The effects of peppermint tea are generally lighter and gentler than peppermint oil capsules. The tea is very refreshing, doesn’t need to be sweetened and has a real ‘pick me up’ effect whenever you drink it.
More importantly, peppermint tea can be very beneficial for your digestive system and help alleviate problems like bloating, stomach gas and flatulence.
Peppermint has relaxant and antispasmodic properties and may help relieve spasms in the gastrointestinal tract, bile duct and gallbladder. This can improve the passage of both food and swallowed air through the digestive tract, allowing them to go through smoothly and without pain or discomfort.
The volatile oils in peppermint stimulate the gallbladder to release bile that your body uses to digest fats. The flow of bile to the liver can also be increased by the compounds in peppermint tea and moderate intake of the herb seems to have a detoxifying effect on the liver. A well functioning liver is vital to overall digestive health and therefore reducing flatulence problems.
While we normally shouldn’t have too much liquid with meals, peppermint tea is one drink it really would be beneficial to sip a small cup of, just before or even during a meal for its positive actions on our digestive systems.
Personally, I find a cup of the tea around half an hour before really seems to help prevent problems later on if I’m having a large or a little less than healthy meal.
What is the Best Peppermint Tea for Stomach Gas and Bloating?
Look for peppermint leaf cut thickly (so as to avoid losing too many of the important oils in processing) and ideally unbleached teabags for the healthiest option.
While peppermint tea bags are easy to use and take to work, for the best value and a stronger tea you can use loose leaf peppermint in a teapot or french press steeped in very hot, but not boiling, water for a few minutes.
Peppermint Tea Effects and Precautions
Peppermint has an effect on digestion and other physiological processes. For most people this effect is positive, but, as with any herbal supplement, it makes sense to be aware of the influence its introduction is having on your health and general wellbeing.
Peppermint taken around the same time as certain medications may interfere with their absorption, so be conscious of this and consult a knowledgeable health-care professional if in doubt.
It may also interfere with iron absorption if taken at the same time as iron containing foods or supplements. If you are worried about not getting enough iron in your diet it may be a good idea to use either the tea or peppermint oil capsules before a meal rather than with it.
Peppermint tea or oil is not recommended for pregnant women, very young children or people with heart disease, ulcers or problems with reflux and heartburn.
There have been a few studies, mainly on rats, that suggest drinking large amounts of peppermint tea may lower testosterone levels. It seems the amounts would need to be relatively excessive, but it still makes good sense for men concerned about this to enjoy the tea in moderation.
How Many Cups a Day?
A cup or two a day is probably enough to get the digestive benefits without going overboard. As with most herbs and supplements, be aware of how they are making you feel, particularly around an hour or two after taking them. It’s also a good idea to take a week off any herb or supplement from time to time.
The beneficial effects of peppermint tea are enjoyed by millions of people around the world. It makes a great tasting, caffeine-free pick me up that can effectively aid digestion, help relieve stomach gas and bloating and prevent flatulence.
If you’ve never tried it before I’d really recommend giving it a go, not just for the health benefits, but for the refreshing taste as well.