Spearmint tea benefits are numerous, ranging from anti-inflammatory effects to weight management, and more!
Ancient legends tell of Greek nymphs transforming into spearmint plants to evade the advances of Hades. While the myths may be fanciful, the benefits of spearmint tea are very real.
In this article, we’ll explore the health perks, origins, and best ways to enjoy this aromatic, minty tea.
So, prepare your cup of tea and get ready for some readin’ & sippin’ time about spearmint tea benefits!
What is Spearmint Tea and How is it Made?
Spearmint tea is an herbal infusion made from the leaves of the spearmint plant (Mentha spicata). It offers a refreshing, minty flavor and aroma. Unlike peppermint tea, spearmint has a milder, sweeter taste. There are over 30 species of mint plants, but some of the most common spearmint varieties used for tea include:
- Native spearmint
- Kentucky spearmint
- Scotch spearmint
- English spearmint
- Moroccan spearmint
For more details on the different spearmint varieties, check out our complete guide on spearmint tea.
what is the difference between spearmint and peppermint tea?
Spearmint and peppermint, while belonging to the same Mentha genus, stem from different plant species. Spearmint is derived from the Mentha spicata species, whereas peppermint, scientifically known as Mentha piperita, is a hybrid plant formed from the cross-breeding of watermint (Mentha aquatica) and spearmint.
While both these mints share a family tree, their individual characteristics, flavors, and health benefits vary significantly.
In terms of flavor, spearmint tea has a softer, more sugary taste, contrasting with peppermint tea’s powerful, somewhat spicy flavor. This difference is largely due to their varying menthol content; peppermint contains a significant 40% menthol, lending it a stronger taste and scent, whereas spearmint comprises less than 1% menthol, resulting in a milder, sweeter profile.
Regarding their uses and benefits, both teas are beneficial for health, including aiding digestion and alleviating headaches. Yet, spearmint tea is particularly recognized for its potential to regulate female hormones and decrease facial hair in women affected by hormonal imbalances. On the other hand, peppermint tea is often the preferred choice for those seeking potent relief from digestive disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Click on the following link to learn more about the peppermint tea benefits, or keep on reading to learn more about spearmint tea benenfits.
How to Make Spearmint Tea
Making a cup of spearmint tea is quick and easy:
- Heat a pot or kettle of water to a boil.
- For dried spearmint leaves, add 1 tablespoon to a tea infuser or teapot. If using a tea bag, just place 1 spearmint tea bag in your cup.
- Pour boiling water over the leaves in the infuser or teapot, or over the tea bag in your cup.
- Let the tea steep. For dried leaves, steep for 5-10 minutes; for a tea bag, steep for about 3-5 minutes.
- If using leaves, strain the tea into your cup. If using a tea bag, simply remove it.
- Your spearmint tea is ready!
Spearmint tea does not contain any caffeine, so you may enjoy it at any moment!
Now that you know how to make it, let’s explore all the potential spearmint tea benefits for your health.
List of Spearmint Tea Benefits
Spearmint tea has been used for centuries as a natural remedy to boost health in many ways. Here are some of the top scientifically-proven benefits of drinking spearmint tea:
1. Anti-inflammatory Effects
Spearmint tea has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body (Etheridge & Derbyshire, 2019). Chronic inflammation is linked to various health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
2. Pain Relief
Spearmint tea has been shown to alleviate pain, particularly in individuals with knee osteoarthritis. A randomized controlled trial found that daily consumption of high-rosmarinic acid spearmint tea led to significant improvements in pain scores (Connelly et al., 2014).
3. Digestive Health
Spearmint tea benefits include its traditional use to soothe digestive issues such as gastralgia and stomachache (Abayechaw & Yoseph, 2021). Animal studies have demonstrated the relaxation effect of spearmint on gastrointestinal tissue (McKay & Blumberg, 2006).
4. Hormonal Balance
Spearmint tea has been found to have antiandrogenic effects, meaning it can help regulate hormone levels. Clinical trials have shown that it can decrease testosterone levels in women with hirsutism and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) (Akdogan et al., 2007; Ataabadi et al., 2017).
5. Cognitive Function
A randomized controlled trial found that a distinct spearmint extract improved working memory in men and women with age-associated memory impairment (Herrlinger et al., 2018). The extract was associated with improvements in mood, alertness, and behavior following wakefulness.
6. Antioxidant Activity
Spearmint tea contains antioxidants that can help protect the body against oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals (Guimarães et al., 2010).
7. Respiratory Health
Spearmint tea has been used traditionally to treat respiratory tract problems (Abayechaw & Yoseph, 2021). Animal model studies have indicated antispasmodic effects, suggesting potential benefits for respiratory health (McKay & Blumberg, 2006).
