Peppermint (Mentha piperita Linn family: Labiatae) is an herbaceous popular plant of small size with greenish-feathery leaves commonly known as mint, spearmint, and peppermint. Peppermint herb can be used in numerous forms such as tea, tincture, oil, or extract, and applied externally as a rub or liniment due to its medicinal properties, taste, and aroma. The benefits of peppermint tea reduce pain and regulate blood sugar levels and cholesterol.
Peppermint is native to the Mediterranean region and has been spread worldwide in Eastern Asia, the USA, Canada Australia, and Africa.
Nutritional value of Peppermint- According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), peppermint contains essential oils, vitamins, dietary fiber, and minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, and magnesium. It also contains rosmarinic acid and several flavonoids, primarily eriocitrin, luteolin, menthol, menthone, and hesperidin. (1, 2).
|Compound||Amounts per 100 g.|
|Total lipid (fat)||0.94 g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||14.89 g|
|Fiber, total dietary||8 g|
|Iron, Fe||5.08 mg|
|Vitamin C||31.8 mg|
|Pantothenic acid||0.34 mg|
|Vitamin B-6||0.13 mg|
|Folate, DFE||114 µg|
|Vitamin A, RAE||212 µg|
|Vitamin A||4248 IU|
|Fatty acids, total saturated||0.25 g|
|Fatty acids, total monounsaturated||0.03 g|
|Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated||0.51 g|
Health benefits of Peppermint and peppermint tea
Some of the benefits of peppermint tea and peppermint are as follows
1. Treat oral disease and halitosis/bad breath
Oral rinse with peppermint is effective for the reduction of halitosis (3). The combination of sage tea-thyme-peppermint hydrosol gargle may help to alleviate oral mucositis (inflammation and ulceration in mouth) (4). Furthermore, peppermint leaves fight against different oral microorganisms such as Streptococcus mutans, Aggregatibacter actinomycetem-comitans, and Candida albicans that cause severe oral diseases (5).
2. Treat nasal congestion
The menthol found in peppermint enhances the nasal sensation of airflow and prevents nasal congestion, sneezing, and nasal rubbing (6). Moreover, peppermint contains luteolin-7-O-rutinoside which is useful in alleviating the nasal symptoms of allergic rhinitis (7).
3. Peppermint tea treat dysmenorrhea
Dysmenorrhea is related to painful uterine contractions during menstruation. Peppermint contains important active material known as menthol which reduces pain intensity and duration of pain, nausea, and diarrhea thus peppermint tea relaxes the smooth muscle and treats dysmenorrhea symptoms (8).
4. Regulate cholesterol and blood glucose levels
Intake of peppermint leaves or leaves extract in the form of peppermint tea decreases the elevated levels of blood glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, very-low-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein and increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and HDL-ratio without affecting serum insulin levels (9).
5. Reduce pain
Peppermint leaves act as an analgesic agent that is very effective to suppress pain like tooth, abdominal, thermal pain (heat and cold pain) (10). Peppermint contains a high amount of menthol which is effective for the treatment of various pain conditions including headache (migraine) (11).
6. Increase body weight
As we know that stress had negative impacts on appetite and reduced appetite may decrease body weight however peppermint powder or tea increases body weight by the secretion of gastrointestinal fluids and improving digestion and absorption (12).
7. Treat cancer
Peppermint leaves contain polyphenols which act as an anticancer agent that inhibit the growth of the human colon cancer cell line (13).
8. Insect repellent
Peppermint contains bioactive compounds that show insecticide effects against houseflies (Musca domestica) thus peppermint leaves, stems, and bark aqueous extract spray or burn fresh leaves, stems, and roots to generate smoke repels houseflies (14).
9. Improve cognitive function
Peppermint contains a high amount of menthol and menthone which increases alertness and improves memory, therefore, peppermint show beneficial effects on the central and peripheral nervous system, human cognitive function, alertness/fatigue and enhance sporting performance (15).
10. Radioprotective properties
Peppermint leaves contain a rich amount of phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and flavonols that show antioxidant and radical scavenging activity thus protect from radiation-induced damage (16).
11. Protect from kidney injury
Gentamicin is an antibiotic which is used to treat various type of bacterial infection however it can damage kidney and alter body weight blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, creatinine clearance, uric acid, urinary protein, and enzymes excretion however peppermint supplementation prevent all these damages (17).
12. Antiviral properties
The presence of phenolic acid and flavonoid in peppermint show a wonderful effect on the inhibition of respiratory syncytial virus thus prevent cold symptoms (18).
Side effect of peppermint
Peppermint tea and peppermint leaf extract have not been reported unsafe and it proved safe for regular consumption and may use in cosmetic formulations although precaution should be needed for using peppermint oil in patients with GI reflux, hiatal hernia, or kidney stones (19, 20). Moreover, Peppermint should be used in the recommended fashion or at the recommended dose because at a high dosage it may cause a negative effect on the reproductive system (21).
Peppermint tea recipe
Peppermint can be consumed in the form of tea or lemon and peppermint juice and also in the form of other types of summer drink
1. Peppermint hot tea with peppermint leaf extract
For the preparation of peppermint hot tea, take 7 to 8 fresh leaves of peppermint and wash it thoroughly and then gently crush it and put it in a cup. Now add hot water and then leave for 4 -5 mins. Your peppermint tea is ready you can add a little fresh lemon and honey to it.
2. Peppermint hot green tea
Prepare green tea and add crushed leaves of peppermint into it. Cover the tea for 4-5 mins then add fresh lemon and honey.
3. Peppermint cold tea
Peppermint cold tea can be prepared just like the above two methods. But for this, you need to refrigerate the tea or add some ice.