By happy chance water mint and spearmint came together and gave the world peppermint. Known as menta piperita or Mentha balsamea wild, peppermint delights humans with its fresh invigorating flavor and taste. The plant grows to a height of about 12 to 30 inches and has smooth stems with dark green serrated leaves. The aroma is unmistakable. It grows in the world, being native to Europe and the Middle East. Today it is found all over the world and there is a flourishing trade in cultivated peppermint. Peppermint oil goes into the making of confectionaries, toothpaste, and medicines. The leaves find use as garnish and flavoring agents in curries.You can use it to make peppermint tea and enjoy peppermint tea benefits.
Peppermint tea benefits are due to these constituents
Peppermint contains terpenoids, edriocitrin, hesperidin, and kaempferol. In addition, peppermint contains essential oils and aromatic ingredients. Menthol is what gives peppermint its cool fresh taste and flavor. Menthone is similar to menthol and bestows the typical minty fragrance. Menthyl acetate is another component contributing to the taste and flavor of peppermint. Limonene in peppermint introduces subtle citrusy notes. Peppermint also contains pulegone, pinene, and caryophyllene.
Dried and mint for tea infusions
Mint may or may not be available throughout the year where you live. So, when mint is cheap you can use the fresh leaves in abundance and you can also dry the leaves in the shade or in the sun and store for later use to make tea.
The recommended way to prepare mint infusions is to let it soak in hot water for about ten minutes. You can crush dry mint leaves and soak it in hot water for a couple of minutes. If you use fresh mint leaves then it is best to lightly crush the leaves or macerate them lightly. You may add such leaves to simmering water and simmer for a minute and let it stand for a few minutes to let the water be infused with mint’s essential oils.
How to make peppermint tea to enjoy peppermint tea benefits
In order to enjoy peppermint tea benefits, you must make the tea. Of course, you can get packaged, ready to drink tea but that is not the same as making it at home. There are different ways you can make tea.
The desi chai
Indians have their own way of brewing tea. This is how most Indians prepare desi chai with mint.
The way most Indians prefer tea is with milk and sugar. The usual way most people make tea is to mix milk, water, sugar and tea leaves and then let it brew. You can add crushed ginger and crushed mint tea leaves to the boiling mix and let it simmer for a couple of minutes until the brew attains a rich color. Strain and enjoy to enjoy peppermint tea benefits. You feel refreshed and relaxed with a cup of desi chai to start your day, any time in between and in the evening after a hard day’s work.
Green tea without milk
If you want peppermint tea benefits then it is best to prepare tea without any milk. You can use black tea leaves if you cannot find green tea. However, green tea is said to have more health-giving ingredients and antioxidants.
- Boil water. When you do add a bit of crushed ginger.
- When it boils add a spoonful or less of green tea leaves.
- Add macerated green mint leaves.
- Cover the vessel and let it steep for a few minutes. How long you let it rest is up to you. Five minutes gives you a mild flavor. Let it stand for a longer time and the taste of tea and mint intensifies.
- Strain, add a little bit of honey and lemon juice and enjoy a refreshingly soothing beverage.
Hot or cold peppermint tea
Make this peppermint tea. Enjoy it hot. Enjoy it cold. It is just delightful, soothing and refreshing.
- Boil water, about one glass. Put in some crushed lemongrass and a bit of crushed ginger when you boil it.
- Remove from flame. Add crushed and macerated mint leaves and put in a teabag.
- Let it steep for 5 minutes.
- Add lemon juice and a spoonful or two of honey. Sip it hot.
- Let it stand and cool. Bottle it and keep it in the fridge to drink whenever you feel like it.
Spicy peppermint tea
Some people prefer spices in their tea instead of herbs. That tea has its own flavor and peppermint tea benefits.
- Boil water to which you add a stick of cinnamon and one cardamom.
- Macerate mint leaves.
- Remove water from flame and add macerated mint leaves. Let them steep for 5 minutes.
- Strain. Sprinkle cumin powder.
- Add lemon juice and honey and enjoy a different variety of tea.
Peppermint tea for fever and colds
Peppermint contains ingredients that are helpful for when you have a fever and colds. Enhance it with other herbs and spices.
- Boil one glass of water to which you add a stick of cinnamon, one cardamom, and a few peppercorns as well as a half sliced lemon. Also add a half-inch piece of ginger, crushed.
- Crush mint leaves and tulsi (basil) leaves.
- Remove water from the stove and add crushed mint leaves and tulsi leaves. Let the leaves steep for a few minutes.
- Strain the mixture, add honey and drink it hot once in two hours.
If you have a fever, coughs, and colds, this peppermint tea benefits you by bringing relief in just two days.
This tea is not just for when you are down with flu and fever. Make it an everyday drink when you wake up, after lunch and after work. It keeps you detoxified, refreshed and calm while relieving you of stress.
You know now how to make peppermint tea in different ways. There are times when you may not be able to obtain fresh mint or dry mint. Keep a bottle of peppermint oil handy. Brew your tea as usual and add a few drops of peppermint oil before you drink it. You get the same benefits of peppermint.
