Mint tea is an extremely popular form of herbal tea that is consumed all over the world. It feels really good to have it after a heavy meal. Among all the members of the mint family, peppermint and spearmint are most widely used. The natural sweet flavor of mint and its pleasing aroma give a very refreshing feel. Some people prefer to take it in a pure form, while a few others may blend it with other herbs or green tea.
The peppermint tea has a strong menthol flavor while spearmint has a milder effect. Mint tea is quite well-known for its healing properties. In general, it is a harmless substance, but there are some side effects that show up if consumed under certain health conditions.
Mint Tea Benefits
➜ Mint is considered as one of the best herbs for the digestive system. Drinking mint tea can relax the stomach muscles, control stomach gas, and promote the secretion of digestive juices. Thus, consumption of this herbal tea can bring about an improvement in the overall digestive health.
➜ It is good for problems, like stomach ulcers, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn's disease. It has antibacterial properties that can help get rid of the problem of bad breath.
➜ Topical application of mint tea can provide relief from skin rashes. It has a soothing effect on the nervous system, which in turn helps obtain relief from stress, anxiety, and insomnia.
➜ It can reduce headache and symptoms of cold and flu. It has various other qualities that can boost the immune system of a person.
Some Side Effects
➜ Mint tea can aggravate the symptoms of GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease. In this condition, the stomach acid flows back and enters the esophagus or food pipe. As its consumption relaxes the stomach muscles, it will relax the sphincter muscle as well.
➜ Basically, this sphincter locks the stomach acid inside it and does not allow it to flow up the esophagus. When this muscle becomes relaxed, then more and more acids will enter the esophagus and aggravate the problem.
➜ If mint tea is taken during pregnancy, then it may lead to uterine relaxation and increase the chances of miscarriage. There is not enough evidence that can support the claim that the rate of miscarriage is likely to increase if this tea is taken. But, it is better not to take an unnecessary risk.
➜ Those who have a past medical history of miscarriages, it is advisable for them to strictly avoid the intake of mint tea when pregnant or trying to get pregnant. The effect of this tea is not good for small children or infants. For this reason, even lactating mothers should not consume it.
➜ In certain cases, it has been found that mint tea tends to interfere with other medicines. Therefore, if you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, then it is advisable to confirm with your doctor whether this tea is suitable for you or not. Those who are allergic towards menthol or have asthma should also stay away from it.
➜ An overdose of any medicine or herb is bound to have some adverse effect on the health and mint tea is no exception. If taken in excess, it can lead to diarrhea, cramps, muscle pain, drowsiness, tremors, and a slower heart rate.
➜ Such cases of overdose are extremely rare occurrences. However, while preparing the tea, you should be careful about the quantity of leaves being used. Ideally, one tablespoon (or one gram) of mint tea leaves should be added in 150 mL of water. It can be taken 2 or 3 times a day and not more than that.
To conclude, the chances of side effects can be greatly reduced if consumed in the right amounts. However, if you observe any of the side effects of mint tea, even if they are mild, you should immediately discontinue its use. It is also important to seek medical advice immediately.
Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.