Every year there seem to be more and more types of tea available on the market. Sometimes, heading to the tea aisle in the grocery store can be a little overwhelming. If you’re looking for a tea that has a wide range of excellent health benefits, plus a delicious taste, you may wish to add spearmint tea to your routine.
This type of tea has long been used for its beneficial effects on the digestive tract, on anxiety, and on pain — but what else can this tasty, refreshing tea do for you? In this article, we’ll be discussing all of the wonderful health benefits of spearmint tea, before discussing some tips on how to include this tea in your daily tea routine.
What is Spearmint Tea vs Peppermint?
Both peppermint herbal tea and spearmint herbal tea have long and rich histories in the tea world. However, because they are made from slightly different leaves, they do have slightly different tastes and benefits.
Spearmint tea is made with leaves from the mentha spicata plant. The mentha spicata is also commonly known as the garden mint or the common mint herb. The plant is native to Europe and Southern Asia. Spearmint tea was traditionally used in Moroccan green teas for its refreshing taste and its benefits. Unlike peppermint, spearmint has less essential oil, giving it a softer, sweeter taste. However, the herb does share plenty of the digestive benefits of peppermint.
In terms of its antioxidant properties, spearmint has a slightly different makeup, containing vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin C, folate, and B vitamins. Peppermint, on the other hand, is rich in vitamin C, magnesium, copper, iron, potassium, and calcium.
What are the Main Benefits of Spearmint Tea?
Let’s get into all of the spearmint tea beneficial effects of spearmint that are commonly associated with the beverage.
Many people turn to spearmint tea for its beneficial effect on the digestive system. Spearmint has been consumed for its soothing properties for years. Because it contains a compound called (-)-carvone, spearmint helps to stop muscle contractions in the digestive tract, which means it can help to reduce pain from indigestion and to stop digestive upsets.
For instance, one study, a controlled trial examined people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and found that those who were given spearmint had less abdominal place pain and bloating than other participants.
Another study even found that the herb was capable of relieving symptoms from chemotherapy like nausea and vomiting.
With all of its antioxidants, spearmint is one of the healthiest teas on the market. Antioxidants are wonderful for fighting free radicals and repairing tissue damage.
When free radicals enter the body, they can lead to oxidative stress, which can go on to cause dangerous chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
In the spearmint herb, compounds like rosmarinic acid, flavones, and flavanones are the main antioxidants, all of which have been shown to have excellent benefits when it comes to free radicals
Can Help with Hormonal Imbalances
Spearmint tea is also frequently consumed in order to rebalance female hormone imbalances. Several studies have demonstrated that the herb can help to decrease testosterone and increase hormones like LH, FSH, and estradiol.
For this reason, the tea is also frequently consumed by women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS. One animal study even showed that spearmint could decrease ovarian cysts. Find out more about spearmint tea and PCOS.
May Reduce Facial Hair in Women
For women who have excessive facial hair growth, some studies have shown that spearmint tea may help to remedy this unwanted hair growth. This is because spearmint can reduce levels of androgens, which are male hormones associated with excessive facial hair in women.
It May Improve Your Memory
There have been some studies to suggest that spearmint may have a positive impact on the brain and memory. For instance, one study examined older adults who had memory problems. With daily spearmint supplements, these adults had a 15% improvement in their memory capacities.
Can Help Fight Bacterial Infections
Bacteria can be incredibly harmful when it enters the body. Studies have shown that spearmint essential oil can help to fight certain types of bacteria such as E. coli and Listeria, both of which can lead to serious illness in humans.
May Help to Lower Blood Sugar
High blood sugar levels can lead to serious health issues, including diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol. Keeping blood sugar levels stable and safe is therefore essential.
Like some other teas, spearmint tea has been shown to have a positive impact on high blood sugar levels. One animal study found that spearmint could significantly improve blood sugar levels for diabetics.
Another study used a controlled trial to show that spearmint could actually reduce blood sugar by up to 25% in less than a month.
May Help to Reduce Stress
Stress is not only unpleasant, but it’s also pretty unhealthy and can lead to more serious health-related problems. Spearmint tea has been shown to improve the body’s relaxation by interacting with the GABA receptors in the brain and encouraging a reduction in nerve activity. This can lead to a decrease in anxiety and improved sleep patterns.
It May Improve Arthritis Pain
Arthritis can cause serious, even debilitating joint pain. Spearmint tea may help to alleviate the discomfort caused by the condition. One large study found that spearmint essential oils could help significantly. Another study showed that two cups of spearmint tea a day could improve the stiffness and disability that can be caused by the condition.
Are There Any Downsides or Side Effects to Drinking Spearmint Tea?
With so many benefits, you may be wondering — is there anything wrong with this super tea? Let’s take a look at a few of the potential downsides or side effects of the beverage and of spearmint extract and spearmint oil.
