Peppermint Tea Benefits

benefits of drinking peppermint teaPeppermint tea is the most widely consumed single ingredient herbal tea, or tisane. It is brewed from the leaves of the peppermint bush, Mentha piperita. When submerged in hot water, bioactive components are released from the peppermint leaves, including volatile oils and menthol.

Recent studies have shown that peppermint tea has one of the highest ORAC scores (a measurement of antioxidant activity) of all herbal teas [2] along with potent anti-viral and anti-bacterial actions.

The potency of the therapeutic agents in peppermint tea depends on where the tea was grown, how old the plant was when harvested, and processing conditions of the leaves.

Always choose an organically grown, handpicked peppermint tea for the best experience!

Top 4 Benefits to Drinking Peppermint Tea

Peppermint Tea for Digestion

Peppermint tea is a traditional go-to remedy for a huge range of gastrointestinal and digestive health issues. Upset tummies, gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea are often relieved by sipping on a cup of peppermint tea after eating.

This tisane has also been shown to speed up gastric emptying [9](it helps to move food from the stomach into the intestines, which is particularly beneficial for people with sluggish digestion) and clinical studies have found that the essential oil in peppermint tea can improve the symptoms of cramping, constipation and diarrhea in IBS patients [5].

It is particularly effective for reducing bloating as the menthol oil in peppermint is able to reduce the spasms in the smooth muscle of the gastrointestinal tract, allowing for the release of any build-up gas or flatulence to pass.

Peppermint tea could also help to treat or prevent leaky gut syndrome.

  • A systematic review and meta-analysis of all available studies to date has concluded that the oils in peppermint are effective for calming down the inflammation, hypersensitivity, and spasms in the tissues of the gut [10].

Not only can this relieve symptoms of cramping and bloating, but it could also promote faster cell repair in the gut lining. Peppermint leaves contain high amounts of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that is also a precursor to vitamin A, as well as vitamin C, vitamin E and magnesium [3]. These nutrients are have been shown to reduce inflammation in the gut and assist in the repair of any tissue damage.

CAUTION: Some people with reflux, heart burn or a hiatal hernia may experience a flare-up of symptoms after consuming peppermint tea [1]. Because peppermint has a strong relaxing effect on the gut, it can also relax the sphincter between the esophagus and the stomach – when this gateway is open, the contents of the stomach can flow back into the esophagus, causing burning symptoms of reflux and heartburn. Speak to a qualified nutritionist or naturopath for personalized advice.

Peppermint Tea for an Immune Boost

Peppermint tea has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, making this tasty brew a perfect remedy for colds, flus, and other respiratory tract infections. Regularly sipping peppermint tea throughout Fall may help to prevent winter respiratory infections.

  • An in vitro study found that peppermint oil significantly inhibits the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella enteritidis bacteria [5] and another confirmed that peppermint tea can fight the germs that are commonly responsible for respiratory infections including influenza, pneumonia and the common cold [4].

The essential oils found in peppermint tea are able to stop the flu in its tracks, while menthol helps to cut through congestion, break up mucus, and clear up snuffy noses and lungs. The next time you’re sick, try brewing up a big pot of peppermint tea and sip on it throughout the day for a bug-busting, immune-boosting, easy way to stay hydrated.

Studies have also shown that peppermint tea may help to control allergies, too. The volatile oils within the peppermint leaf are able to clear up congestion in the sinuses and calm the immune response against common allergens by preventing the release of histamine [1].

Peppermint Tea for Brain Function

The scent of peppermint tea is stimulating and energizing – a great pick-me-up while preparing for an exam or a presentation. The peppermint leaf contains potent phytonutrients such as rosmarinic acid and luteolin which have been shown to exhibit strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and protective actions on brain tissues [14], and several studies have found that the aroma of peppermint can enhance memory and recall [6] [7].

As well as delivering these powerful constituents, frequently drinking peppermint tea could help to counteract dehydration – a common source of foggy-headedness and confusion, and huge risk factor for Alzheimer’s and dementia. Peppermint infusions act as a non-diarrheic source of hydration – coffee, black tea and certain herbal tisanes cause the body to lose more water, so switch them out for peppermint!

Peppermint Tea for Weight Loss

Sipping peppermint tea could help you to stick to a diet plan by acting as a gentle appetite suppressant. Research has shown that the scent of a peppermint herbal infusion can stop cravings in their tracks.

  • A 2 week study found that participants who inhaled peppermint aromas ate fewer calories (particularly from fats and sugars) and reported less intensity of hunger throughout the day [13].

Peppermint tea may also assist in weight loss by supporting exercise efforts.

  • A small trial on twelve, healthy young men found that consuming peppermint oil-infused water (i.e. a concoction very similar to peppermint tea) improved measurements of aerobic exercise performance including blood pressure and breathing rate [11].

This may be because peppermint can relax the smooth muscles in the airways, allowing more air to flow into the lungs during increased respiration [12]. More air in generally means that more fat will be burned during aerobic exercise, so pack a bottle of iced peppermint tea when you next hit the gym.

Cautions & Side Effects

Most herbal infusions are safe and the risk of side effects is low. However, peppermint tea is particularly rich in peppermint oil which can cause irritation in some people. Watch out for the following symptoms:

  • Reflux
  • Heartburn
  • Burning sensation in the mouth
  • Irritation, peeling, or inflammation of the skin in the mouth or lips

Peppermint has been shown to interact with:

  • Iron supplements
  • Cyclosporine
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Antacids
  • Medications for heart conditions 

Do not drink a lot of peppermint tea during pregnancy. It can, in rare cases, cause uterine relaxation and could lead to miscarriage. Speak to your doctor or naturopath if you are concerned.

Speak to your doctor for personalized advice if you are worried about peppermint tea interacting with your medications.

The Best Peppermint Tea:

Five Mountains Organic Pacific Peppermint (15 teabags)

Our Favorite Peppermint TeaWe found it – the best peppermint tea you can buy online. Five Mountains produces heirloom organic teas from herbs that are grown in biodiverse, non-industrial agrarian gardens. This peppermint tea is as close to picked-from-your-garden fresh as you can find – it is made from non-GMO, USDA certified organic peppermint grown and handpicked in the Cascade Valley of the Pacific Northwest. Most importantly, it tastes incredible and brews up into a strong, fresh and sweet flavor profile! Get some now.

Further Reading:

About James Lyons

James Lyons (BHSc Nutritional Medicine) is a clinical nutritionist, medical writer, and educator. He specialises in plant-based nutrition and is passionate about improving public access to reliable and accurate health information.

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