Peppermint tea is increasingly becoming a popular health trend. Apart from its rich flavor, this beverage contains numerous health benefits. This is attributed to the ingredients in the extract, that is, peppermint oil and menthol. A daily drink of this powerful and caffeine-free tea can not only help you lose weight but also alleviate pain and digestive problems. Due to its healing properties, peppermint was used for medicinal purposes in past centuries. Modern sciences have also confirmed its efficiency in preventing and curing a host of illnesses. Understanding and taking advantage of the benefits of peppermint can help you improve your health. The herb acts as a remedy for the following:
14 Amazing Health Benefits of Peppermint Tea
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Peppermint tea was a used as a folk medicine to cure stomach ailments and associated problems. The most common digestive problems are associated with the Irritable Bowell Syndrome. This a disorder that affects the intestines causing gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain and sometimes cramps. Taken in the right dosages, peppermint is very effective in reducing its severity. Most people tend to prefer the tea as opposed to the peppermint candies to reduce the sugar intake. Bloating is undesirable in most people and it gives the false impression of weight gain.
- Weight loss
One of the most impressive benefits of peppermint tea is its ability to boost weight loss. We all know to lose weight we need to consume fewer calories than we expend during the day. But what happens when we can’t lose the final extra pounds despite the diet and exercise regime? Most people trying to lose weight eventually find themselves in this predicament. The gurus call it a weight loss plateau.
To avoid stagnating your weight loss, a couple sips of peppermint tea daily can go a long way in achieving that. Peppermint contains properties that raise your metabolism increasing the amount of energy you spent at rest. Aggressive diets can impair the metabolism causing it to slow down hence stagnating fat loss. Taking peppermint tea from time to time keeps your metabolism humming. The essential oil in peppermint extracts also possesses some fat burning effect.
The mint flavor has the ability to suppress your appetite and curb those cravings associated with a calorie restrictive diet. This makes the tea a risk free and cheap alternative to the prescription and over-the-counter appetite suppressants.
- Pain relief
A dosage of peppermint can eliminate headaches and abdominal pain. The menthol contained in the extract is effective in curbing inflammation and reduces abdominal cramps. Drinking the tea causes sweating when having a high fever effectively lowering the internal body temperature and minimizing any associated discomfort. Once inhaled, the aroma affects the nerve endings causing significant pain relief. Its anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties additionally calm spasms responsible for muscle cramps.
- Strengthening the immune system
Peppermint tea contains nutrients that can boost your immunity. It has powerful anti-bacterial properties helping your immune system fight the bad bacteria. The extract contains good amounts of vitamin B, calcium, and potassium which are essential in strengthening the immune system. Taking peppermint tea should build up antibodies increasing your resistance to diseases. A case has been made for the possibility of peppermint tea relieving mild asthma and early symptom of certain illnesses. A daily sip can help you prevent and eliminate a stubborn cold or flu.
- Peppermint tea as a stress reliever
The menthol contained in the beverage acts as sedative making it effective in decreasing stress levels. The anti-inflammatory properties of mint reduce blood pressure and body temperatures allowing for comfort and enabling you to relax. It will also enable you to get a good night sleep especially if taken close to bedtime. This makes peppermint a healthy alternative to over the counter and prescription stress medication and sleep pills.
- Respiratory relief
Allergies and ailments can lead to the constriction of the respiratory surfaces. The antihistamine properties of peppermint decongest the lungs and bronchi this gradually relieves respiratory complications. The oil in peppermint also dissolves the embedded mucus allowing for free movement of air. By relaxing the thoracic cavity, peppermint gets rid of that temporary sensation that leaves you wanting to cough from time to time. This is caused by the tightening of the chest and throat muscles constricting air movement of air. When the contraction increases it can lead to repetitive sneezing.
- Bad breath
Many people suffering from bad breath (halitosis) live without knowing they have the condition. It could be me, it could be you. This problem can be embarrassing and even affects relationships. It’s, however, a very treatable medical condition with a number of natural remedies proving effective. Alongside diet change, peppermint can alleviate this condition. The beverage has the natural ability to freshen up the breath and even prevent browning of teeth. Just a single cup every day and you are good to go.
- Reduce radiation damage
Chemotherapy treatments negatively affect the general health of patients and are known to induce nausea. As a natural alternative to drug treatments, peppermint can protect the body against radiation damage. It also has the power to inhibit tumors and cancers. The extract achieves this by blocking the transportation of oxygen and nutrients to the affected area. In other words, peppermint can cure a starting cancer. With advancements in modern medicine, people tend to underestimate the limits of herbs and this shows exactly why you shouldn’t.
- Infant colic
The exact cause of colic is unknown and theories revolve around indigestions, hormones, and the nervous system. Treating colic can, therefore, be tough and unyielding leaving you with an irritable baby. Although not a cure, peppermint can alleviate the digestive and muscle discomforts causing relieve to the baby. Infants can be given the tea directly using a dropper or through breastfeeding if the mother takes peppermint.
Mother: 1 cup over the day
Infant: 1 teaspoon dilute in a cup (1 day)
Peppermint oil is an essential oil containing numerous healing properties. The extract in this tea has the ability to prevent or block the reoccurrence of tuberculosis. The herbal extract is anti-bacteria and it inhibits Mycobacterium tuberculosis which causes the disease. The peppermint oil dissolves the mucus giving cough relieve to patients. To fully reap the benefits, you should consume the tea at regular intervals during the day.
