8 Hidden Benefits of Spearmint Tea
Refreshingly cool and perfectly sweet, spearmint is a wildly popular flavor for chewing gum, toothpaste, mouthwash, and tea. But the benefits of spearmint extend far beyond just tasting delicious. Spearmint offers a host of benefits to your overall health. Read on to learn more about the eight hidden benefits of spearmint tea.
A Brief History of Spearmint
Spearmint (named for its spear-like leaves) boasts a long, fascinating history dating back to at least the first century. Mints were once a highly valued trading commodity. Later, in the Middle Ages, peppermint and spearmint were used to treat wounds. During the American Revolution, when England was taxing teas, spearmint tea emerged as a popular drink that could be grown in the colonies. Today, spearmint is one of the 50 top cash crops in America. But spearmint is used in teas from all over the world.
There's good reason for its popularity. In addition to making a refreshing, cooling, yet lightly sweet drink, tea made from spearmint leaves may also offer relief from various medical conditions.
Bloating, Indigestion, and IBS
Spearmint contains a compound that reduces digestive tract contractions. Drinking tea containing spearmint may help to alleviate GI issues ranging from nausea to stomach pain.
Menstrual Cramps and Discomfort
The same antispasmodic properties in spearmint tea that help reduce symptoms of digestive issues may help alleviate menstrual cramps and discomfort from bloating. Teas containing spearmint may help boost the production of female hormones and mitigate androgen production. Mitigating androgen production may help reduce the incidence of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which often leads to painful periods.
Cognition & Memory
Studies have shown that spearmint extract improves memory in men and women experiencing age-associated problems with memory. It may also help with mental focus and concentration.
Protection from Infection
Spearmint is rich in antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. These properties make it the perfect addition to toothpaste, mouthwash, chewing gum, and mints. Because gum infections such as gingivitis cause bad breath, spearmint helps to prevent halitosis. It also may be used to fight off several known foodborne illnesses.
Helps Fight Free Radicals
Spearmint contains high levels of antioxidants which help your body repair the damage (oxidative stress) caused by free radicals. Oxidative stress is a known risk factor for diseases and illnesses ranging from cancer to heart disease.
Mint tea contains menthol. Menthol is a natural essential oil perfect for aiding relaxation. Likewise, because spearmint tea is decaffeinated, it can be an effective sleep aid. Naturally relaxing, tea with spearmint in it may even help to lower blood pressure.
Blood Sugar Regulation
Spearmint has been shown in studies to lower blood sugar. Consider adding a daily cup of tea made from spearmint leaves to your diet if you have issues with blood sugar. However, tea should never be a substitute for medication.
Study participants with knee pain and arthritis reported less pain and stiffness after consuming two cups of spearmint tea per day over four months. In medieval times, spearmint mixed with salt served as a pain reliever for wounds, including animal bites.
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