Home Remedies using Peppermint Tea

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For centuries, peppermint tea has been a popular brew that dates back to ancient Egyptian days when it was used to cure a bad case of indigestion. Over the years, both Eastern and Western traditional medicine have embraced the herbal tea as a way to treat a range of medical issues – from toothaches to certain types of cancer. Since the herb is inexpensive, easy to grow and readily available, you should have no problem incorporating home remedies using peppermint tea into your health care regimen.

peppermint tea home remedies

What is Peppermint Tea?

Peppermint tea is made from either the dried or fresh leaves of the peppermint plant – a perennial, aromatic herb that has been naturalized in nearly every country across the world. The tea is also referred to as a tisane or infusion of peppermint, which is a species of mint identified as Mentha piperita. The mint tea is naturally free of caffeine and offers a distinctive aroma when brewed. The unmistakable uplifting scent and flavor is quite popular in the marketplace; used in many different arenas, including candle making to breath enhancers.

How to Make Peppermint Tea

If you are lucky enough to grow fresh peppermint in your garden, then you’ll have an endless supply of the herb to make a healing tea. The plant is invasive and can reach a height of about two feet – developing tiny purple flowers in July. When harvesting, it is best to gather your mint in the early morning before the sun weakens some of the natural oils.

To make peppermint tea from the dried herb, you will need one teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves and 8 ounces of fresh boiled water. Simply steep the dried herb in the water for3 to 8 minutes to achieve your preferred strength.

To make peppermint tea using fresh leaves, remove the peppermint from a fresh sprig, and thoroughly wash. Use your fingertips or a mortar and pestle to crush the leaves – just enough to bruise. Transfer the leaves to a small cooking pot to release the natural oil. Add two cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Next, remove the pot from the heat and allow the peppermint tea to simmer for several minutes before reaching your desired strength. Don’t worry if the water has turned a slight yellow color, as this is normal when making peppermint tea.

In both cases, you can use a cheesecloth or small strainer to separate the herb from the tea.

Possible Side Effects

Do not use peppermint tea as a home remedy if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or hiatal hernia. Sometimes, peppermint can actually worsen the symptoms of heartburn and indigestion [1]. Peppermint has been known to make gallstones worse. Large doses of the peppermint oil can have a toxic effect. Some people do have an allergic reaction to topical treatments containing peppermint oil, so you may not want to apply peppermint tea home remedies to sensitive skin.

Peppermint tea may also interfere with a host of prescription drugs, such as the following medications:

• Cyclosporine[2] – a drug that prevents rejection of a transplanted organ
• Stomach acid reducers – such as Pepcid, Tagamet, Zantac, Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec
• Diabetes treatments drugs
• Medications changed by the liver
• Antihypertensive drugs (blood pressure medications)

Peppermint Tea Home Remedies

Peppermint tea is beneficial to your health because the leaves contain menthol, menthyl acetate, menthone and several other ingredients known to possess therapeutic powers. This is why the herb is often combined with others to create healing tea blends. To tap into the power of the plant, consider the following home remedies using peppermint tea:

a) Treat Headaches:

Because peppermint possesses a calming and numbing effect, sipping on the tea can effectively help treat a pounding headache. Some patients have reported a reduction in tension headache symptoms when peppermint was applied to the forehead and temples.

b) Calm a Baby:

Breastfeeding mothers are believed to pass on the calming properties of peppermint tea to their baby (through breast milk) when they drink several cups a day.

c) Pain Killer:

Since peppermint oil contains pain-relieving properties, the tea can be used to aid in the therapeutic treatment of painful medical conditions, such as achy muscles and inflamed joints. You can drink the tea to see results or use as a topical solution.

d) Fight Thrush:

You can use peppermint tea as a mouthwash for babies with thrush – a condition caused by yeast growth in the mouth.

e) Erase that ‘Sick’ Feeling:

When you start to feel a bit queasy, try reaching for a cup of peppermint tea, which eases nausea and vomiting.

f) Muscle Relaxation:

When used as a topical solution, peppermint tea can help relax stressed-out muscles.

g) Less Frequent Outbreaks:

Peppermint tea is believed to reduce the severity of herpes outbreaks.

h) Stop Bacteria:

Apply peppermint tea as a topical remedy to inhibit the growth of bacteria on your skin.

i) Soothe the Throat:

When gargled, peppermint tea can help treat a nagging, sore throat.

j) Ease Indigestion:

Since peppermint has the power to calm the muscles of the stomach, as well as improve the flow of bile, the tea can come in handy for treating indigestion. Just don’t use this home remedy if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease.

k) Fight Bad Breath:

To make a good first impression, you may want to start off your day with a steaming cup of peppermint tea, which is known to help fight off bad breath.

l) Pass Gas:

To relax the muscles so that painful digestive gas can pass, consider sipping on peppermint tea to treat bloating and flatulence.

m) Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome:

Patients have reports relief from abdominal pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) after sipping on peppermint tea.

n) Fight Skin Irritations:

When you’ve come in contact with poison ivy or poison oak, soothe and cool the itchy skin irritation by applying peppermint tea. The beverage is also known to ease the effects and appearance of hives.

o) Relax:

Sipping on a cup of peppermint tea at the end of a stressful day can help you relax.

p) Be Ready for Cold and Flu Season:

An active ingredient in peppermint is menthol, which provides decongestant relief to people fighting the common cold or the flu. Since menthol thins out mucus, you sip on the tea to help loosen phlegm and break up coughs. You can also address dry cough symptoms when adding peppermint tea to your list of go-to drinks.

Resources

[1] http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/peppermint-000269.htm

[2] http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a601207.html

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