Every year there seem to be more and more types of tea available and heading to the tea aisle at the grocery store can be a little overwhelming. If you’re looking for a tea that has a wide range of health benefits and tastes delicious, you may want to add spearmint tea to your routine.
This type of tea has long been used for its beneficial effects on the digestive tract, on anxiety, and on pain — but what else can this refreshing tea do for you? In this article, we’ll be discussing all of the health benefits of spearmint tea, before discussing some tips on how to include this tea in your daily tea routine.
The most frequently cited benefit of spearmint tea is its antioxidant properties; it can counteract free radicals due to compounds like rosmarinic acid and flavones. Spearmint tea is often cited for rebalancing female hormone levels, as it increases progesterone and decreases testosterone.
- What is Spearmint Tea vs Peppermint?
- What are the Main Benefits of Spearmint Tea?
- Are There Any Downsides or Side Effects to Drinking Spearmint Tea?
- How to Make Spearmint Tea At Home
- The Best Spearmint Tea Brands
- Final Thoughts
What is Spearmint Tea vs Peppermint?
Both peppermint herbal tea and spearmint herbal tea have long histories in the tea world. As they are made from different leaves, they do have slightly different tastes and benefits.
Spearmint tea is made with leaves from the mentha spicata plant. Native to Europe and Southern Asia, mentha spicata is also commonly known as the garden mint or the common mint herb. Spearmint tea was traditionally used in Moroccan green teas for its refreshing taste and its benefits. Unlike peppermint, spearmint has less essential oil, giving it a softer, sweeter taste.
In terms of its antioxidant properties, spearmint has a slightly different makeup, containing vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and B vitamins. Peppermint, on the other hand, is rich in vitamin C, magnesium, copper, iron, potassium, and calcium.
What are the Main Benefits of Spearmint Tea?
There are many beneficial effects associated with spearmint tea.
Many people turn to spearmint tea for its beneficial effect on the digestive system. Spearmint has been consumed for its soothing properties for years. It contains a compound called carvone that is thought to help stop muscle contractions in the digestive tract, which means it can help to reduce pain from indigestion and to stop digestive upset.
One study examined people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and found that those who were given spearmint had fewer adverse symptoms associated with IBS than other participants that received a placebo.
Antioxidants are well-established for fighting free radicals and repairing tissue damage. When free radicals enter the body, they can lead to oxidative stress, which can go on to cause dangerous chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
In the spearmint herb, compounds like rosmarinic acid, flavones, and flavanones are the main antioxidants, all of which have been shown to have excellent benefits when it comes to counteracting free radicals.
May Help Hormonal Imbalances
Spearmint tea is also frequently consumed in order to rebalance female hormone imbalances. The extract has been shown to increase progesterone levels and decrease testosterone levels in animal subjects. There is even a study albeit small, that demonstrated how this herb can help decrease testosterone levels and increase hormones like LH, FSH, and estradiol.
For this reason, the tea is also frequently consumed by women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS. One animal study even showed that spearmint could decrease ovarian cysts. Find out more in our article on spearmint tea and PCOS.
May Improve Your Memory
There have been some studies to suggest that spearmint may have a positive impact on the brain. One study examined older adults with memory problems. With high doses of daily spearmint supplements, these adults had a 15% improvement in their memory quality.
May Help Fight Bacterial Infections
Bacteria can be incredibly harmful when it enters the body. Studies have shown that spearmint essential oil can help to fight certain types of bacteria such as E. coli and Listeria, both of which can lead to serious illness.
May Improve Arthritis Pain
Arthritis can cause serious, even debilitating joint pain. Spearmint tea may help to alleviate the discomfort caused by the condition. One study showed that just two cups of spearmint tea a day improved the stiffness and disability that can be caused by arthritis.
May Help to Lower Blood Sugar
High blood sugar levels can lead to serious health issues, including diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol. Keeping blood sugar levels stable and safe is therefore essential. Like some other teas, spearmint tea has demonstrated a positive impact on high blood sugar levels.
- One animal study found that spearmint could significantly improve blood sugar levels for diabetics.
