Uncovering 9 Surprising Benefits of Spearmint Tea! Like peppermint, spearmint is a type of mint also known as Mentha Spicata. It gets the name spearmint from its spear-shaped leaves.
If you know spearmint, you probably know it because of its refreshing and pleasant taste, which makes it a common ingredient in mouthwashes, toothpaste, candy, and chewing gum.
Spearmint can also be used in various recipes, including smoothies, sauces, salads, or tea.
What is spearmint tea?
Spearmint tea is a flavorful and refreshing herbal beverage that you can easily make from dry or fresh spearmint leaves.
It contains important nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants such as rosmarinic acid, flavanones, flavones, menthol, and limonene.
A regular intake of this tea can help boost your health, including boosting the functioning of your digestive system.
Besides, it’s caffeine-free, which means it is safe for consumption without causing addiction.
Nutrients in spearmint tea
- Vitamin C
- Thiamin (B1)
- Riboflavin (B2)
- Niacin (B3)
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
- Vitamin B6
- Folate (B9)
Spearmint tea also contains various antioxidants, including rosmarinic acid flavanones, limonene.
Surprising Benefits of Spearmint Tea
1. Improves Memory
Having a good memory is very important for your day-to-day activities. For instance, students with a good memory are more likely to pass an upcoming test than those with a poor one. Likewise, a doctor with a good memory will be able to retrieve some important information to help treat a patient. So memory is everything as it allows you to connect past lessons and experiences to the present life.
While there’re various methods to promote good memory, the most common and safest is through foods and herbs like spearmint.
Spearmint tea possesses a generous amount of polyphenols that promote the development of new brain cells (neurogenesis). This not only promotes new brain cells but also protects the existing ones. As a result, it can improve memory even in old age, thus improving cognitive decline, especially in older people who are more susceptible to the condition.
Additionally, the antioxidants in spearmint tea can help fight free radicals that may damage the brain and accelerate the development of age-related cognitive decline like Alzheimer’s disease.
In a recent study, older men and women with age-associated memory impairment were put on a spearmint supplement for three months. At the end of the study, they reported improved working and spatial memory compared to a placebo.
In a different study, mice given a spearmint extract improved learning and memory performance on a maze test.
With that in mind, further studies are needed on spearmint tea. This can help determine whether these benefits can still be experienced with the tea or are only limited to an extract.
2. It can help resolve digestive issues
Spearmint can help the body deal with various digestive issues, including nausea, indigestion, bloating, vomiting, and gas, among other issues.
The tea contains carvone, which is also the active compound in spearmint. This compound can obstruct the contraction of muscles in the digestive system, which can help relieve abdominal pain, relax an upset stomach, or prevent flatulence.
It can even help relieve symptoms associated with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Ongoing research also suggests that spearmint tea can relieve the nauseous feeling that comes from chemotherapy medications.
3. Reduces Stress
The relaxing and soothing nature of spearmint can help relieve stress. That’s why this tea has been used for centuries in South American countries to relieve stress and improve sleep for people dealing with anxiety and depression. The tea reduces stress as it interacts with GABA receptors in the brain, calming you down.
Moreover, the plant contains a small amount of menthol, which may further promote a sense of calm with subsequent stress relief.
Additionally, it has limonene, a potent antioxidant that fights free radicals in the body and enhances the brain’s neurotransmitter action. Neurotransmitters play an important role when it comes to relieving stress, improving mood, and enhancing overall mental well-being.
4. Fights Bacterial Infections
The plant has potent antibacterial properties that help counter pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Salmonella typhi. These bacteria are responsible for illnesses in various body systems, such as the skin, urinary tract, respiration, and digestion system.
Due to its rich phytochemicals and mineral content, one cup of spearmint tea daily can help boost your immunity and fight bacteria.
It also has antiseptic properties that can help promote oral hygiene, thus preventing any tooth infections and other mouth conditions like bad breath.
So more than refreshing your breath, that mint toothpaste can come a long way in keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
Additionally, its anti-inflammatory compounds can help fight inflammation which is a common sign in most infections hence promoting healing.
5. Aids in Arthritis Pain Management
Arthritis is a disease that affects joints and surrounding tissues.
It causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in these joints, and in extreme cases, it affects the surrounding tendons, ligaments, and even muscles leading to deformity and joint damage.
While there are many forms of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common.
Since spearmint has anti-inflammation compounds such as rosmarinic acid (rosA), it can help fight inflammation caused by osteoarthritis. Rosa also has powerful antioxidant and immunomodulatory effects, healing joints and repairing and protecting cartilage. As such, taking spearmint tea eases osteoarthritis symptoms.
6. Enhances Hormonal Balance in Women
Hormonal imbalance occurs when you have too much or too little of a certain hormone.
This disrupts their normal functions leading to various symptoms, including mood changes and skin issues, and in some cases, diseases can develop.
So, hormonal balance is crucial in keeping everything optimally functioning in a woman’s body.
Research shows that spearmint tea can combat hormonal imbalances in women. If the hormones are imbalanced, a woman could also suffer various consequences, including PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and fertility problems. In some cases, a woman may develop hirsutism (the development of facial hair in women).
One of the most common types of hormones that could contribute to changes in a woman’s body is androgens. Androgens are the hormones responsible for growth and reproduction in both genders.
