Mint ( Mentha spicata ) is an aromatic herb with a characteristic and pleasant smell and intense flavor. It is very popular and widely used in cooking as a seasoning, to make juices, drinks and to make salads.
This species of mint, also known as spearmint, is originally from Asia and has thick, rounded leaves. However, there are many species of mint and it is very difficult to identify them all. Another very common is peppermint , which is hotter and has the longest and thinnest leaves.
Tea is one of the most consumed forms of the plant, and is made by infusing its leaves. Due to its medicinal properties, mint tea can provide several health benefits and for the maintenance of our well-being.
Mint tea: what is it for?
Mint tea can help fight a variety of ailments, the first of which is linked to our digestive system . According to nutritionist and herbalist Enaile Cortizo , mint stimulates the production of certain digestive enzymes and, therefore, its tea is a great ally for those who have digestion problems.
“A good example is the puffiness we feel after meals. In these cases, it is recommended to drink 1 cup of tea as soon as you finish your meals , avoiding this problem”, he advises. The professional adds that the tea also works to reduce nausea, vomiting and flatulence (gas).
Other very common adversities that peppermint tea can help treat are flu and colds. It helps to clear the lungs, decongest the nose and soothe the throat, especially in cases of coughing .
In addition, studies indicate that peppermint tea is also effective in lowering cholesterol, reducing headaches and menstrual cramps, improving bad breath , and also has a sedative effect, helping to calm, de-stress and sleep more easily. Enaile points out that the drink also fights and eliminates worms such as amoebas and giardia.
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What are the medicinal properties and benefits of mint?
Mint can be considered a medicinal herb as it brings several benefits to our health. “It has high digestive power, antispasmodic, anxiolytic and is antiparasitic”, reveals Enaile.
The antispasmodic effect is related to the plant’s ability to treat muscle spasms, calming and neutralizing involuntary muscle contractions. Therefore, it is great for liver, kidney and uterine cramps , in the case of women.
It also has an antiemetic effect, relieving nausea and vomiting and reduces heartburn, activating bile production and improving the digestive system. It still works as a vasodilator, activating circulation; it has a tranquilizing effect and acts as an antiseptic, hindering the growth of bacteria and worms.
In addition, mint is rich in vitamins A and C, and minerals such as iron, calcium, phosphorus and potassium, with antioxidant and immunity-boosting properties. It also contains ascorbic acid, menthol and tinol in its composition, providing an expectorant and decongestant action .
Does mint tea slim down?
After so many benefits, does mint tea still help you lose weight? Enaile confirms the herb’s power and says it is a great slimming ally due to its low calories.
“Mint tea has few calories , about 300 ml of tea has approximately 3 KCAL, which makes the drink practically calorie-free. Therefore, choosing to change other teas or beverages for mint, your caloric consumption will decrease considerably, contributing to weight loss. Another important factor is that it has a relaxing and anxiolytic effect , which helps to increase the feeling of well-being and reduces the desire to ‘pinch’ all the time”, explains the professional.
In addition, because it stimulates digestive enzymes, it helps to absorb nutrients and reduce gas and bloating, which is also great for those who want to lose weight. “However, it alone does not have the power to lose weight, if the person consumes more calories than they need and does not have a healthy life”, warns Enaile.
Can a drink offer harm?
According to Enaile, mint tea has no contraindications and does not harm health. However, the nutritionist emphasizes that it is necessary to be careful with the consumption of tea in some cases: “people who have reflux and kidney stones should consume it with caution and only under the guidance of a doctor or nutritionist”.
Also, people with allergies or sensitivity to menthol should also be careful. And anyone who is taking any medication or any treatment should consult a doctor before drinking peppermint tea.
Baby mint tea, can you?
Despite its numerous benefits, Enaile claims peppermint tea is not recommended for children under 5 years old . Even pediatricians advise not to give any type of tea to babies in the first six months of life.
Mint tea is also not recommended for pregnant and lactating women. Herbs are always dangerous for pregnant women because of their abortifacient effects. Never fail to consult your trusted physician.
How to make tea with mint leaves?
Making tea with mint leaves is simple : place about 8 to 10 mint leaves, properly sanitized, in 300ml of boiling water. Turn off heat, smother 30 minutes and strain. Then take it in its natural form, without sugar or sweetener.
To enjoy all the benefits of the plant, Enaile informs that it is important to consume the tea within 24 hours after it is ready. In addition, she adds: “there is no maximum amount for the consumption of tea, but it is important to consume at least 3 cups during the day.”
Mint tea with cinnamon
To prepare, place 15 mint leaves and 3 cinnamon sticks in 1⁄2 liter of boiling water. Turn off heat, smother 10 minutes, strain and consume within 24 hours.
“Cinnamon mint tea is an excellent ally for those who have a sweet tooth or who have high glucose and insulin levels. Mint’s anxiolytic power and cinnamon’s insulin and glycemic regulatory power make this tea very beneficial for health”, points out Enaile.
Mint tea with ginger
To prepare, place 15 mint leaves and ginger zest in 1⁄2 liter of boiling water. Turn off heat, smother 30 minutes, strain and consume within 24 hours.
Enaile claims this tea is great for those who train. “Consuming 300ml of this tea 30 minutes before physical activity speeds up metabolism, helping to burn more calories. But beware, people with high blood pressure can only consume this tea with the guidance of a doctor or nutritionist”, emphasizes the professional. This mixture is also effective in reducing fever.
Mint tea with lemon
For the preparation, use 8 mint leaves and half a lemon in 1⁄2 liter of boiling water. Turn off heat, smother 15 minutes, strain and consume within 24 hours.
“The mint with lemon tea is very good for those who have bad breath, flatulence and fluid retention problems ”, explains the expert.
Pepper and mint tea
To prepare, mix 10 mint leaves and 1 pinch of black pepper in 1⁄2 liter of boiling water. Turn off heat, smother, strain and consume within 24 hours.
Enaile points out that this is another ally for those who train hard, as it speeds up the metabolism. However, she warns: “people with high blood pressure and gastritis should only consume under the guidance of a doctor or nutritionist.”
Other ways to consume mint
Now that you’ve learned what peppermint tea is for, you can also choose other ways to consume this herb. In addition to the drink, the benefits and properties of mint can be enjoyed in several ways.
It can be used in capsules, dry extract, or as an essential oil for the skin, which is great for massage and aromatherapy.
The infusion itself can be used as a hair tonic, applying to the hair. There is also the insertion of leaves in the warm water of the bath , which is an excellent way to relieve stress. Furthermore, it is an easy plant to grow at home, as it requires little care.