow in your brain, which helps release any stress headaches and migraines.

Peppermint itself has very powerful anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral properties, which is why drinking peppermint tea is so good for many medical issues. The menthol in mint leaves gives the body a cooling sensation that alleviates the pain from headaches and clears blocked sinuses and the anti-bacterial properties help fight basic illnesses such as a cold or seasonal allergies.

 

Summary

Menthol helps clear blocked sinuses and relive symptoms or a cold or allergies. Mint can also reduce the pain of a migraine.

 

Fights bacterial infections and improves gut health

Since peppermint has such strong anti-bacterial properties, drinking peppermint tea every day can help fight bacterial infections in your gut. Studies have shown that the oils in peppermint leaves are effective are killing bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli, and listeria. Additional studies have shown peppermint may also help treat basic staphylococcus infections.

A bonus of the antibacterial and antiviral properties of peppermint is that it doesn’t just kill the bad bacteria in your gut, it also kills the harmful bacteria in your mouth. This means you’ll always have fresh breath and healthy teeth and gums!

 

 

Summary

Menthol has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties so it helps promote a healthy digestive system and fights infections.

 

 

Side Effects

Overall, peppermint tea is excellent for your health. Including peppermint in your diet is very unlikely to give you any nasty side effects or problems.

However, there are a few things you should be aware of if you plan on drinking lots of peppermint tea.

Firstly, peppermint tea is very good at relaxing your stomach muscles and balancing your gut; while this makes it great for beating constipation, too much peppermint tea can result in diarrhoea. Peppermint tea isn’t really a laxative, but too much of it can make your body a little too good at digesting your food, meaning you won’t take all the nutrients you need before you pass the food through your bowel.

For some people, too much herbal tea can also result in vomiting as your stomach can’t deal with a massive influx of the menthol. In these cases, the vomiting is normally accompanied by stomach cramps as your body tries to get rid of the excess. This, in turn, can result in minor heartburn because the menthol is very strong.

However, these side effects and problems are very rare, and generally, the only issue people have with peppermint tea is an existing allergy to menthol.

An allergic reaction to any mint can occur from drinking mint tea, chewing mint gum, or eating naturally-flavoured mint food. While allergies to peppermint tend to be mild, for a few people, they are serious and require medical attention.

If you know you have an allergy, you should not try drinking mint tea.

 

Frequently asked questions about peppermint tea

 

1)     How much peppermint tea can I drink in a day?

It’s recommended that you only drink around 2-3 cups of peppermint tea per day. Any more than this and you risk upsetting your stomach by overloading it. If you have more than 3 cups every once in a while, it's not bad, but we don't recommend that you do it too often.

2)     Can I drink the tea while pregnant?

Absolutely. In fact, peppermint tea is a great way to combat the nausea that most women experience in the first trimester. If you are experiencing any other stomach aches, drinking peppermint tea is a baby-friendly way to beat any uncomfortable pains or cramps as well as helping you sleep at night. Stick to only having a few cups a day, though.

3)     Will it help my bloating?

Yes, peppermint tea is excellent to help beat bloating. The tea leaves can soothe cramps and alleviate pain as well as helping your gut digest the food. This gets rid of the symptoms and the cause of bloating.

4)     Does mint help concentration?

Yes! Studies have shown that not only does a strong taste like menthol help your recollection, but mint is specifically good at helping you fight fatigue and concentrate.

5)     Can peppermint tea help me lose weight?

Peppermint tea is excellent for helping you lose weight. Drinking minty tea helps your body digest food more efficiently, meaning you won't store the food as fat but will use it as energy. Increased energy levels mean you can fit in an extra workout, and the improved digestion means you take all the nutrients you need and pass the rest as waste.

6)     Does peppermint tea taste like mint mouthwash?

No! But you’d be surprised how many people think that peppermint tea tastes like mint mouthwash. In fact, peppermint tea has a much rounder, softer flavour than mouthwash, which is very sharp. Mouthwash has additional chemicals added to maximise on the antibacterial properties of mint. The added flavourings are also much stronger than natural mint.