While androgens are perceived to be male hormones, women also produce small amounts via the adrenal glands and ovaries. If the body produces more than required, a woman will suffer PCOS and hirsutism.
Spearmint tea contains a generous amount of anti-androgenic compounds that reduce the testosterone amount in the body. This will, in turn, balance the female luteinizing hormone (LH), the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and estradiol hormones. In a recent study, women who consumed the tea twice daily realized results within weeks.
7. Lowers Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, commonly known as hypertension, is a state of blood pressure elevation. The condition is attributed to a lack of physical exercise and unhealthy lifestyle choices.
This causes the heart and vital organs to strain and opens doors for even dire cardiovascular illnesses.
Spearmint contains a generous amount of carvone, a monoterpene ketone that helps control glucose metabolism in the body.
Research shows that carvone has the same activity as drugs used to manage and treat high blood pressure.
In conjunction with potassium, spearmint is more potent and works by decreasing blood vessel contractions. All this reduces the chances of high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases ultimately.
8. Natural Source Antioxidants
Antioxidants are substances that delay and inhibit cell damage in the body. They achieve this by disarming free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause cell damage, leading to disease development.
Antioxidants are common in most plant foods, including fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and herbs such as spearmint.
Spearmint tea contains potent antioxidants such as rosmarinic acid, Vitamin C, limonene, menthol, flavones and flavanones. According to research, these antioxidants fight free radicals in the body that are responsible for causing various diseases such as diabetes, cancer, atherosclerosis, inflammatory joint disease, dementia, asthma, and degenerative eye diseases.
9. Promotes Better Skin Health
Given its richness in antioxidant and antibacterial properties, spearmint tea contributes to better skin health.
It contains substances that kill acne-causing bacteria, giving you clear and flawless skin.
They also contain vitamin C, though, in small amounts, this can contribute to collagen production. Collagen is a type of protein that provides structure to skin, hair, and nails.
On the skin, it promotes elasticity, helping get rid of wrinkles and sagging skin. It also promotes skin rejuvenation, hydration, and blood flow to the skin. This will provide overall youthful and radiant skin.
To realize faster results, combine spearmint tea intake with a skincare regimen.
How to Prepare Fresh Spearmint Tea
Here is a quick way to prepare your spearmint tea in under five minutes. Our list of ingredients serves two cups. As such, if you wish to serve more people, please adjust the quantity of the items.
- Two cups of water
- Fresh spearmint leaves (15 leaves)
- If using dry spearmint leaves, two tablespoons are enough.
- Preferred natural sweetener (optional)
- Two slices of lemon (optional)
- Boil your water
- Turn off your heat and let the water sit for a minute before adding spearmint leaves
- Steep the leaves for 5 minutes or longer if you want a stronger flavor
- Add your sweetener and lemon
- Serve your tea: Serve the tea while hot and garnish it with some fresh spearmint leaves. If you are serving it iced, fill your cup with ice and pour the hot tea over it.
Potential Side Effects of Spearmint Tea
Though spearmint tea is considered safe for most people, it may cause some issues in others
People suffering from GERD (Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease) should know that the tea has a soothing effect on the esophagus, which can worsen acid reflux and heartburn in the long run.
For those with PCOS, the spearmint can be powerful in balancing the hormones. However, one needs to be keen as overconsumption may cause an imbalance in androgens. If you suffer from these conditions, it is crucial that you talk to your physician before consuming spearmint tea.
3. Reduces testosterone
Testosterone is an androgen (male hormone), and although too much of it can cause hormonal imbalance in women, it plays an important role in normal male sexual development and functions. It helps boys develop male features such as a deeper voice, body and facial hair, and muscle mass. It also stimulates sperm production and sex drive.
Drinking spearmint tea for men can cause a decrease in this crucial hormone leading to issues with fertility, such as low libido. So, it’s always best to avoid this tea if you are male or only take it once in a while.
4. It may irritate your gut lining
While spearmint tea aids digestion and can resolve common digestive symptoms, too much of it may irritate your stomach’s mucosal lining. So maintain minimal intake.
5. It may inhibit iron absorption
Iron absorption inhibition is commonly associated with caffeine; however, spearmint leaves contain tannins, which are plant compounds that may also inhibit iron uptake.
With that, it’s good to avoid this tea if you have low iron levels. For the same reason, women should avoid it during menstruation.
6. Allergic reactions
Spearmint can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. This may present as rashes on the skin, hives, itchy throat, mouth, and tongue swelling, or skin irritation. In some cases, it may cause diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s good to discontinue the use
7. Pregnancy and breastfeeding
There’s limited research on the safety of spearmint tea for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, so it’s good to avoid it.
8. Drug interactions
Since spearmint can cause slowed breathing and sleepiness, it’s good to avoid it if you are already taking a sleeping pill or sedatives. Taking them may cause breathing difficulty and too much sleep.
9. Liver and kidney damage
According to experts, drinking too much spearmint tea may damage the liver or kidneys. It should generally be avoided for those with liver and kidney issues.
Spearmint tea is a natural and caffeine-free treat beneficial for your body, mind, and soul.
Besides balancing hormones, the tea enhances digestion, reduces pain, and helps you manage stress.
It is among the most underrated herbal teas that you should try. Brew your cup today, and let us know how you like it.
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