- Supports the liver and gallbladder
Peppermint increases the flow of bile from the liver to the gallbladder. This increases the efficiency and health of the liver. The effect of mint also causes small gallstones in the bladder to disintegrate and hence is used as a natural treatment. However, the FDA does not recognize the use of food supplements as treatments and you should, therefore, consult your doctor to determine whether the tea can be incorporated into your medicine.
- Lowering blood sugar
This health benefit peppermint is my favorite. Increased glucose levels in the body predispose us to type 2 diabetes. This can also lead to insulin insensitivity which prevents weight loss increasing the risk of obesity and other chronic ailments. Alongside a good diet plan, peppermint tea lowers blood sugar levels. This is good news especially to the pre-diabetics and according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, laboratory tests on peppermint conclusively proved this claim. The effect in the human body is yet to be scientifically proven although studies are still ongoing. However, this should not deter you from trying it.
- Acne cure
The menthol contained in the tea is good for your skin. It helps banish blemishes leaving a clear and fair skin. Apart from nourishing the skin, peppermint tea also remedies oily skin. The tea is effective whether drank or applied topically as a toner. The peppermint toner is cheap and easy to make.
What you will need…
1 peppermint tea bag
Plastic food container
Steep the tea bag in hot water for about 8 minutes. Once it cools put it in the plastic container and refrigerate for about 4 days. After cleansing the skin, use the toner to collect any left traces of makeup. This unclogs pores and is good for people with acne prone skin.
If you have an itchy and irritating skin, you should also give this toner a try. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of the extract enable it to provide relieve.
- Peppermint tea as a source of antioxidants
Peppermint is a strong antioxidant and effectively helps the body to fight free radicles. Free radicles damage the body cells exposing us to a number of medical conditions such as cancer and blood vessel complications. Most of the radicles are a side product of normal body processes such as digestion and metabolism. Exposure to pollutants also increases these radicles in the body. As an antioxidant, peppermint tea reduces these free radicles and improves the overall body health.
How to Make Peppermint Tea By Yourself
- Using dried peppermint tea leaves
You will need …
1 teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves
Sweetener (optional and to taste)
Put a spoonful of dried peppermint leaves into boiling water using a filter or a press. The mixture should be steeped for about 2 minutes. For a strong cup, an extra 2 minutes is needed. You can add a sweetener or take the tea without a sweeter.
- Using fresh peppermint leaves
You will need …
1 bunch of peppermint tea leaves
Wash and dry the peppermint leaves and cut them into small pieces. Crush the cut pieces with your hands, pan or use a mortar and pestle. This allows peppermint oil to seep out releasing the aroma which increases flavor. Place the crushed peppermint leaves in a teapot and add hot pre-boiled water. Now cover the pot and allow it steep for about 7-10 minutes. For a stronger flavor, let the mixture steeps for a few more minutes. Strain and add a sweetener to taste. This is optional. Now you are done, enjoy the rich flavor of peppermint tea.
The use of fresh leaves allows you to maximize on the highlighted health benefits of peppermint tea.
- Using peppermint tea bags
You will need …
1 peppermint tea bag
1 cup of hot water
Basically, you put a peppermint tea bag into a cup of hot water and add a sweetener if so desired. This is the easiest way to make yourself a cup. It is convenient when traveling or when at work and needs very few minutes to steep.
Precautions when taking peppermint tea
Peppermint maybe a cure it all herb but even so, it come with some potential side effects. However, it is predominantly safe when taken in reasonable proportions. Increased use however can predispose you to dizziness, heartburns, and achlorhydria (lack of enough hydrochloric acid in the stomach). Peppermint can interfere with certain medications and if you are under medication you should first consult your doctor. Other associated or possible side effects include the following:
- Allergic reactions – In individuals allergic to mint, this tea cause lightheadedness, headaches and mouth sores. If you experience these symptoms, peppermint may not be your go-to remedy and you should perhaps explore other alternatives.
- Increased gastroesophageal reflux – if you suffer from the condition you should or minimize your consumption. While it’s true that peppermint tea reduces acid reflux, in individuals with relaxed cardiac sphincter muscles the reverse can happen. This is attributed to the ability of peppermint tea to relax muscles.
- Pregnancy complications – Mothers to be are advised to consult specialists before taking the tea. The oil in peppermint has the ability to affect the uterine blood flow and potentially harming a pregnancy. There is no scientific evidence to prove this but caution should be exercised especially with mothers who have experienced a miscarriage before. If you are expectant, after a doctor’s approval, you can still reap the health benefits of peppermint. The tea acts as an antispasmodic and reduces occurrences of morning sickness while preventing nausea and vomiting.
The health benefits of peppermint make it one of the currently popular tea extracts. It contains good amounts of potassium, iron, vitamins A and C, and dietary fiber in healthy proportions. The beverage is also low in calories when consumed without any sweeteners. Having seen and understood these benefits, it’s time you incorporated peppermint tea into your lifestyle. This is of course unless you have an allergic reaction to mint.