Peppermint is a minty herb native to Europe and Asia. For hundreds of years, people have used peppermint both as a flavoring and for its medicinal properties.
Peppermint is an ingredient in a variety of modern products, including toothpastes, candies, and teas.
Many people drink peppermint tea because they enjoy the taste, but it may also have a number of potential health benefits.
Although there is not much research on peppermint tea itself, researchers have studied some of the oils and other compounds in peppermint leaves, such as menthone, limonene, and menthol.
In this article, we explore some of the potential health benefits of peppermint tea. We also cover how to make fresh peppermint tea at home and risks and considerations.
Peppermint is a popular flavoring due to its clean, pleasant smell and taste. Drinking peppermint tea can help freshen a person's breath, and it may also have other benefits for fighting bad breath.
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One 2016 study suggested that topical peppermint oil can help alleviate pain and relax muscles.
Menthol has a cooling sensation that may help ease tension or migraine headache pain when a person applies peppermint oil to the forehead or temples.
It is possible that the aroma from peppermint tea may have a similar effect.
Inhaling steam and vapors can be helpful for easing nasal congestion from colds and other upper respiratory infections.
Some people find that the vapors from peppermint tea, which contains menthol, also help.
It is possible that drinking peppermint tea may have a similar effect.
Peppermint oil may also help reduce the severity of menstrual cramping, or dysmenorrhea.
People may also wish to try drinking peppermint tea as a home remedy for menstrual cramping.
The oils in peppermint may also help alleviate symptoms of fatigue and boost energy levels.
Some research has suggested that essential oils from peppermint may help kill harmful bacteria.
For example, one 2018 study found that peppermint oils helped reduce the growth of bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Listeria, and Salmonella in pineapple juice.
However, the peppermint oils were less effective at reducing bacteria when the researchers added them to mango juice.
Peppermint tea bags are widely available in many health and grocery stores. However, people can quickly make fresh peppermint tea at home using only peppermint leaves and hot water.
To make peppermint tea at home:
- Add 2 cups of water to a pot.
- Bring the water to the boil, then turn off the heat.
- Add around four or five torn peppermint leaves to the water.
- Cover the pot and let the leaves steep for 5 minutes, or according to taste.
- Strain the tea into a mug.
A range of peppermint teas are also available to buy online.
A person can drink peppermint tea throughout the day.
Peppermint tea is naturally caffeine-free, which means that it will not keep a person awake at night.
Peppermint tea also contains zero calories, which can make it a great alternative to soda, fruit juices, and other sugary drinks.
However, flavoring the tea with sugar, honey, or cream will add calories to the drink.
Peppermint tea is generally very safe for people of all ages to consume. However, some people find that drinking peppermint tea can trigger or worsen symptoms of heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
People who are allergic to peppermint or any of the chemicals in peppermint should not drink peppermint tea.
Peppermint tea is a popular herbal tea that is naturally calorie- and caffeine-free.
Some research has suggested that the oils in peppermint may have a number of other health benefits, such as fresher breath, better digestion, and reduced pain from headaches. Peppermint tea also has antibacterial properties.
However, there has been little conclusive research into the specific health benefits of drinking peppermint tea.
Although peppermint tea is generally very safe, some people with GERD find that drinking it can trigger or worsen their symptoms.