When people think of spearmint, chewing gum is usually the first thing that comes to mind.
Maybe the smell of spearmint makes you think of toothpaste -- definitely not something you'd want to eat or drink.
The flavor of spearmint tea is much subtler. Not to mention, the potential spearmint tea benefits for health might surprise you.
Here's everything you need to know before adding this herbal tea to your diet.
What Is Spearmint Tea?
Spearmint grows naturally in many places around the world including North and South America, Africa, China, and Ireland. (1)
The herb goes by several names including garden mint, lamb mint, mackerel mint, and its scientific name, Mentha spicata. The name "spearmint" comes from the shape of the plant's leaves which resemble (you guessed it) spears.
You can also find several subspecies of spearmint like Mentha crispa, Mentha viridis, and Mentha crispata.
Cultures around the world have used spearmint for centuries -- it's even mentioned in the Bible!
You can make your own tea from dried spearmint leaves, fresh leaves for a bolder flavor, or premade tea bags from the local grocery store.
Spearmint extract and essential oils from high-quality brands like Neumentix make it easy to add spearmint to your favorite drinks.
5 Awesome Spearmint Tea Benefits Everyone Needs to Know
Spearmint oil found in this herbal tea is widely consumed and studied around the world for its renowned antioxidant activity and health benefits.
Many people don't realize that modest spearmint leaves contain antioxidants, polyphenols, flavonoids, rosmarinic acid, and over 50 other important compounds.
Here are a few of the most well-researched spearmint tea benefits.
1. Spearmint Herbal Tea May Improve Memory
Did you know that memory and cognitive function deteriorates about 10% every decade beginning in your early 20s? (2)
Here's some good news. The most well-studied health benefits of spearmint include its effect on working memory and cognitive function.
In a double-blind randomized controlled trial with placebo, people who took spearmint extract displayed a 15% improvement in working memory quality and a 9% improvement in spatial working memory.
People taking spearmint extract also enjoyed better sleep. Subjects fell asleep easier and faster than those who didn't take any spearmint oil or extract.
2. It Might Reduce Stress
Most of the sedative effects of spearmint herbal tea come from the plant's menthol content.
In a randomized controlled trial, those who took spearmint extract for 90-days enjoyed better sleep than those who took placebos.
How? Scientific evidence doesn't explain it yet. However, experts believe that the flavonoids in spearmint oil, like menthol, stimulate GABA activity in the brain which promotes relaxation and calms nerves. (3)
3. Spearmint Extract and Tea Might Prevent Hormone-Related Issues in Women
Research suggests that flavonoids and substances in spearmint leaves may help women overcome hormonal problems like hirsutism (unwanted facial hair growth) and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Both hirsutism and PCOS are connected due to the cysts' effect on hormone production.
Women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome often experience higher androgen levels than other women which can produce symptoms like facial hair and cystic acne.
Not to mention, PCOS is physically excruciating and can interfere with daily life for many women.
While concrete scientific evidence is lacking, research does suggest that spearmint tea may reduce hormone levels responsible for PCOS and hirsutism. (4)
In a study, women with PCOS who drank a cup of spearmint tea twice every day for 30 days did notice a reduction in hair growth. Another study of women with PCOS found that drinking a cup of spearmint tea twice a day did reduce testosterone levels. (5, 6)
4. It May Reduce Bad Breath
There's a specific reason you find spearmint extract and other mint family extracts in toothpaste and mouthwash.
Not only does it taste great, but spearmint oil tends to have antifungal and antibacterial effects.
Spearmint and other similar plants might kill harmful bacteria that lead to bad breath. (7)
If you're not keen on bringing a toothbrush to work so you can freshen up between meals, do what the Moroccans do and sip a cup of spearmint tea after your lunch!
5. Spearmint May Reduce Indigestion and Stomach Problems
Most mint family plants including peppermint and spearmint are common remedies for indigestion, flatulence, bloating, and stomach pain.
While scientific evidence is limited, research does suggest that either ingesting or applying spearmint oil topically can help reduce symptoms of indigestion, especially in people with irritable bowel syndrome. (8, 9)
The soothing effect of spearmint appears to come from a substance called carvone which inhibits contractions.
Next time you feel bloated, brew yourself up a cup of spearmint tea or peppermint tea and try it for yourself.
What Are the Side Effects of Spearmint Tea?
Spearmint tea and extracts are generally safe for most people.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid spearmint tea due to its effect on female hormones and uteruses. (10)
People with severe liver or kidney damage may want to avoid consuming large amounts of spearmint tea as well.
Other than that, spearmint extracts and tea don't have any known side effects or drug interactions.
Spearmint Tea Benefits Vs. Spearmint Essential Oil
Most of the studies done to understand spearmint's health benefits involve spearmint extract or food-grade spearmint essential oil.
Extracts and essential oils are much more concentrated, so they contain higher levels of antioxidants and other medicinal properties.
That's not to say there are no health benefits to consuming spearmint tea instead of essential oil, but you're much more likely to notice a bigger improvement from spearmint essential oils or extract.
Neumentix offers an awesome spearmint extract with high levels of polyphenols and antioxidants. They've even commissioned studies to test the product's reported health benefits like improved working memory, cognitive function, neuron growth, and neurotransmitter levels.
Plus, Neumentix is committed to sustainable production.
The Bottom Line on Spearmint Tea Benefits
Spearmint herbal tea is generally recognized as safe for most people without any known side effects.
Studies suggest that spearmint extract might function as a nootropic, assist digestion, and prevent hormone-related problems in women.
Plus, it tastes great. Enjoy a cup today!