Black, green, chamomile, and peppermint are the brat pack of teas. Go to a restaurant and order a cup and without fail, these are the varietals the waiter will rattle off. They’re the tried and true standbys and each one has its own unique health benefits.
Black tea is good for your microbiome, while green will give you an antioxidant boost. Chamomile is notoriously calming, part of a pre-bedtime ritual for many. And as for peppermint? That’s going to be your post-meal superstar, supporting your digestive tract, for starters.
Made with dried peppermint leaves, it’s one of the more aromatic teas sipped on the reg. Even just inhaling the scent can be beneficial for reducing nausea or increasing energy. Rounded up here are the biggest benefits of the tea, backed by scientific research.
Top 5 peppermint tea benefits
1. Supports good digestion
As previously mentioned, this is the biggie. In fact, the whole reason why after dinner mints are a thing stems from the herb’s dual benefits: freshening breath and helping the digestive tract by reducing spasms in the gut. Your body is more relaxed and can digest the food better after ingesting it.
2. Reduces the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
Because of the way peppermint helps the gut relax after eating, researchers have found it effective in helping treat IBS, too. Besides quelling gut spasms, it calms the central and peripheral nervous system, which also play a role in IBS.
3. Increases concentration
Peppermint tea benefits more than the gut. It’s great to sip on at work too, thanks to its ability to help increase focus and concentration. Even just smelling the tea helps. When you inhale peppermint, it ups how much oxygen is in the blood, and the more oxygen getting to your brain, the better your cognitive function.
4. Helps with nausea
If you’re ever on a boat and start feeing a bit queasy, chances are someone is going to give you a hot cup of peppermint tea—or at least give you the herb in essential oil form to take a whiff of. The menthol in peppermint calms the upper digestive tract similarly as to how it calms the intestines. And the fact that it relaxes the mind certainly helps, too.
5. It’s good for your immune system
Hot tea of all types can feel good on a sore throat, but because peppermint has is antimicrobial and antiviral, it works to kill bad bacteria lurking in your upper respiratory system. It’s definitely a good one to keep on hand when everyone in your office seems to be coming down with something.
Side effects of drinking peppermint tea
As far as side effects go, the only major one of note is that it can make heartburn worse by causing stomach acid to pour into the esophagus, so if that’s something you experience frequently, it likely isn’t going to be the best tea for you. There isn’t an established amount of how much peppermint tea it’s best to drink a day, but like anything, it’s best to enjoy this tea in moderation to be safe.
How to make peppermint tea
If you’re interested in sipping peppermint tea post-meal to help with your digestion, consider adding in ginger and lemon, both of which are also linked to reducing bloat and giving the digestive tract a boost. Here’s how to do it:
1. Combine the dried peppermint leaves and ground ginger into a tea bag.
2. Add to a cup of hot water and let steep for two to four minutes.
3. Squeeze the lemon juice into the tea. Enjoy!
Originally published September 24, 2018. Updated July 24, 2020.
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