All About Spearmint Tea
Spearmint is a popular herb also referred to as mentha spicata, it contains many of the same properties as peppermint. Spearmint is a perennial plant that originates from the continent of Asia and Europe; but today, it grows on five other continents. The spearmint leaf is shaped like a spear which is why it was named spearmint. The herb has a deliciously sweet taste and is often used to flavor candy, chewing gum, mouthwash, and toothpaste. One popular method of enjoying the herb is to brew it into a tea. Not only is the herb tasty, but it also has many health benefits.
The History of Spearmint Tea
Spearmint originates from the Mediterranean region, the Greeks often used it as an aphrodisiac. It was also used as a treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, to cure hiccups, to clear the voice and scent bathwater. Herbalists and physicians such as Pliny prescribed spearmint to revitalize and restore the body. It wasn’t until spearmint was brought to the United Kingdom that spearmint was recognized for its medicinal properties and it became a common remedy for colds, respiratory conditions, vomiting and nausea. Spearmint has a mild and soft scent, making the herb ideal for the elderly, children and people with sensitive skin. It has an invigorating and sweet scent that makes people feel focused and optimistic about life.
The Ingredients of Spearmint Tea
Spearmint tea contains one ingredient and that is the spearmint leaf, the tea is either made from fresh or dried leaves.
The Benefits of Spearmint Tea
There are several health benefits associated with spearmint tea, here are some of them:
- Spearmint Tea is Good For Digestive Problems
Spearmint tea is often used as a remedy for digestive issues such as gas, vomiting, nausea and indigestion. Carvone is one of the many compounds found in spearmint, and it has the effect of preventing the digestive tract from contracting. In a study of 32 participants suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), it was discovered that those who drank spearmint tea to relieve constipation reported experiencing less bloating, discomfort and pain in comparison to those who didn’t consume spearmint tea.
Spearmint also has the ability to relieve the vomiting and nausea associated with chemotherapy. One study found that when spearmint essential oil was rubbed into the skin, participants experienced significantly less vomiting and nausea in comparison to the participants who did not use spearmint oil.
Spearmint Tea Contains High Levels of Antioxidants
One of the many natural chemical compounds found in plants is antioxidants. They assist in repairing the damage caused by free radicals as well as protecting the body against them. Free radicals are dangerous molecules that contribute to oxidative stress. There are several chronic conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease that have been linked to oxidative stress. Some of the antioxidants present in spearmint include menthol, limonene, flavanones, flavones and Rosmarin. It has also been discovered that 11 grams of spearmint contain two percent of our recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
- Spearmint Tea is Good For Hormone Imbalances in Women’s
imbalances for many women. It assists in decreasing the male hormone testosterone at the same time as increasing luteinizing, estradiol, and follicle-stimulating hormones which are the female hormone responsible for ovulation.
In one study conducted over a five-day period, it was discovered that the female participants who suffered from hormone imbalances experienced an increase in estradiol and a decrease in testosterone levels after drinking two cups of spearmint tea per each day.
- Spearmint Tea Helps to Reduce Hirsutism
Hirsutism is a condition where women grow thick, coarse dark hair on the face, abdomen, and chest. Drinking spearmint tea assists in reducing the condition, in Middle Eastern countries it is a popular herbal remedy for unwanted facial hair growth. Hirsutism is linked to high levels of androgen or male hormones. Several studies have indicated that women with excessive hair growth on the face experienced a significant reduction after drinking spearmint tea twice a day for five days.
- Spearmint Tea Helps to Improve Memory
A number of studies have found that chewing gum flavored with spearmint assists in improving memory. In another study, it was also found that older adults suffering from memory problems were given 900 mg of spearmint extract every day and as a result, their working memory improved by 15 percent.
- Spearmint Tea Helps to Protect Against Bacterial Infections
Spearmint is used to flavor chewing gum, breath mints and toothpaste. However, this flavoring agent does more than freshen the breath, spearmint also contains antimicrobial and antibacterial properties which assist in killing the bacteria responsible for causing bad breath. Studies have concluded that spearmint essential oil protects against a number of harmful bacteria. Additionally, it has been found that spearmint assists in protecting against bacteria such as E. Coli that is responsible for causing foodborne illnesses.
Spearmint Tea Helps to Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Spearmint tea assists in reducing blood sugar levels in those who suffer from diabetes. Although there have not been many human studies in this area, there have been several encouraging studies that have been conducted on rats with diabetes. In a study where rats were spearmint extract daily, results found that they experienced a significant reduction in blood sugar levels.
- Spearmint Tea Helps to Reduce Stress
Spearmint puts the body into a relaxed state and therefore helps to reduce stress. In South American countries, it is the norm to treat insomnia and stress with spearmint tea. In one study, it was discovered that those who drank spearmint tea experienced less anxiety and better sleep patterns. Additionally, spearmint leaves contain menthol which has a sedative, relaxing effect on the body.
- Spearmint Tea Relieves the Pain Associated With Arthritis
Arthritis causes people to suffer from severe joint pain, studies have found that spearmint tea assists in significantly reducing the pain associated with arthritis. After researchers evaluated several studies, they came to the conclusion that spearmint essential oils had the ability to relieve pain.
- Spearmint Tea Helps to Reduce Blood Pressure
There is scientific evidence available indicating that spearmint assists in lowering blood pressure. Carvone is one of the chemical compounds in spearmint and research proves that it has the same effect as calcium-channel blockers which is a medication used for the treatment of high blood pressure. Additionally, one study discovered that carvone was 100 times more effective than verapamil which is used as a treatment for high blood pressure.
The Potential Side Effects of Spearmint Tea
Spearmint tea is safe when consumed in normal quantities; however, there are a few special warnings and precautions. These include the following:
Breast Feeding and Pregnant Women: Women who are breastfeeding or pregnant should not drink large quantities of spearmint tea. Too much spearmint tea has the potential to harm the uterus. Therefore, pregnant women should avoid drinking spearmint tea during this time. Women who are breastfeeding should also take precautions because there is limited information about the effect’s spearmint tea has on breastfeeding women.
Liver Disease: Large amounts of spearmint tea has the ability to cause liver damage; if you suffer from liver disease or any other problems with your liver, it is essential that you reduce your intake of spearmint tea.
The Dosage of Spearmint Tea
The right dosage of spearmint tea will depend on a number of factors such as age and health of the user. As of this moment, there is a limited amount of scientific research on spearmint making it difficult to determine the most effective doses for spearmint. It is important to mention that natural products can have side effects; therefore, it is essential that you follow the directions that have been set out on the product label, or you should consult your healthcare practitioner before consuming spearmint tea.
Are There Any Drug Interactions With Spearmint Tea?
Medications that have the potential to cause damage to the liver are referred to as hepatotoxic drugs, they have a moderate interactive rating when combined with spearmint. If you are taking a prescription of this kind, it is essential that you contact your doctor for further advice before you start taking peppermint tea. When consumed in large amounts, peppermint has the ability to cause damage to the liver. Therefore, using spearmint with other medications that can put the liver at risk is not advised.
Sedative medications are referred to as CNS depressants, they have a moderate interaction rating when combined with spearmint. One of the ingredients in spearmint is a chemical that has the ability to cause drowsiness and sleepiness. Therefore, a combination of spearmint and CNS depressants has the ability to intensify this effect.
Spearmint tea is a delicious warm beverage with many health benefits; however, as mentioned, it is not suitable for everyone and if you suffer from any health problems or you are currently taking medication. It is advised that you book an appointment with your doctor before you start drinking spearmint tea.