It May Be Unsafe for Pregnant Women or Breast-Feeding Women
There is some evidence to suggest that spearmint extract may not be safe in large doses during pregnancy. Some studies have found that large quantities of the herb may be harmful to the uterus. Most health professionals recommend that pregnant women avoid spearmint during pregnancy.
There is limited information on the safety of spearmint when it comes to breastfeeding. However, it’s best to avoid large quantities due to a lack of research on the safety of the herb.
It May Increase Kidney Damage
Kidney damage can potentially be worsened by spearmint tea. If you have a kidney condition, you may wish to speak to your doctor before drinking large quantities of spearmint tea.
It May Increase Liver Disease
Similarly, spearmint may increase the seriousness of liver disease.
How Often Should You Drink Spearmint Tea?
Depending on why you are drinking spearmint tea, the recommended amount can change. Some studies have found that twice a day is best for rebalancing female hormones. Plus, if you drink the tea twice a day, you’re sure to get plenty of other benefits, including a soothed, regulated digestive system.
How to Make Spearmint Tea At Home
If you want to make the most out of your new spearmint tea routine, try to use organic, fresh leaf tea, as this is more likely to maintain the antioxidant properties of the fresh herb.
- Begin by boiling water in the kettle or over the stove.
- Wait a minute or two for the water to cool down slightly.
- Add a handful of torn up spearmint leaves.
- Cover the mixture and steep for roughly five minutes.
- Add honey, lemon, or spices for taste.
- Strain the leaves and enjoy!
If you want to make iced tea with spearmint leaves, the process is similar. Simply brew the mixture for a little longer before straining — at least 10 minutes, so that the tea is extra strong. After straining, pour the mixture over ice and let it cool. After the tea has been combined with the ice, the intensity of the brew will return to normal, and you should be left with a delicious, refreshing drink, perfect for a warm summer’s day.
The Best Spearmint Tea Brands
There are plenty of spearmint herbal tea options on the market. Whether you go for organic or regular, loose leaf or tea bags, every brand is different. Here are a few of the best spearmint teas you can buy.
Davidson’s Loose Leaf Tea
Davidson’s is widely considered to be one of the best tea brands out there. This tea uses organic, fresh, loose spearmint leaves, for a fresh taste and a plethora of amazing benefits. This brand is USDA certified and always uses excellent, high-quality ingredients. Plus, the tea comes in eco-friendly packaging that you can feel good about purchasing. With this brand, you can rest assured that you are drinking pure tea leaves with no added chemicals or preservatives.
Wild Foods Spearmint Serene
Wild Foods markets its spearmint tea as a solution to anxiety and restlessness, calling it Spearmint Serene. As we discussed, spearmint tea can help to calm anxiety and promote relaxation. Wild Foods also claims that their tea can be used for natural pain relief. Wild Foods encourages you to brew the same tea leaves multiple times in order to get different tastes and benefits.
Bigelow Spearmint and Peppermint Blended Tea Bags
Instead of a pure spearmint tea, Bigelow offers a “mint medley” that combines both spearmint and peppermint leaves for a slightly different flavor and a slightly different antioxidant profile. If you are hoping to get all of the benefits of pure spearmint tea, this option may not be the best choice for you. However, if you want to get a few extra benefits from the additional peppermint leaves, this tea can work wonders.
This tea is caffeine-free and also contains the beneficial ingredients of rosehip, lemon peel, and hibiscus. However, because these are tea bags rather than fresh tea leaves, you may lose some of the health benefits.
Buddha Teas Spearmint Leaf Tea Bags
Buddha teas contain no additives and are made with the environment in mind. The shipping and manufacturing process is eco-friendly, while all materials used are recyclable or biodegradable. This sustainable brand is one you can feel extra good about supporting. This organic option uses no GMOs, no artificial flavors, and no bleach in the teabag design.
Traditional Medicinals Organic Spearmint Tea Bags
The Traditional Medicinals organic spearmint tea bags are an excellent option for tea-drinkers who prefer bags to loose-leaf. As the leaves in these tea bags are 100% organic, you don’t have to worry about anything other than fresh, pure spearmint. This company sells spearmint tea in packs of various sizes. Their herbs are sourced ethically and sustainably. Plus, all of their organic teas are non-GMO verified, organic certified, and Kosher.
It’s clear that spearmint tea comes with loads of amazing health benefits. With its soothing effect on the digestive system, its antioxidants, its ability to improve brain function, its bacteria-fighting capabilities, and more, there’s no reason not to include this tasty, refreshing tea in your regular routine.
We hope this guide to spearmint tea has helped you to understand why and how to drink spearmint tea. Let us know your favorite teas below!