Peppermint (Mentha × piperita) is a common aromatic herb that is used in a variety of products - in the form of candy, gums, hard mints, and other foods.
People have been consuming peppermint in many different forms for thousands of years. The herb contains natural amounts of menthol, which is what gives peppermint its cooling properties and minty scent.
When peppermint is dried and steeped in hot water in a tea strainer, it makes a refreshing and soothing tea that aids in digestion, and can help improve the body's metabolism.
According to several medical studies, the consumption of peppermint tea has several benefits. Read on to discover if consuming a couple cups of peppermint tea per day is worth adding to your daily nutrition plan.
1. Peppermint Tea May Help Digestive Upset
A review of nine different studies in nearly 1,000 people with irritable bowl syndrome (IBS) with peppermint oil for at least 2 weeks, arrived at the conclusion that peppermint provided significantly better relief than a placebo.
In a review of 14 clinical trials with nearly 2,000 children, peppermint decreased the frequency, length, and severity of abdominal pain.
2. Peppermint Tea Can Help Freshen your Breath
Peppermint oil is a natural antiseptic that can help kill germs. This is why its oils are widely used in breath fresheners such as mouthwash, toothpaste, and chewing gum.
Scientific studies have confirmed the validity of peppermint as a bad breath neutralizer. In one study, people who had undergone a major surgery and received a mouth rinse containing peppermint experienced improvement with bad breath symptoms compared to those that did not.
3. Peppermint Tea May Help Reduce Migraine & Tension Headaches
The menthol in peppermint has been shown to increase blood flow, which aids in relieving pain. In one study, several people were given peppermint oil to apply to their forehead, and it was found to be as effective for headaches as 1,000 mg of acetaminophen. While consuming warm peppermint tea may help relax the muscles to improve headache pain, it is unlikely drinking it alone will alleviate the symptoms entirely.
4. Peppermint Tea May Help Improve Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies typically arise in individuals as an auto-immune response to airborne particles that causes symptoms such as runny nose, itchy eyes, and asthma. Peppermint contains a plant compound called rosmarinic acid, which has been linked to reducing the symptoms in individuals that suffer from seasonal allergies.
In one study, individuals who were given a supplement containing rosmarinic acid had fewer symptoms than those receiving a placebo.
5. Peppermint Might Help Relieve Menstrual Cramps
Peppermint oil contains compounds that act as a muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory agent. When steeped in hot water, these oils are released and can be consumed in safe quantities, providing a gentle relief to the discomfort and pain associated with menstrual cramping.