8. Anti-anxiety Effects
Animal model studies have suggested that spearmint tea may have anxiolytic effects, meaning it can help reduce anxiety (McKay & Blumberg, 2006). However, human studies are limited in this area.
9. Anti-microbial Activity
Spearmint tea has been found to have significant antimicrobial activity in vitro (McKay & Blumberg, 2006). This suggests that it may help fight against certain types of bacteria and fungi.
10. Weight Management
A study in mice found that spearmint leaves extract led to a decrease in body weight and liver weight (Zulfiqar et al., 2022). However, further research is needed to fully understand the effects of spearmint tea on weight management in humans.
With benefits ranging from pain relief to hormonal balance, it’s easy to see why spearmint tea benefits have been prized for wellness for so long. For more tea health benefits, check out our guide to the ”health benefits of drinking tea”.
What’s the Best Way to Take Spearmint Tea?
Spearmint tea is enjoyable any time of day. It can be sipped on its own or paired with meals. Some tasty ways to drink spearmint tea include:
- First thing in the morning to start the day refreshed
- After meals as a palate cleanser
- Sweetened with a bit of honey or lemon
- Iced on a hot summer day
- With a fruit salad or minty desserts like chocolate mint cake
We actually incorporate spearmint in many of our recipes, which you can browse here. For a fun flavored spearmint tea blend, be sure to try Art of Tea’s selection of naturally delicious spearmint blends!
Potential Side Effects and Considerations of Spearmint Tea
When consuming spearmint tea, it’s important to keep in mind:
- Spearmint may interact with certain medications, so consult your doctor first
- Avoid excessive consumption during pregnancy due to potential hormone effects
- Source high quality, organic spearmint tea whenever possible
Conclusion on spearmint tea benefits
With benefits like pain relief, hormonal regulation, cognitive boosts, and antimicrobial properties, it’s clear why spearmint tea has been treasured for wellness for centuries. Sipping this minty infusion is an easy, enjoyable way to reap a wide range of health perks.
We encourage you to brew up a cup of spearmint tea, relax, discover its benefits for yourself, and to share them with us!
And don’t forget to explore our review about the best spearmint tea to find your perfect cup!
- Abayechaw, D. and Yoseph, T. (2021). Review On Health Benefits Of Spearmint (Mentha Spicata L.) and Its Inter-cropping Advantage With Maize (Zea Mays L.). Nutrition and Food Processing, 6(4), 01-06. Link Here
- Akdogan, M., Tamer, M., Cure, M., Köroğlu, B., Delibas, N., Delibaş, N. (2007). Effect Of Spearmint (Mentha Spicata Labiatae) Teas On Androgen Levels In Women With Hirsutism. Phytotherapy Research, 5(21), 444-447. Link Here
- Ataabadi, M., Alaee, S., Bagheri, M., Bahmanpoor, S. (2017). Role Of Essential Oil Of Mentha Spicata (Spearmint) In Addressing Reverse Hormonal and Folliculogenesis Disturbances In A Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome In A Rat Model. Advanced Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 4(7), 651-654. Link Here
- Connelly, A., Tucker, A., Tulk, H., Catapang, M., Chapman, L., Sheikh, N., … & Wright, A. (2014). High-rosmarinic Acid Spearmint Tea In the Management Of Knee Osteoarthritis Symptoms. Journal of Medicinal Food, 12(17), 1361-1367. Link Here
- Etheridge, C. and Derbyshire, E. (2019). Herbal Infusions and Health. Nutrition & Food Science, 5(50), 969-985. Link Here
- Guimarães, R., Carvalho, A., Barros, L., Ferreira, I. (2010). Effects Of Oral Dosage Form and Storage Period On The Antioxidant Properties Of Four Species Used In Traditional Herbal Medicine. Phytotherapy Research, 4(25), 484-492. Link Here
- Herrlinger, K., Nieman, K., Sanoshy, K., Fonseca, B., Lasrado, J., Schild, A., … & Ceddia, M. (2018). Spearmint Extract Improves Working Memory In Men and Women With Age-associated Memory Impairment. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 1(24), 37-47. Link Here
- McKay, D. and Blumberg, J. (2006). A Review Of the Bioactivity And Potential Health Benefits Of Chamomile Tea (Matricaria Recutita L.). Phytotherapy Research, 7(20), 519-530. Link Here
- McKay, D. and Blumberg, J. (2006). A Review Of the Bioactivity And Potential Health Benefits Of Peppermint Tea (Mentha Piperita L.). Phytotherapy Research, 8(20), 619-633. Link Here
- Zulfiqar, A., Amna, S., Siddique, A., Mansoor, S., Ali, U., Sharif, K., … & Suhail, M. (2022). Decrease In Body Weight and Liver Weight Of Pups In Swiss Albino Mice By Spearmint Leaves Extract. PJMHS, 11(16), 290-292. Link Here