Now read on to learn about peppermint tea benefits.
The benefits of peppermint tea
Peppermint does taste cool and smells nice. Chew a few leaves and your mouth feels fresh. Make it into a tea to enjoy the benefits of peppermint tea.
Boost your immunity
Drink peppermint tea in the morning. Drinking it on an empty stomach has different benefits. Peppermint’s active compounds are antibacterial and antiviral. If you drink the spiced variety above or the one recommended for fever then you receive an even higher dose of active compounds. Your immune system improves. You will stay protected against catching colds and flu.
The trouble with coffee is that caffeine in it can keep you alert but too much of it can also make you irritable. Switch to peppermint tea in which you have some green tea and peppermint leaves infusion. You relieve stress since theobromine and essential oils in peppermint calm your nerves. You feel relaxed and in control of yourself.
Peppermint tea to make you feel alert
Peppermint tea can be soothing and yet it can also make you feel alert. Afternoons are when your mental faculties start to run down. This is the perfect time for a pick-me-up. Drink a cup of peppermint tea. You will feel stimulated and you can work right till evening.
Peppermint tea for digestion
Peppermint is good for digestion. One of the benefits of drinking peppermint tea in the morning on an empty stomach is that it alkalizes your gastrointestinal tract and removes toxins. Drink the tea after lunch and the essential oils in peppermint help to improve digestion. This valuable herb improves the flow of bile. If you eat more proteins then you should add mint leaves to improve taste and digestion.
Peppermint tea for irritable bowel syndrome
Should you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome then peppermint tea is ideal. Simply make an infusion of peppermint, ginger and green tea and drink after adding some honey. The essential oils reduce involuntary movements and spasms in the gastrointestinal tract. Your pain also reduces when you consume peppermint. Inflammation reduces with the help of this wonderful herb.
Studies show that the essential oils in mint prevent the contraction of smooth muscles in the gut. This relieves spasms. Make it a regular habit to drink tea and symptoms of IBS reduce in just four weeks.
Pregnant women do suffer from nausea and vomiting. You can alleviate these symptoms if you switch to peppermint tea. Keep some peppermint oil handy. You can wet a handkerchief with a few drops and smell it when you feel nauseous. However, be cautious and use in moderation because peppermint triggers menstruation.
Relief from menstrual cramps
Some women do experience menstrual cramps. Instead of popping pain killers it is a good idea to consume peppermint tea for cramps. Peppermint is just as good as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics in relieving pain. Enjoy peppermint tea and stay stress-free during this time.
Peppermint does reduce nausea and vomiting. Chemotherapy patients may feel nauseous at times for which peppermint tea is a good remedy.
Improve wound healing
You can apply a paste of crushed peppermint leaves to wounds to improve healing. Drink peppermint tea with cinnamon to speed up healing.
Peppermint tea to relieve headache
There are times when you will be all stressed out and have a headache. This is when you take time off to relax with a cup of peppermint tea. Essential oils in peppermint have a calming effect and the menthol relieves headaches.
Peppermint tea for coughs, colds, and fevers
Use the recipe given above when you are down with flu. Mint and Tulsi work together and combine the active ingredients to fight viral infections that cause fevers, nasal congestion, and runny nose. Antibiotics do not work when you have viral infections. Even antivirals are of little use. This is when you turn to peppermint tea to experience fast relief from runny nose, congestion, phlegm, coughs, and fevers.
Drink the tea hot, four to five times a day and in two days your symptoms reduce. Rosmarinic acid found in mint reduces allergic reactions. There are times such as spring and autumn when people are more prone to allergies and flu infection. Adapt peppermint tea to stay protected against such seasonal allergies.
Diabetics should consume Peppermint tea at least two to three times a day. Studies show it helps to reduce and keep blood sugar in control. However, if you take medications please consult your doctor because peppermint can lead to hypoglycemia.
It is good for oral health
Most toothpaste contains menthol derived from peppermint. There is a good reason for this. Menthol freshens breath and kills bacteria in the oral cavity. Drink peppermint tea for good oral health. Just swish it around in your mouth and your oral cavity stays relatively bacteria-free.
Peppermint risk factors
Peppermint tea gives you benefits and improves overall health. If you are healthy you may drink 4 to 5 cups of peppermint tea. However, peppermint also has its risk factors that you should know about.
- Patients who suffer from hypertension and take medication must exercise caution.
- If you consume medication for the liver then please drink peppermint tea in moderation.
- People who suffer from acidity and take antacids should limit the consumption of tea to one cup per day.
As can be seen, peppermint has quite a few positive effects on your systemic health. It does have a few drawbacks but these are minor and are case-specific. You need not worry. Should you have any medical condition it is safe to drink one cup of tea under your doctor’s advice. In any case, peppermint tea benefits far outweigh the risks and it is much better and healthier compared to cola drinks or coffee.