Peppermint tea is a refreshing way to drink up more antioxidants and dial down caffeine. Other benefits may include easing congestion, nausea, and headaches.
Like all the members of the mint fam, peppermint tea contains the cooling benefits of menthol. But peppermint packs a much bigger punch compared to its delicate cousin spearmint.
Steeping dried peppermint leaves in hot water makes a zippy tea bound to wake you up even without caffeine. It may also help your head and stomach woes.
Curious about how peppermint tea may benefit your body and mind? Grab a mug, and let’s dive in.
1. It’ll freshen your breath
Breath mints, anyone? There’s a reason mint takes the main stage in everything from toothpaste to chewing gum.
Most folks associate mint with a cool, clean mouth sensation. Sure, it tastes good, but older research suggests that peppermint oil literally improves bad breath by fighting bacteria.
Heads up: If your breath is, like, really bad, you should probably get checked for gum disease. Sugar-free mints or gum will also stop the stench faster than tea.
2. It’s peppered with antioxidants
Leaves from the mint family contain heaps of antioxidants, which help ward off cellular damage. And that includes the leaves used to make peppermint tea.
There’s not a lot of research on peppermint tea specifically. But science says consuming an array of antioxidant foods and drinks can help reduce the risk of health probs like heart disease and premature aging.
3. It might calm congestion
The menthol in peppermint tea will blast your throat and sinuses with a cool, clearing sensation. It’s heaven for stuffy noses and sinuses.
TBH, anyone who’s had a cup of peppermint tea can speak for its head-clearing effects. But a 2016 study also found that breathing in the aroma of peppermint oil could kill bacteria, potentially soothing infected airways.
Of course, breathing in the scent of your hot tea is not the same as peppermint aromatherapy. But there’s no harm in soothing a congested head with peppermint if that’s your cup of tea 😉.
4. It might settle an upset stomach
Folks with stomach probs have chomped on mint since the beginning of time. We’re talking bloating, gas, sensitive stomach, nausea — the works. And science backs this up for peppermint oils and extracts.
A 2017 review suggested that kids with functional abdominal pain disorder (a condition that causes continuous stomach pain) found relief from ingesting peppermint oil.
Another 2020 study of women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer found that patients who received 20 milliliters of peppermint extract-infused water every 8 hours had less nausea and vomiting compared to those who didn’t.
Yes, this research didn’t focus on tea — though the peppermint water study was preeeetty close — but it’s possible that drinking peppermint tea could also help.
5. It may relieve period pain
Some folks use peppermint products to help with flow-related cramps or pelvic pain. What does science say?
A 2016 study found that ingesting peppermint oil reduced the pain and duration of menstrual cramps. Research from 2018 also suggests that taking peppermint capsules might dial down period pain.
Note that the studies didn’t include peppermint tea. But if drinking peppermint tea calms the “red tide,” you do you, boo.
6. It might soothe tension headaches and migraine
Feeling tense? Sure, drinking a hot cuppa on a rainy day can help you relax. But peppermint might physically relieve tight muscles.
In one study of folks with migraine, peppermint nose spray was nearly as effective as lidocaine nose spray at relieving head pain. Older 2016 research also suggests that topically applying diluted peppermint oil can melt tension.
Again, are these studies focused on peppermint tea? Nope. But a mug of tea might still help.
7. It might put some pep in your step
Yep, peppermint could = pep.
That’s because peppermint oil — a bit of which will end up in your cup — has been linked to higher energy and less fatigue. That said, the research is super slim.
More studies are needed to confirm if drinking peppermint-infused water can wake you up faster in the morning. What we can say for sure is that it tastes and smells refreshing.
8. It may dial down allergy symptoms
Mint plants contain rosmarinic acid, which seems to help tamp down allergy symptoms.
Research from 2004 (Napoleon Dynamite days!) found that folks with seasonal allergies who took a rosmarinic acid supplement experienced less eye and nose itchiness.
In a 2001 study (remember Donnie Darko?), rats given peppermint extract also exhibited less sneezing and itching than rats without it.
More research is needed to confirm this benefit, especially for what’s essentially a cup of water infused with a bit o’ peppermint. But it’s a start.
9. It could help you focus
Peppermint tea makes a great study buddy. Aside from being a curious combo of soothing and energizing, it might improve concentration.
In one small study, 24 young adults scored better on tests when they ingested peppermint oil (about 2 drops) beforehand. Other research suggests that peppermint oil might boost alertness.
Once again, studies are either old or super small. They’re also focused on peppermint oil — and you’ll only get a teensy bit of that from a cup of peppermint tea.
Note: Do NOT ingest straight-up peppermint essential oil, or any essential oil without specific instruction from your healthcare professional.
10. It’s sugar-free
Peppermint tea doesn’t contain a bit of sugar. That’s excellent news for folks with erratic blood sugar or anyone trying to slash sugar intake, without sacrificing flavor.
Hold the creamer, and peppermint tea also becomes low cal and low carb if that aligns with your #goals. Think about it: It’s dried leaves and hot water 🤔.
11. It might suppress hunger pangs
Here’s another way drinking an afternoon cup of peppermint tea might support healthy weight loss (if that’s your goal, of course).
In a 2013 study with just 13 participants, those who took a peppermint oil supplement had less appetite than those who didn’t.
Of course, whether or not the little bit of peppermint oil in your tea squashes cravings, drinking any liquid can help fill you up so that you eat less. But we need more research to say if peppermint tea could suppress your appetite more than plain water.
Good news! Peppermint tea is considered pretty dang safe for folks of all ages. It’s just a caffeine-free tea, after all.
That said, if you’re allergic to peppermint, menthol, or any plants in the mint family, steer clear of this drink.
If you have acid reflux or heartburn, drinking too much peppermint tea might exacerbate your symptoms. Start with a small cup and see how you feel.
Want a tasty drink that’s refreshing, healthy, and free of caffeine, sugar, and calories? You and this tea are mint to be.
You can enjoy peppermint tea hot or iced. And while you can find peppermint tea bags at basically any grocery store, you can also make it at home with peppermint leaves and water!
Here’s how to make a DIY cup of peppermint tea:
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
- Turn off the heat, then pop in a tea bag or 4–6 peppermint leaves.
- Let the leaves soak in the water for about 5 minutes (or whatever the teabag label says).
- Strain the infused water into your mug.
- Inhale that refreshing scent, take a sip of that bad boy, and enjoy!
Peppermint tea is a drink made by steeping dried peppermint leaves in hot water. The result is a punchy, refreshing bevy with a hint of natural sweetness.
This sugar-free, caffeine-free, antioxidant-rich tea offers a bevy of potential health benefits. At the very least, we know it freshens breath.
Research on peppermint tea is super limited. But it might be an effective home remedy for nasal congestion, nausea, menstrual cramps, and more.