Move over peppermint, there’s a lighter, sweeter mint that’s ready for teatime.
Steeping dried spearmint leaves (aka Mentha spicata) makes a refreshing cup of tea that may come with some impressive benefits.
Grab a mug, pour some spearmint tea, and let’s see what science says about those wellness perks.
11 benefits of spearmint tea
While most research looks at the spearmint plant and spearmint extracts, here are some benefits you *might* get from sipping on spearmint tea:
- Sugar-free flavor
- Naturally caffeine-free
- Calms upset stomachs
- Soothes congestion and inflammation
- Helps reduce facial hair for women
- Helps manage PCOS
- Helps relaxation
- Improves your memory
- Eases joint pain
- Lowers blood pressure
- Easy to make
Because it contains less of that sharp, cooling menthol, spearmint has a smoother, sweeter profile than peppermint or plain ol’ mint. But all that flavor is *completely* free of sugar. That’s good news for anyone trying to cut the sweet stuff or watching their sugar intake.
So, spearmint tea won’t add to your caffeine load.
Older research also found that spearmint extract effectively slowed free radical activity in meat. But since this study involved spearmint extract rather than spearmint tea, temper your expectations. It’s not 10/10 proven.
There’s limited research on whether spearmint tea soothes an upset stomach, but anecdotal evidence abounds.
One 2013 study found that a compound found in spearmint called (-)-carvone has a relaxing effect on intestinal spasms. However, the research is older and wasn’t focused specifically on spearmint tea.
We need more studies to confirm how and why spearmint tea quells nausea, indigestion, and the like.
But herbal tea is a pretty low risk way to calm a sensitive stomach, so it’s worth a try!
Remember (-)-carvone, that Space Age-sounding compound found in spearmint? Well, its antispasmodic effect that helps prevent muscle spasms closely mimics the effect of blood pressure meds.
These kinds of insights are promising, but they’re not conclusive. We need more research to confirm if and how much spearmint tea could dial down blood pressure. But for now, there’s no harm in sipping!
Beyond anecdotal feels, studies show the anti-inflammatory effects of the rosmarinic acid in spearmint might help lower inflammation.
So while spearmint tea is no cure for the common cold, it may be a helpful way to soothe congestion and inflammation.
A 5-day study of 21 women who drank 2 cups of spearmint tea per day resulted in lower testosterone levels. While 5 days isn’t long enough to notice a change in facial stubble, the hormone shift indicates less chance of repeated hair growth.
In a 2010 study of 41 women, those who drank 2 daily cups of spearmint tea for 30 days *did* report a reduction in facial hair.
Are these studies too short or tiny to confirm the link between spearmint tea and hirsutism? Yes. But the results are promising.
Research from 2010 suggests that drinking 2 cups of spearmint tea per day could reduce testosterone levels.
More research is needed to confirm this benefit, of course, but it’s a start.
Research on rats suggests that ingesting spearmint can decrease anxiety. Of course, rats are not people — and spearmint leaves or extract aren’t quite the same as spearmint tea. So more research is needed to prove this link.
We can’t guarantee sipping spearmint tea will help you remember where you left your keys, but research shows spearmint has properties that might help improve memory.
A 2016 study of mice found spearmint extract helped improve learning and memory in a maze test. Not exactly proof since no humans were running through this maze or drinking tea, but an interesting link.
When it comes to actual human studies, a 2018 study on older adults with impaired memory found supplements containing spearmint extract helped improve working memory by 15 percent.
Still, we need more info to know for sure if drinking spearmint tea truly helps memory.
Got stiff, swollen joints? Osteoarthritis — basically, the gradual thinning of the cushiony cartilage between bones — can be a literal pain. But spearmint tea might be able to help!
In one 2014 study of 62 people with osteoarthritis, participants who drank spearmint tea with high rosmarinic acid content experienced a significant decrease in joint pain and stiffness. A bonus: Folks who drank spearmint tea from the supermarket also experienced an improvement in joint stiffness (just not pain).
Of course, researchers need to perform more, broader studies to understand how much spearmint tea can loosen up those stiff, inflamed knees and knuckles.
Wanna take a break from your morning jolt juice or jittery java? Try spearmint tea! Even if you’re not interested in giving up caffeine, this refreshing tea makes a great late-afternoon or evening pick-me-up.
You can get your hands on spearmint tea leaves in the form of prepackaged tea bags, loose-leaf spearmint tea, or grow and dry your own. (FYI: spearmint tea bags are often mixed with green tea leaves, so peep that label if you want the real deal.)
Here’s how to make a cup of this light, sweet bevvy at home:
- Heat 1 cup of water until boiling.
- Remove from heat.
- Add 1 teaspoon of dried spearmint tea leaves (or a premade tea bag).
- Let it steep for 5 minutes.
- Strain to remove the spearmint from the water.
- Drink up!
If you prefer iced tea, simply chill the fresh tea before sipping. Avoid cooling it quickly with ice or you’ll dilute the tea.
Spearmint tea is a beverage made by steeping dried spearmint leaves in hot water. It’s refreshing and naturally sweet. But this antioxidant-rich, caffeine-free tea also packs some benefits.
While it’s not a completely proven treatment for anything, this home remedy may help your stomach aches, sinus congestion, and more.