What Are the Health Benefits of Mint Tea?
With a bright, refreshing taste, mint tea is delicious, but also can provide many health benefits. Mint tea can be one of the more comforting teas to drink. It’s great on a crisp autumn morning or cold winter night. However, with its fresh menthol flavor, it’s a great tea all year long, not to mention the variety of other health benefits it offers.
Mint tea is an umbrella term for tea made from peppermint, spearmint, or orange mint leaves. However, peppermint tea is the most common form. It can be prepared in a variety of ways and flavors. Whether you prefer tea bags, loose leaf tea, or just fresh mint, this tea can provide support for various maladies.
Peppermint tea leaves specifically contain many essential oils such as menthol, menthone, and limonene. The menthol in peppermint tea is the most identifiable property. It’s what gives the tea its minty scent and cooling properties.
Peppermint oil has been shown to fight bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli, and listeria. Likewise, it is thought that mint tea might aid in fighting this same bacteria. Studies show that peppermint tea can fight mouth bacteria with its antibacterial properties.
Clears Clogged Sinuses
Peppermint tea is well known for that fresh burst of menthol that feels great when you have a cold or clogged sinuses. That’s because the menthol in peppermint tea actually increases the perception of airflow. Whether it actually helps the airflow or not, the menthol and steam from peppermint tea will make it feel as if you’re breathing more easily. The vapors from the mint tea can actually temporarily aid in sinus congestion. Additionally, the antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties of mint tea can fight clogged sinuses, allergies, or the common
cold. Not to mention the incredibly effective soothing properties for your sore throat.
Causes Fresh Breath
Peppermint is commonly used in toothpaste, mouthwash, breath mints, and chewing gum and there’s a reason for this. Not only because peppermint smells good, but also because the antibacterial properties of peppermint tea can kill the germs that cause dental plaque, giving you fresh breath. Drinking peppermint tea regularly can help keep your breath fresh or improve bad breath.
Inflammation in the body can cause your body to attack healthy tissue and can increase your risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Mint tea has anti-inflammatory properties and can improve your chances of not developing these diseases. Additionally, inflammation can cause pain, so regularly drinking mint tea can help stave off this pain.
Alleviates Menstrual Cramping
Similarly, some studies have shown that peppermint tea can act as a muscle relaxant. In this way, drinking peppermint tea can relieve pain from menstrual cramps or any other cramps you might experience. In one study, peppermint extract capsules were shown to alleviate menstrual cramps as effectively as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. The peppermint reduced the intensity and duration of the pain. So the next time you’re experiencing cramps, try drinking peppermint tea before resorting to Advil or ibuprofen. If the tea helps, then it’s a great way to
relieve cramps while also enjoying the many other health benefits of peppermint tea.
Relieves Pain From Tension Headaches and Migraines
Because peppermint tea is a muscle relaxant, it can also help relieve pain from tension headaches and migraines. The menthol in peppermint oil (also found in peppermint tea) can increase blood flow and ease pain. There’s even more evidence supporting the use of peppermint oil directly to your forehead or temple. So if you suffer from regular headaches, try drinking peppermint tea as well as applying peppermint oil topically. This can have the same healing effects as 1,000 mg of acetaminophen.
Relaxes Your Digestive System
Some studies show that peppermint can relax your digestive system and help relieve pain. Drinking peppermint tea may relieve digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, and indigestion. Multiple studies have shown that peppermint oil can relieve the symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Likewise, peppermint oil capsules have been shown to relieve the frequency, severity, and length of abdominal pain. Since there’s peppermint oil in peppermint tea, many believe peppermint tea can have similar effects.
Positive Effects on Your Energy Levels
While peppermint tea is naturally caffeine-free, research shows that natural compounds found in peppermint may have positive effects on your energy levels. Drinking peppermint tea can reduce daytime fatigue and sleepiness. So while it may not keep you up late at night, it’s best to drink peppermint tea during the day and see how it affects your energy levels.
Calming Effect Before Bed
If drinking peppermint tea merely makes you more alert during the day, you might want to try drinking a cup of peppermint tea before bed. Peppermint tea is known for its calming effects and its ability to relax your muscles. Since it is naturally caffeine-free, drinking peppermint tea before bed can help you wind down before bed. It’s best to try this if you don’t need to wake up early the next day since there is mixed research on how peppermint can affect your sleep.
Peppermint oil, found in peppermint tea, has shown it can help improve your concentration and focus. Peppermint tea is a great option before a big test or presentation as it can benefit your memory and make you more alert.
There isn’t much support either way on whether mint tea can aid in weight loss. However, it’s a great alternative to other high-calorie, sugary beverages. Mint tea is naturally calorie-free and tastes sweet without actually containing sugar. There is some evidence that peppermint tea can reduce your appetite, but mostly it serves as a healthy alternative. One that provides overall support for a healthier system. You may find you lose weight naturally from its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and digestive properties.
Integrating Peppermint Tea Into Your Diet
Integrating peppermint tea into your diet is easy and delicious. Drink a cup of mint tea at the start of your day, or as a nightcap to wind down before bed. Drink several cups of peppermint tea each day, or just one cup. Combine it with your other tea preferences. Perhaps a caffeinated tea in the morning and mint tea in the evening. Drink peppermint tea with meals to aid digestion or drink it only as needed when you get headaches or your sinuses are clogged.
If you have a front porch or a deck, take a cup of mint tea outside when it’s nice out and read a book or get some journaling done. Allow the fresh menthol to clear your sinuses and throat as well as your mind. Becoming a regular tea drinker is not only an opportunity to support your physiological health, but also your emotional and mental health. Developing a morning routine, particularly out in the fresh air, can set you up for success for the rest of your day. Clear your mind and take some deep breaths. Peppermint tea is especially helpful for this as you will experience that crisp, refreshing menthol feeling as you breathe deeply.
There are several ways to make tea, depending on your preference and lifestyle, as well as your budget. The most user-friendly way is buying tea bags from your local grocery store. Boil some water and steep the tea bags for 3-5 minutes. Add some honey for some added sweetness and for its anti-inflammatory and healing properties, but peppermint tea is just as delicious on its own and has its own naturally sweet taste.
For the more ambitious, you can buy a tea infuser or strainer and brew a cup of mint tea using loose leaf tea. This process usually results in a stronger taste and even more health benefits. This can mean extra costs upfront, but loose leaf tea itself is also usually more affordable.
Another quick and easy way to make mint tea is just to use mint leaves. If you have a mint plant or buy mint for a recipe or specifically to make mint tea, you can merely place a handful of mint leaves into a cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for about 5 minutes and strain before drinking. This is an affordable and accessible way to integrate mint tea into your daily routine.
Choose whichever technique you choose, it should fit your budget and lifestyle. The best option is always the one that you’re most likely to stick to. If time and ease are your biggest concerns, then the usual tea bags may be your best option. But if you have a little more time, maybe try loose leaf or mint leaves. These techniques are also a great way to build a morning routine by making an event out of it. But if you think you’re more likely to stick to a daily tea drinking habit if it takes less time, then that’s the best option for you.
In any case, developing a daily routine of drinking mint tea is an excellent way to support your overall health and wellness.