One of the first types of tea I was given by my mother when I was a child was peppermint tea, I used to suffer from stomach aches when I was younger and in Jamaica we used it as a folk remedy to help ease the pain. When we moved to the UK in 1993 I recall a time when I had a very sore stomach my mum gave me peppermint tea and she had taken me to the doctor, back then they didn’t seem to know about its benefits and the doctor told my mother not to give me “that type of tea anymore”. Since then it has been prescribed for many ailments and is a wonderful plant to have in your kitchen cupboard or your garden (fresh mint smells amazing!)
What is Peppermint?
It is an aromatic perennial plant with purple flowers and serrated edges on the green leaves. The essential oil contains the principal active ingredient in the plant: menthol, menthone, and menthyl acetate. Both Spearmint and Peppermint contain menthol, whilst peppermint has a higher percentage. The menthol content of peppermint oil depends on the habitat, climate and where the mint is grown. This also determines the quality of its essential oil.
When was peppermint discovered?
Peppermint was first documented in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus. The specimens were collected in England and originally they were treated as their own species, but now it is universally agreed to be a natural hybrid of water mint (Mentha aquatica ) and spearmint (Mentha spicata).
Where can it be found?
It is grown in the USA, Asia and Europe. In summer, the plant is ready to be harvested when the natural oils are at their fullest, picked before the midday sun which can reduce the oil content in the leaves.
What is Peppermint Tea?
The dried leaves of the peppermint plant are brewed to make a herbal tea. The menthyl acetate gives peppermint its’ minty aroma and flavour whilst the menthol is found in the leaves and flowers of the plant and provides the cooling sensation of the herb.
How to make:
Place 1 heaped teaspoon of Mindful Roots Tea Organic Peppermint per 200 – 260 ml (1 cup) of water in a teapot.
Pour freshly boiled water over the leaves and steep between 5 – 10 mins depending on how strong you would like your tea.
Sweeten with sugar, agave, maple syrup or honey if preferred.
There are many uses and benefits for this humble plant but today we are focusing on 3 of them. Peppermint is a plant that has been used medicinally for centuries. In fact, dried peppermint leaves were found in Ancient Egyptian pyramids dating back to 1000 b.c. Peppermint was first listed in the London Pharmacopoeia in 1721.
- Aids digestive system ailments: The ancient Greeks and Romans used it to sooth the stomach. In the 18th Century in Western Europe it was used as a folk remedy for nausea, vomiting, morning sickness , respiratory infections , and menstrual disorders. More recently it appears in the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia confirming the folk remedies and also used as a remedy for other stomach related issues such as intestinal colic and gas. A German health commission, German Commission E, has endorsed peppermint tea as a treatment for indigestion. Try drinking 1 cup of tea with meals.
2. Respiratory system: An expectorant and decongestant, it may reduce inflammation of nasal passageways, when menthol vapours are inhaled, nasal passageways open to provide temporary relief of sinus congestion. Peppermint tea could stimulate the immune system and relieve the congestion of colds and upper respiratory infections. Cool your tea down and try taking 3 – 4 cups throughout the day.
3. Migraines and Headaches: The cooling properties of the menthol are thought to ease the pain of headaches and migraines. Try drinking 1 -2 cups a day to help ease symptoms.
People interested in trying peppermint tea should use it as a supplement and not a replacement for their usual medication regimen. If in doubt always consult a health professional before trying.
Have you tried it? Let us know what you think of it by leaving your comments below.
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Hello, I’m Elle a Tea Champion through the UK Tea Academy. I started Mindful Roots Tea as I have a passion for all things tea. I curate delicious, fun, all-natural tea blends that have added wellness benefits.