Peppermint tea is a popular beverage worldwide due to its delicious minty flavor and refreshing fragrance. This tea isn’t just a tasty drink to have at breakfast, however. There are many health-based reasons to incorporate peppermint tea into your daily diet.
Peppermint tea is good for you because it contains healthy essential oils and polyphenols that encourage good health. Peppermint tea is commonly used in herbal medicine to help cure digestive issues and promote alertness. Peppermint tea can also be used as a weight-loss aid.
There are plenty of reasons why you might want to start drinking peppermint tea, and adding a cup or two a day can help improve your health in unexpected ways. Keep reading to learn more about the health benefits of peppermint tea and why it’s so good for you.
Peppermint Tea Is a Healthy Drink
If you’re trying to incorporate more healthy beverages into your diet, you can do a lot worse than peppermint tea. There are several traits of peppermint tea that make it more healthy than many other drink options out there. Here are a few reasons why peppermint tea is a healthier drink than most:
- Low-calorie: If you don’t add any sweeteners, peppermint tea only has 2.4 calories per serving. This makes it as low in calories as black or green tea. The aromatic flavors in peppermint tea also help evoke a sweet dessert without the associated sugar.
- Good replacement for heavier drinks: If you drink too many sodas or other high-calorie drinks, such as soda or sweetened coffee, unsweetened peppermint tea can help take the place of those drinks in your daily diet. This strategy can help you take in fewer calories over time.
- Appetite-suppressant: The menthol in peppermint tea is a documented appetite-suppressant. Drinking peppermint tea between meals can help you stay satiated and can prevent snacking.
- Water-based: Since peppermint tea is only peppermint leaves and water, this tea can help you stay hydrated if you drink it throughout the day. Since it also doesn’t have caffeine, peppermint tea doesn’t have a diuretic effect on the body.
If you’re looking for a healthy drink replacement for high-calorie or high-fat drinks, peppermint tea is a good beverage to choose. However, the above advantages aren’t the only health benefits associated with peppermint tea.
Health Benefits of Peppermint Tea
Peppermint has been used in herbal medicine for hundreds of years, long before humanity had the scientific knowledge to analyze what chemicals in this plant give it the beneficial properties it contains. The obvious active effects of the tea are why it’s been used as an herbal remedy for such a long time.
Here are some of the top health benefits you can expect from consuming peppermint tea:
- Menstrual relief: For women who suffer from painful menstrual cramps, drinking peppermint tea has been shown to help alleviate associated symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, bloating, binge eating, poor mood, and pain.
- Increased focus and memory: Drinking peppermint tea can make you feel more alert and wakeful, especially if you’re having a hard time staying awake.
- Reduced stress and improved mood: Along with the physical health benefits of peppermint tea, this fragrant tea also provides several psychological benefits such as increased relaxation and a better attitude.
- Improved breath and cavity prevention: Since mint has antimicrobial properties, drinking peppermint tea can help prevent cavities and improve your breath by killing bacteria in your mouth.
- Polyphenols and antioxidants: Like many herbal teas, peppermint tea is chock full of polyphenols and antioxidants. These chemical compounds are associated with helping to prevent various chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart attack, cancer, and stroke. These chemicals have also been shown to boost your immune system.
- Natural decongestant: The menthol in peppermint can help clear your sinuses when they’re stuffy from allergies or a cold. To help clear your sinuses with peppermint tea, inhale the steam coming up off the cup.
Peppermint tea is one of the more healthy herbal teas you can drink, but drinking it will only yield results if you do it over an extended period of time. For best results, incorporate a cup or two of peppermint tea into your diet every day over several weeks or months.
What Healthy Oils Are in Peppermint Tea?
The active ingredients in peppermint tea that make it a healthy beverage are the essential oils it contains. Along with polyphenols, peppermint tea also contains the following healthy essential oils:
- Menthol: Menthol is an inflammatory agent that acts as a pain reliever and has also been shown to improve immune system function in people with arthritis. A wet peppermint tea bag can even help an abscessed tooth until you can get to the dentist.
- Menthone: Menthone is a terpene chemical that can ease respiratory distress and also act as an appetite suppressant.
- Limonene: Limonene is one of the most common terpenes found in nature. This plant-based chemical has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Along with giving peppermint tea its health benefits, the above oils in peppermint tea are also responsible for giving this tea its bright, minty flavor.
Does Peppermint Tea Affect Sleep?
While you might think that the refreshing taste of peppermint tea might keep you awake at night since it’s used to help increase alertness, peppermint tea actually can help you fall asleep at night. The reason is that peppermint tea improves your mood while simultaneously relaxing you, keeping you from fixating on worries or problems that may cause insomnia.
Peppermint tea can also help with sleep if you find your sleep disturbed by digestive issues such as heartburn or acid reflux. Peppermint tea can improve your digestion and prevent acid reflux, which in turn may help you get a better night’s sleep.
Is Peppermint Tea Good for Stomach Issues?
Even if you don’t drink it for the taste, peppermint tea is an excellent choice for drinking if you deal with digestive problems. This tea can help ease a wide variety of stomach issues, such as the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Menstrual cramps
The best time to drink peppermint tea for digestive issues is about twenty to thirty minutes after a heavy meal. This will allow it to help improve your digestion and prevent the symptoms associated with overeating or eating rich foods such as heartburn, gas, and bloating.
Is Peppermint Tea a Laxative?
Peppermint tea does act as a mild laxative, which makes it a good option if you’re suffering from some issues with constipation. However, the effects of peppermint tea as a laxative should not be strong enough to cause loose stools on their own.
Peppermint tea is good as a laxative because it’s not too harsh and it also has anti-inflammatory and pain relief properties to help with associated stomach cramps.
Side Effects of Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea is a healthy food supplement for most people, but it may come with some side effects for some. Luckily, many of these side effects may be temporary as your body adjusts. Here are a few side effects you may run into if you start drinking peppermint tea:
- Heartburn: Even though peppermint tea is commonly used to treat digestive issues, it can actually increase heartburn and acid reflux in some people by relaxing the sphincter of muscle between the esophagus and the stomach.
- Nausea: For some people, the high levels of menthol in peppermint tea can cause nausea rather than reduce it. This side effect is usually temporary until the body gets used to taking in the terpenes in the peppermint oil.
- Allergic reaction: In rare cases, drinking peppermint tea might result in an allergic reaction. This usually shows up as mouth ulcers, dizziness, hives, and vomiting. If any negative symptoms arise from consuming peppermint tea, stop drinking it immediately and consult your doctor.
Peppermint tea is one of the safest teas you can drink. This tea is even considered safe to drink for pregnant or nursing women. However, keep an eye out for any side effects and cease drinking peppermint tea if you develop them.
Peppermint Tea Is Close to a Cure-All
It’s hard to find a tea that is equally good at waking you up as it is for putting you to sleep at night. But these are only a few of the health benefits you can take advantage of if you start adding peppermint tea to your diet. Whether you’re trying to calm your stomach, treat a toothache or just calm your nerves, this low-calorie tea is the perfect compliment to almost any meal.