Peppermint tea is a popular drink that has been around…
…for hundreds of years. It was originally used to treat colds and flu, but it’s now known as an effective remedy against the common cold. Peppermint leaves are added to hot water which makes this aromatic beverage soothing on your throat and stomach. But how does it work? What properties do these herbs have? And why should you sip some every day? Let’s find out!
What Is Peppermint Tea: History
The history of mint goes back thousands of years ago when ancient Romans discovered its medicinal benefits by using mint in their food preparation. They also made use of the herb as flavoring agents and perfumes. The word “Mint” comes from Latin words meaning “to smell good” or “good fragrance.” In fact, the name ‘mentha’ means ‘fragrant’.
In medieval times, people were already drinking peppermint tea to help ease digestive problems such as nausea or indigestion. However, the first documented reference to the therapeutic effects of peppermint occurred during the 17th century. A French physician named Nicholas Culpeper wrote about the effectiveness of the herb in treating ailments like coughs, fever, diarrhea and even toothaches. This led many other physicians to realize that peppermint could be helpful in curing diseases.
During World War II, American soldiers drank peppermint tea to refresh themselves after long hours of marching through the desert heat. After returning home, they shared their experience with family members who started buying large quantities of dried peppermint leaves.
Soon enough, there was so much demand for peppermint tea that manufacturers had to start producing more than just one type of herbal blend. Today, we can choose between different flavors and types of peppermints including spearmint, chocolate mint, orange-flavored mint and others.
How Does Peppermint Work To Heal Your Body?
There are several ways in which peppermint works to heal our bodies. First, the essential oils found within the plant stimulate blood circulation throughout the body. These oils contain compounds called menthols which relax muscles and relieve pain a great benefit if you’re suffering from sore throats, headaches, muscle aches and pains, etc. Menthol actually stimulates the production of endorphins in the brain. Endorphins improve mood, reduce stress levels and increase energy levels
Benefits of Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea contains antioxidants which boost immunity and fight free radicals. Antioxidants protect cells from damage caused by oxygen molecules. Free radical formation occurs naturally inside all living organisms. However, excessive amounts of free radicals may cause cellular damage leading to cancerous tumors and heart disease.
By consuming antioxidant rich foods and beverages, your body will be able to better defend itself against harmful toxins. One cup of peppermint tea provides approximately 100 milligrams of vitamin C, 20 mg Vitamin E, 10mg beta carotene, 2.5 mg calcium and 1.3 mg magnesium.
Antibacterial Properties Of Peppermint
People often think that antibacterial products only cleanse surfaces. While they certainly remove bacteria from skin and hair, they don’t penetrate deep into pores where dirt resides. That being said, studies show that peppermint oil reduces bacterial growth.
Researchers at Harvard University tested the effect of various concentrations of peppermint oil on five strains of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Their findings showed that two drops of pure peppermint oil completely inhibited three strains while four drops reduced growth rates of S. aureus by 99 percent. So not only does it kill off germs, but it keeps them away too.
Anti Inflammatory Benefits Of Peppermint Tea
Inflammation is an important component of healing wounds. When tissue becomes damaged due to injury or illness, immune system cells rush to the scene to promote repair. Unfortunately, these same immune cells release chemicals known as cytokines which trigger inflammation. Cytokine’s job is to bring white blood cell activity under control. But when this process goes awry, chronic inflammation results.
Chronic inflammation leads to swelling, redness, tenderness and discomfort. It also contributes to conditions ranging from arthritis to acne. Fortunately, peppermint has been shown to inhibit the inflammatory response triggered by certain substances that cause allergies and asthma attacks. In addition, peppermint helps prevent stomach ulcers because its anti-inflammatory properties allow gastric mucosa to heal faster. Plus, research shows that peppermint improves memory retention.
Relaxing And Anti Anxiety Effects Of Peppermint
The relaxing effects of peppermint come mostly from its volatile oils. Volatile oils evaporate easily. They do so quickly and without leaving any residue behind. Because of this property, people use food grade peppermint oil topically to treat minor burns and cuts.
Because of its clean, pleasant scent and taste, peppermint is a popular flavour. Drinking peppermint tea can help freshen one’s breath and may have additional advantages for combating bad breath.
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For example, a tresearch published in 2017, discovered that gargling a mix of peppermint, lemon, and tea tree oils benefited individuals with foul breath after spine surgery. According to one 2015 study, peppermint oil contains antibacterial characteristics that may aid in the reduction of germs that cause plaque and gum disease.