Sipping on a mug of peppermint tea may sound like a simple self-care ritual. But did you know that peppermint tea has plenty of benefits beyond that delicious flavor? From the potential to help with issues from cramps to stress, the list of peppermint tea benefits is long and varied. Here are some of the most exciting health benefits of many tea-lovers’ favorite beverage.
What Is Peppermint Tea?
Originally from Europe and Asia, peppermint has been used for thousands of years for its fresh taste and health benefits. Peppermint tea is typically made from fresh or dried peppermint leaves. On its own, peppermint tea is caffeine-free. Peppermint leaves can also be added to black, green, or white tea to create a peppermint tea hybrid that has caffeine.1
Peppermint leaves contain several essential oils, including:
Peppermint has a high menthol content. This is the active ingredient that gives peppermint its minty smell and cooling properties.3,4While peppermint tea is often enjoyed for its flavor, peppermint tea and peppermint oil may also have several health benefits. Still, it’s best to get your doctor’s approval before giving peppermint tea a try, especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
Potential Health Benefits Of Peppermint Tea
Stomach Issues And Digestion
People have used peppermint as a way to help with digestive issues like bloating, nausea, stomach pain, and gas for thousands of years. While some modern research has been done on peppermint oil, the research on fresh peppermint leaves and tea is limited.5
What we do know is this:
- One study found that peppermint oil may reduce discomfort in children who experience abdominal pain.6
- One study found that peppermint oil helped with the symptoms of people suffering from Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).7
- One study found that peppermint essential oil reduced the frequency and severity of nausea and vomiting.8
Most of the research having to do with headaches has been conducted on peppermint essential oil. Multiple studies show that peppermint oil can relieve migraine headaches when applied topically.9,10 The aroma of peppermint tea may have similar effects.
Studies show that peppermint may decrease discomfort associated with menstruation.11
Cold And Sinus Symptoms
A mug of steamy, hot peppermint tea may help ease symptoms of:
- Sore throat
- Clogged nasal passages
- Sinus congestion
- Chest pain12,13,14,15
Humans have long been flavoring gum, breath mints, and toothpaste with peppermint for a reason. It isn’t just about the fresh taste. Peppermint can also help kill germs that cause bad breath.16
Peppermint can help freshen breath on the spot, and it may also help keep bad breath at bay in the future.17 If you often suffer from “coffee breath,” you may consider swapping in a mug of peppermint tea.
Aromatherapy with peppermint essential oil has been shown to relieve stress.18 What’s more, when you’re holding a steaming hot cup of peppermint tea, you are essentially giving yourself a mini aromatherapy session.
Peppermint has also been shown to help relax muscles, which may then in turn help with stress and anxiety.19
Studies show that peppermint may also support a positive mood.20
Peppermint tea may help with weight loss simply because it’s calorie-free and naturally sweet.21 Replacing a caloric beverage with a cup of peppermint tea can help cut down on your daily calorie count. This may eventually support weight loss.
Some studies also show that peppermint may reduce appetite, which may cause people to consume fewer calories.22
Even though peppermint tea is caffeine-free, it may just leave you feeling energized. Studies show that sipping on peppermint tea may help fight against mental fatigue and daytime sleepiness.23,24
Although peppermint tea can help fight fatigue during the day, it may also help you relax at night. This is due to its ability to help ease muscle tension.25 More research needs to be done on the specific effects of peppermint tea on sleep. But if sipping on a warm, decaffeinated beverage before bed sounds relaxing to you, you just may enjoy its effects.
It’s Easy To Add Peppermint Tea To Your Diet
Do the health benefits of peppermint tea sound compelling? It’s easy to add this delicious herbal beverage to your diet. Here’s a simple recipe for making peppermint tea at home:
- 2 cups of filtered water
- 15 fresh peppermint leaves, cleaned and picked from the stems
- Optional ingredients: black tea leaves(contains caffeine), lemon slices, honey
- Boil the water on your stovetop.
- Remove from heat.
- Add the peppermint leaves and stir to submerge.
- Optional: If you’d like a caffeinated tea, add the black tea leaves.
- Steep for 3-5 minutes.
- Optional: Add honey, stevia or other natural sweetener.
- Pour into a mug, straining out the leaves as you pour.
- Optional: Garnish with a lemon slice.26
Since peppermint tea alone has no caffeine and is calorie-free, you can feel good about sipping on it and enjoying it as much as you’d like throughout the day. Just watch the sugar intake if you decide to add honey.