7)     Will the tea help me destress?

Yes, peppermint tea is excellent for restressing. The menthol helps block pain receptors in your brain, and the compounds in the tea help relax your muscles. This means your body will feel more relaxed. Peppermint tea is so effective, it can also release tension headaches.

8)     Is the tea dehydrating?

Not at all. In fact, herbal teas help keep you hydrated. However, if you drink too much, it could result in Diarrhoea or vomiting, which may leave you dehydrated.

9)     When is the best time to drink peppermint tea?

Because peppermint tea is so good at relieving symptoms of indigestion and aiding the digestion process, it’s perfect for drinking after a meal. The energy-boosting properties make it ideal for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, and the muscle-relaxant qualities make it perfect for a post-dinner drink.

Ingesting peppermint

Peppermint is so popular it comes in many forms. You can find everything from peppermint cakes, and sweets to tablets, extracts, tinctures, capsules, through food flavourings, toothpaste, room sprays, and chewing gum.

However, many of these use synthetic or processed versions of peppermint, which give the popular taste but do not have the same nutritional benefits. If you want to ensure you are getting the health benefits of the peppermint plant, we suggest you try one of the following ways to ingest peppermint:

Peppermint oil

The oil of the plant is a popular way of ingesting mint. Unlike other herbs, which often have a bitter taste, peppermint oil has the sharp, clear taste of the mint. This makes it a great oil to add to foods and drinks. However, the strong taste can be overpowering, so not much oil is needed.

You should be careful when buying oil as some oils contain synthetic ingredients that are designed for use outside the body. Essential oils are great for people looking to relieve headaches as they can be rubbed onto the temples for maximum effect. Some oils are meant to be diffused in the wait to help clear sinuses. These extracts should not be eaten or drunk.

Peppermint tablets

For people who don’t like the liquid oil or want a quick, easy, tasteless way to ingest peppermint, tablets are best. Tablets are specifically created to be easy to take. While these tablets contain all the goodness of the leaves, they also contain extras such as bulking agents. Because they have added ingredients, you may find some ingredients interfere with the benefits of the peppermint. In addition, tablets are also more expensive than buying tea leaves.

You can also get peppermint capsules, which is just the oil encapsulated. This gives you all the benefits of the oil in a convenient capsule form.

Peppermint tea

Drinking tea is by far the most popular way to consume peppermint. This is made by brewing the dried leaves of the peppermint plant in hot water. The dried leaves still contain all the goodness of the plant because they haven’t been processed. Peppermint tea has a robust, earthy flavour mixed in with the sharp menthol taste. This gives the tea the gentleness, which makes it so popular without being over powering. Our peppermint leaves blend has been created with organic peppermint leaves so you can be sure of the best taste and the best quality.

Our favourite way to drink peppermint tea is to add a dash of freshly-squeezed lemon and a teaspoon of honey. The leaves only need to be brewed for 2 minutes for the best, freshest flavour. If you’re want to enjoy your tea on ice throughout the hot Australian summer, try adding a splash of apple juice and a teaspoon of honey to the cooled tea. Serve on ice for a refreshing summer pick-me-up.

Our 250g bag contains over 150 servings of peppermint tea, making it one of the most cost-effective ways to enjoy the benefits of peppermint. 

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Studies have shown that peppermint leaves can help reduce bloating, fight indigestion, help you lose weight and reduce the pain from headaches.

The natural compounds in the tea help your muscles to relax, which can help ease digestion.

In addition, mint tea can help fight internal infections and promotes your gut health. The menthol taste can also help improve your memory, concentration and energy levels.

Science has also proven that unlike other herbal teas, peppermint tea is safe for everyone to drink. Just two cups a day was found to be sufficient to make a significant difference to people’s health.

Drinking just two cups of our peppermint tea leaves a day could help you change your life.

Did drinking peppermint tea help you lose weight? Or beat bloating?

If you’ve already noticed a difference from taking peppermint tea, we’d love to hear from you.

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