Peppermint Tea: Health Benefits and Preparation Tips

Is Peppermint Tea Good for You?

The next time you feel the symptoms of a cold or flu coming on, harness the health benefits of drinking peppermint tea to clear your sinuses and relieve a scratchy, irritated throat. Teas brewed from peppermint (Mentha piperita) leaves contain menthol, which is the active ingredient in peppermint.

Studies have shown menthol oil to be both an effective expectorant and decongestant. Expectorants thin and loosen phlegm (mucus).

Decongestants relieve nasal congestion because they reduce the swelling of the membranes in the nose. Peppermint tea is an effective natural remedy for any type of illness that involves the respiratory system.

Dry the peppermint leaves and use them to brew a healthy herbal tisane.
Dry the peppermint leaves and use them to brew a healthy herbal tisane. | Source

China is believed to be the birthplace of tea

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Peppermint Tea Health Benefits

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), in addition to relieving stuffy nose, allergy or sinus symptoms, peppermint is an effective digestive aid, natural sedative and analgesic.

It may also help relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome but more research needs to be done to substantiate or disprove this benefit.

Using peppermint tea to tame an upset stomach can be traced through anecdotal reports to ancient Rome and Greece. These ancient people would chew on the mint leaves to relieve their indigestion.

Don't like tea? No need to fret because you can still take advantage of the health benefits of peppermint without drinking peppermint tea.

Peppermint is an herb so you can use the peppermint tea leaves as you would any other herb for seasoning baked goods or preparing jams and jellies or even puddings. Here's some suggestions to get you started:

  1. Prepare nonfat dry milk powder as directed on the package.
  2. Heat two cups of the milk until hot but not boiling, and add three bags of peppermint tea.
  3. Let stand about five minutes and then remove the tea bags.
  4. Use the peppermint/milk mixture to infuse beverages like hot cocoa or desserts such as puddings or cakes a minty zing.

Use the tea from the tea bags you used to make your flavored milk to make chocolate mint pudding. Make the pudding as directed on the package and add the tea from the tea bags. The chocolate hides the tea leaves, and it won't hurt you to eat them (they are herbs, after all!)

This method allows you to reap all the health benefits of the tea whether you drink it or ingest it.

About Peppermint Teas

You can purchase commercially prepared peppermint tea or make your own. Properly speaking, however, herbal teas such as these are actually tisanes rather than true teas because they are not made from Camellia sinensis (tea plant).

A peppermint tisane is made from the plant’s leaves so your drink is naturally caffeine free and would be categorized as a leaf tisane.

An easy way to visualize the meaning of a tisane is to think of it as an infusion – the leaves are infused (steeped, not boiled) in water to become a beverage. Examples of other herbal tisanes are jasmine tea, chamomile tea, Echinacea tea, and so forth.

If you decide to grow your own peppermint for your tisanes, remember that while mint is easy to grow, it is an invasive plant so plant it in a confined area (think container or garden pot). Harvest the leaves and dry them in the sun or microwave.

Peppermint Tea: How to Make It Tasty

  1. Preheat your teapot with hot water before adding the tea leaves and hot water. Pour off this liquid.
  2. Bring six ounces of cold water almost to boiling over medium high heat.
  3. Add about one teaspoon of dried mint leaves using a tea ball or infuser to hold the leaves.
  4. You will need a tea strainer if you do not have a tea ball or infuser so you can remove the leaves after brewing your tea.
  5. Remove from heat, let the tisane steep for five minutes, and then sample it.
  6. If the taste is not to your liking, steep for about five more minutes.
  7. Strain and drink either hot or iced; add a natural sweetener such as organic raw honey if you prefer a sweeter tea.
  8. Tip: Peppermint tea is good with milk!

Note: avoid using aluminum teapots or pans to make your tisane as the peppermint could react with the aluminum with potential toxic results.

Precautions for Using Peppermint or Herbal Teas

According to UMMC, individuals with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or gallstones should not consume peppermint tea. If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, it is always wise to get the approval of your health care professional before using any medications.

The rewards of peppermint tea benefits are not worth the risk of an adverse reaction so it is a good idea to check with your personal healthcare provider first to reduce the risk of any problems.

Other Beneficial Herbal Teas

If you are just getting started with using herbal teas as natural remedies, you may want to investigate the health benefits of banaba tea. In addition to being useful for weight loss and helping regulate blood sugars, it is a tasty beverage for any occasion.

Disclaimer

This information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to recommend or advise on health related issues. Individuals are encouraged to seek qualified medical advice before using any herbal remedies.

Resources

Undisclosed author, “Peppermint,” University of Maryland Medical Center

Weintraub, Judith, “Coffee Versus Tea: An Oolong, Please, and There’s No Rush,” Washington Post,

More by this Author


What Is Your Favorite Type of Herbal Tea? 10 comments

DonnaCosmato profile image

DonnaCosmato 4 years ago from USA Author

Hi klarawieck! Thanks for sharing your wonderful input and tips on peppermint tea. I'll try your combination the next time I brew a cup.


klarawieck 4 years ago

Donna, I'm a huge fan of herbs - peppermints being one of my favorites. It's such a happy plant. Back when I had a garden, I used to grow my peppermint outside on the ground. It is an invasive plant, but it's so beautiful that I allowed it to take over. Now I keep it in a pot by a sunny window. Peppermint tea is one of my favorites, although I didn't know the difference between tea and tisane... thanks for clearing that up for us. I make my peppermint tea and add lemon, honey, and sugar. It's delish!

Thanks for this informative hub.


DonnaCosmato profile image

DonnaCosmato 4 years ago from USA Author

Hi Leslie, it's good to hear from a fellow mint aficionado! I've grown other types of mint but not peppermint. I'm planning to try it in a container garden this year and see how it does. Thanks for the vote up and the nice comments.


DonnaCosmato profile image

DonnaCosmato 4 years ago from USA Author

Hey, Vellur, do let me know how you like it. The flavor is not as intense as you might think from the name.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

I grow peppermint and the tea is delicious - thank you for such an interesting read on the benefits of this wonderful mint.

Voting up


Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

Never had peppermint tea before, sounds delicious. Will try. Great hub.


DonnaCosmato profile image

DonnaCosmato 4 years ago from USA Author

Try it, always exploring, and I think you will like it. The taste is delicate and not too overwhelming. This is one of the few teas that I like as I prefer coffee over tea but tea always smells so inviting, I just have to try it!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

I have never had peppermint tea, sounds like it might be really good for you..Thank you..


DonnaCosmato profile image

DonnaCosmato 4 years ago from USA Author

Hi blaeberry, thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment on this article about peppermint tea benefits! It's nice to hear from a fellow tea aficionado.


blaeberry profile image

blaeberry 4 years ago from Scotland

I love peppermint tea so great to read about its benefits. Voted up and interesting

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