If you’re part of the tea-drinking population, you’re probably familiar with peppermint tea, and maybe you’ve even tried it. Peppermint tea may be one of the most well-known and most widely used teas in the world, and it’s not just because of its refreshing taste. Peppermint tea is loaded with various antioxidants and minerals, offering people a surplus of health benefits. Learn more about this tea, its history and benefits, and techniques on how you can brew your own cup.
What Is Peppermint Tea?
You’ve probably seen peppermint on the packages of toothpastes and gum, but peppermint has actually been around for far longer than you might think, with the Romans using it as a digestive aid. Dried peppermint leaves were even found inside the pyramids, meaning Egyptians have put it to good use as well.1
Today, peppermint products are widely available in the market, with peppermint essential oils and peppermint tea being used to promote health and wellness. Peppermint tea is an infusion of the peppermint plant’s leaves (Mentha piperita), the hybrid of watermint and spearmint.2 This herb is often sold as loose leaf tea or in teabags, either of which can be used to brew your daily mug or two of peppermint tea.
Get These Peppermint Tea’s Health Benefits Now
Peppermint may be famous for its ability to put a stop to bad breath, but the benefits it offers don’t just end there. Drinking peppermint tea may help regulate numerous body processes due to the surplus of nutrients it contains. Here are some of the health benefits you may get once you add drinking peppermint tea to your daily routine:3
• Helps alleviate headaches. Sipping on peppermint tea will open up constricted blood vessels in the brain, which is often the cause of migraines and headaches. The smell of peppermint may also help ease the pain.
• Helps treat sinus problems. Peppermint tea relieves the pain and pressure in the sinuses caused by congestion. Inhaling the fumes from a hot mug of peppermint tea can break up the phlegm in your throat and thin the mucus in the sinus passageways.
• Aids in digestion. Peppermint may help relieve symptoms of heartburn, indigestion and gas. The antispasmodic properties of peppermint may help relieve stomach cramps and spasms in the gastrointestinal tract.
• Reduces menstrual cramps. Menstrual cramps happen when the uterus contracts to release the lining. Peppermint may be beneficial for women who suffer from this due to its antispasmodic property, which eases the muscles in the uterus.
• Helps fight against bacterial infections. Peppermint contains antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiseptic components that may help prevent infections. In some cases, peppermint tea may be applied topically for this function.
Nutrition Facts of Peppermint
The peppermint herb contains vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and vitamins A and C. Some of these may be carried over to the tea when brewed, but only in trace amounts.4 A good bulk of peppermint tea’s health benefits are also attributed to its high content of menthol, menthone and menthyl acetate.5
Does Peppermint Tea Have Caffeine in It?
The good news for people who are caffeine-sensitive is that peppermint tea does not contain any caffeine. If you usually have issues with falling asleep or staying asleep, drinking peppermint tea would be a good idea because it will not cause you any problems.6 Some people even drink peppermint tea before sleeping to help themselves relax.7
Here’s How You Can Brew Your Own Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea may be brewed with a variety of tea products available in the market. You can use loose dried tea leaves, teabags or even fresh mint leaves. Here are two ways you can try to make your own batch of peppermint tea:8,9
Peppermint Tea With Loose Tea Leaves
• 1 teaspoon of loose peppermint tea leaves
• Boiling water
1. Put 1 heaping teaspoon of loose tea leaves into a teapot.
2. Let it steep for at least 2 minutes. For a stronger brew, let it steep for about 4 minutes. Serve hot.
Peppermint Tea With Fresh Mint Leaves
• 1 handful of fresh mint
• 2 cups boiling water
• Raw honey, to taste
1. Wash and tear the fresh mint leaves.
2. Put the leaves in a teapot. Pour the boiling water over the leaves.
3. Steep for 3 to 7 minutes, depending on the flavor strength you prefer.
4. Add honey to taste. Serve.
Store Your Peppermint Correctly and Benefit From It Longer
There are numerous ways you can keep your peppermint leaves in good condition. Here are a few ideas on how you can store your mint stash:10
How to Store Fresh Peppermint
• Dampen a paper towel. Use this to wrap the mint leaves. Avoid wrapping the leaves too tightly as this may make them moldy.
• Place the mint in a plastic bag. Make sure that air can still circulate by leaving an opening in the bag.
Drying Peppermint Leaves
1. Pick the mint leaves you want to dry. Clean the leaves and make sure that you completely dry the leaves after washing.
2. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius (325 degrees Fahrenheit).
3. Put the mint leaves in one layer on a cookie sheet.
4. Bake mint for two to three hours. After two hours, check whether the leaves are completely dried out. If not, bake further and check every 15 minutes.
5. Take the leaves out of the oven. Crumble the leaves into a sealable glass container.
6. Store the container in a dark and dry place.
Watch Out for These Peppermint Side Effects and Contraindications
While peppermint offers impressive health benefits, there are certain subpopulations who need to avoid this herb. This will help them dodge possible side effects that peppermint may trigger. If you fall under any of the following categories, it’s best that you steer clear of this tea as much as possible:11
• Pregnant women: The emmenagogue properties of peppermint tea may promote uterine bleeding, which may endanger both the mother and the child. Mothers who also have a history of miscarriage have a high chance of suffering another because peppermint can make the uterine muscles relax.
• Patients with GERD: Patients suffering from GERD may aggravate their symptoms by drinking peppermint tea due to its muscle relaxant properties. Peppermint may cause the esophageal sphincter to relax, letting bile and undigested food travel back up the esophagus.
Sip on Peppermint Tea the Next Time You Get a Headache
There’s no question that peppermint tea is popular – the multiple peppermint tea products in the grocery stores can attest to that. But if you’re partial on sipping tea, the health benefits of peppermint may just change your mind. It may even prove to be one of the best natural remedies for some of the most common daily woes of people. The next time you get a headache or you start feeling nauseous, don’t reach for those painkillers. Just get a hot cup of peppermint tea.