- Another animal study used a controlled trial to show that spearmint could actually reduce blood sugar by up to 25% in less than a month.
The trouble with the studies we have so far is that they have only been done on rats and not on humans. While the results are promising, we cannot say conclusively that spearmint tea does lower blood sugar.
Are There Any Downsides or Side Effects to Drinking Spearmint Tea?
With so many benefits, you may be wondering — is there anything wrong with this super tea? Let’s take a look at a few of the potential downsides or side effects of the beverage
May Be Unsafe for Pregnant Women or Breast-Feeding Women
The US Food and Drug Administration encourages caution with herbal tea use during pregnancy due to limited research during this stage of life. When consumed in moderation, many herbal teas are recognized as safe for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. As with anything, consult our medical team if you are considering regular use of herbal teas during pregnancy.
May Increase Kidney and Liver Damage
Kidney and liver damage have been linked with excessive spearmint tea consumption. If you have a medical condition speak to your doctor before drinking large quantities of spearmint tea.
How Often Should You Drink Spearmint Tea?
Daily consumption of up to two cups is generally recognized as safe for most individuals. The health benefits reviewed were seen in a varying amount of daily intake.
How to Make Spearmint Tea At Home
If you want to make the most out of your new spearmint tea routine, try to use organic, fresh leaf tea, as this is more likely to maintain the antioxidant properties of the fresh herb.
- Begin by boiling water.
- Wait a minute or two for the water to cool down slightly.
- Add a handful of torn spearmint leaves.
- Cover the mixture and steep for roughly five minutes.
- Strain the leaves and enjoy!
The process of making iced tea is similar. Simply brew the mixture for a little longer before straining — at least 10 minutes. After straining, pour the mixture over ice and let it cool. You should be left with a delicious and refreshing drink.
The Best Spearmint Tea Brands
There are plenty of spearmint herbal tea options available. Whether you go for organic or regular, loose leaf or tea bags, every brand is different. Here are a few of the best spearmint teas.
Davidson’s Loose Leaf Tea
Davidson’s is widely considered to be one of the best tea brands. This tea uses organic loose spearmint leaves, for a fresh taste with a plethora of benefits. This brand is USDA certified and sources excellent, high-quality ingredients with no added chemicals or preservatives. The tea comes in eco-friendly packaging you can feel good about purchasing.
Wild Foods Spearmint Serene
Wild Foods markets its spearmint tea as a solution to anxiety and restlessness, calling it Spearmint Serene. It also claims that their tea can be used for natural pain relief. Wild Foods encourages you to brew the same tea leaves multiple times in order to get different tastes and health benefits.
Bigelow Spearmint and Peppermint Blended Tea Bags
Instead of a pure spearmint tea, Bigelow offers a “mint medley” that combines both spearmint and peppermint leaves for a slightly different flavor and different antioxidant profile. If you are hoping to get all of the benefits of pure spearmint tea, this option may not be the best choice for you.
This tea is caffeine-free and also contains the beneficial ingredients of rosehip, lemon peel, and hibiscus. However, do note that these are tea bags rather than fresh tea leaves.
Buddha Teas Spearmint Leaf Tea Bags
Buddha teas contain no additives and are made with the environment in mind. The shipping and manufacturing process aims to be eco-friendly, while all materials used are recyclable or biodegradable. This organic option uses no GMOs, no artificial flavors, and no bleach in the teabag design.
Traditional Medicinals Organic Spearmint Tea Bags
The Traditional Medicinals organic spearmint tea bags are an excellent option for tea-drinkers who prefer bags to loose-leaf. As the leaves in these tea bags are 100% organic, you don’t have to worry about anything other than fresh, pure spearmint. Their herbs are sourced ethically and sustainably. All of their organic teas are non-GMO verified, organic certified, and Kosher.
Spearmint tea is thought to have some amazing health benefits. There is little reason not to include this tasty, refreshing tea in your regular routine. We hope this guide to spearmint tea has helped you to understand why and how to drink spearmint tea. Let us know your favorite teas!