Mint tea is an herbal tea, also known as a tisane or infusion, which has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. Available in a wide variety of types, the two most popular mint teas are peppermint and spearmint. You can also find several fruit-infused mint teas including apple mint and lemon mint.
Health Benefits of Mint Tea
1. Soothes Upset Stomach
The cooling effects of menthol in peppermint tea help to soothe an upset stomach in several ways. First, menthol relaxes the stomach muscles that contract and cause cramping. The cooling effect of menthol can improve circulation and relieve inflammation that causes stomach pains.
The second way peppermint tea helps to alleviate an upset stomach is to get rid of the offending cause faster. The menthol in peppermint stimulates the secretion of gastric juices that can break down food and speed up digestion. Peppermint tea reduces the feeling of being full and can reduce inflammation that causes bloating.
2. Improves Digestion
Along with soothing an upset stomach, peppermint tea can help regulate digestion to keep everything running smoothly. A study done at the University of Exeter showed that peppermint tea moves gas throughout the body, relieving the feeling of bloating and cramps.
Menthol in peppermint tea also increases bile in the stomach, which helps to digest foods more efficiently. This reduces the symptoms of diarrhea and constipation and can help to keep your system working optimally. Menthol relaxes the muscles in the digestive tract, making peppermint tea a great choice for people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.
3. Treats Bad Breath
It’s no accident that most toothpaste contains some form of peppermint. The aromatic scent of peppermint tea helps to camouflage bad breath while antibacterial properties work from within to kill the germs and bacteria that cause bad breath in the first place.
To reap the fresh breath benefits of peppermint tea, drink one cup in the morning or when bad breath arises. You can also drink peppermint tea after consuming smelly foods such as garlic or onions to neutralize the odors. Make sure your peppermint tea is made from real peppermint, not flavorings, to get the best results.
4. Combats the Common Cold and Flu
Like most herbal teas, peppermint tea contains compounds that help to fight off colds while building up your immunity. Drinking a hot cup of tea is one of the most popular ways to soothe a sore throat. Peppermint tea takes it one step further by relaxing throat muscles that cause an irritating cough. Since menthol is a muscle relaxant, mint tea helps open up airways, relieving congestion and alleviating severe colds such as bronchitis.
The antioxidants in peppermint tea increase circulation and allow white blood cells to travel faster throughout the body, increasing the speed your body can fight off viruses and bacteria. Peppermint tea has antibacterial properties that help to ward off bacteria that are harmful to your immune system.