Peppermint tea is a herbal tea made from an infusion of peppermint, Mentha piperita. It is sometimes called mint tea. It is naturally caffeine-free. A tea made from blending peppermint and spearmint leaves is referred to as doublemint tea.
Health benefits and concerns
Though there have been few human clinical trials on the health benefits or risks of peppermint tea, there is some evidence that peppermint-based products (and potentially, the tea) have healing effects because of the peppermint oil or menthol that it contains, and that treatment using orally ingested peppermint oil will relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. The oil of peppermint has also been shown to be an effective antispasmodic during colonoscopy and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy.
However, peppermint has properties that may relax the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing the contents of the stomach to move upwards into the esophagus. For this reason, patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are advised to avoid peppermint, at least in theory. On the other hand, precisely because it calms and relaxes the muscles along the intestinal tract, thus reducing spasms, peppermint may have beneficial effects in treating digestive symptoms like diarrhea and colic. Peppermint also seems to be effective in relieving intestinal gas and indigestion.
- McKay DL, Blumberg JB (August 2006). "A review of the bio-activity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.)". Phytother Res 20 (8): 619–33. doi:10.1002/ptr.1936. PMID 16767798.
- Capello G, et al. (April 2007). "Peppermint oil (Mintoil) in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a prospective double blind placebo-controlled randomized trial". Dig Liver Dis. 39 (6): 530–6. doi:10.1016/j.dld.2007.02.006. PMID 17420159.
- Yamamoto N, et al. (November 2006). "Efficacy of peppermint oil as an antispasmodic during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography". Gastroenterol Hepatol. 21 (11): 1768. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1746.2006.04307.x. PMID 16911682.
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