Peppermint Tea: What It's Used For, Contraindications and Preparation

Peppermint tea is one of the most widely used drinks to soothe digestive discomfort and various types of pain. Do you know how to prepare it? Find out!
Peppermint Tea: What It's Used For, Contraindications and Preparation
Franciele Rohor de Souza

Reviewed and approved by the pharmacist Franciele Rohor de Souza.

Last update: 10 November, 2022

Peppermint tea is a drink made from the leaves of Mentha piperita, one of the different types of mint. In traditional medicine, it’s a well-known digestive remedy, as its intake is associated with the relief of nausea, indigestion, heartburn, and abdominal swelling. In addition to this, other interesting benefits are attributed to it.

As stated in a review shared in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, the plant and its extracts have antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential. In particular, this is associated with its content of phenolic acids, flavonoids and lignans. Want to know more about it?

What is peppermint tea used for?

In traditional medicine, peppermint tea has been used since ancient times as a supplement to promote physical and mental well-being. And, even though it isn’t a first-choice treatment against diseases, its intake is useful when it comes to soothe some symptoms. Let’s have a look at its main uses in detail.

Digestive health

As we have mentioned, one of the main uses of peppermint tea has to do with digestive health. To be more precise, the drink helps to improve digestion and reduce symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and gas.

One of its main compounds, R(-)-carvone, has been linked to these effects. According to a study shared in Fitoterapia, this substance inhibits the muscular contractions of the digestive tract and, as a result, exerts an antispasmodic effect.

However, other research shows that the plant has antiparasitic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory qualities, which also contribute to the prevention of gastrointestinal disorders.

A man vomiting.
Peppermint tea finds its greatest applications in digestive discomforts.

Another very useful article for you: Peppermint Oil Against Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Source of antioxidants

The consumption of antioxidants plays a relevant role in the prevention of cell damage caused by free radicals. In turn, this is related to the prevention of chronic diseases and premature aging. Did you know that peppermint tea is a source of antioxidants?

As detailed in an article in the journal Molecules, it contains rosmarinic acid, flavones, and flavanones (limonene and menthol). In fact, it’s an excellent source of vitamin C, as each 11-gram serving provides about 2% of the recommended daily intake of this nutrient.

Hormonal balance

While hormonal disorders should be addressed by a doctor or gynecologist, the consumption of peppermint tea can be a good complement. A study published in Phytotherapy Research associates the intake of this drink with anti-androgenic effects.

In addition, everything points to the fact that it stimulates the release of luteinizing hormones (LH), follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH), and estradiol, necessary for the ovulation process. Similar results were found in another piece of research, which associated the intake of this tea with benefits in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).


Substances contained in peppermint tea, such as carnosic acid or rosmarinic acid, are linked to beneficial effects on learning and memory. This is detailed in a study shared in Physiology & Behavior , which also found that these antioxidants protect the brain against oxidative stress.

Bacterial infections

It’s common to find oral care products containing peppermint. The reason? Not only does it freshen breath, but it has antibacterial properties that promote healthy teeth and gums. However, the tea is often used as a rinse to complement oral cleaning habits.

On the other hand, it’s used to disinfect food, as evidence indicates that it helps fight bacteria that cause food poisoning, such as E. coli and Listeria.

Controlling glucose levels

Peppermint tea is a drink that’s suitable for people with diabetes. Although more studies are needed on its properties, for now the evidence suggests that it helps control high blood sugar levels.

Stress relief

Drinking peppermint tea may induce relaxation during stressful times. In animal research, peppermint extracts exhibited positive effects in reducing anxiety and sleep problems.

Its menthol content is believed to interact with GABA receptors in the brain, reducing nervous activity.

Arthritis pain

The analgesic properties of peppermint tea are used as an adjuvant to reduce pain caused by arthritis. In this regard, a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food reported that drinking peppermint twice a day reduced stiffness, physical disability, and pain in patients with knee arthritis.

Blood pressure

The (-)-carvone present in peppermint has been linked to lowering high blood pressure. It’s even said to have more ability to reduce blood vessel contractions than the drug verapamil. For now, more evidence is needed.

Contraindications of peppermint tea

Peppermint tea is generally well tolerated by most healthy adults. However, its consumption should be moderate and punctual.

However, there are some cases in which its intake is contraindicated:

  • Pregnancy and lactation
  • Renal diseases
  • Hepatic pathologies
  • Children under 5 years old
  • Patients with a history of allergy to mint
  • People undergoing treatment with liver medications or sedative drugs
Peppermint tea.
Peppermint is part of the mint family. As such, it can be grown at home to have its leaves available at any time.

How to prepare peppermint tea?

The preparation of this tea is quite simple. It can be made with prepared bags, or with the loose leaves.

In general, it’s fine to consume 2 or 3 cups a day.


  • 500 milliliters of water
  • 30 grams (1.2 oz) of peppermint leaves


  1. To begin, bring the water to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, remove from the heat and add the peppermint leaves.
  2. Cover the drink and let it steep for about 10 minutes.
  3. Then strain it through a strainer and consume it.

What should you remember about peppermint tea?

Tea prepared with peppermint leaves can be used to supplement food. It’s a low-calorie drink that promotes digestion and relief of certain ailments.

However, it shouldn’t be a first choice when treating illnesses. In case of any health problems, you should first consult with your doctor.

It might interest you...
Three Remedies for Bad Breath Using Mint
Step To Health
Read it in Step To Health
Three Remedies for Bad Breath Using Mint

Halitosis, better known as bad breath isn't always related to bad oral hygiene, so you should learn about the various home remedies that will help ...

  • Mahendran G, Verma SK, Rahman LU. The traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology of spearmint (Mentha spicata L.): A review. J Ethnopharmacol. 2021 Oct 5;278:114266. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2021.114266. Epub 2021 Jun 1. PMID: 34087400.
  • Souza FV, da Rocha MB, de Souza DP, Marçal RM. (-)-Carvone: antispasmodic effect and mode of action. Fitoterapia. 2013 Mar;85:20-4. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2012.10.012. Epub 2012 Oct 24. PMID: 23103297.
  • El Menyiy N, Mrabti HN, El Omari N, Bakili AE, Bakrim S, Mekkaoui M, Balahbib A, Amiri-Ardekani E, Ullah R, Alqahtani AS, Shahat AA, Bouyahya A. Medicinal Uses, Phytochemistry, Pharmacology, and Toxicology of Mentha spicata. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2022 Apr 12;2022:7990508. doi: 10.1155/2022/7990508. PMID: 35463088; PMCID: PMC9019422.
  • Cirlini M, Mena P, Tassotti M, Herrlinger KA, Nieman KM, Dall’Asta C, Del Rio D. Phenolic and Volatile Composition of a Dry Spearmint (Mentha spicata L.) Extract. Molecules. 2016 Aug 3;21(8):1007. doi: 10.3390/molecules21081007. PMID: 27527127; PMCID: PMC6274304.
  • Akdoğan M, Tamer MN, Cüre E, Cüre MC, Köroğlu BK, Delibaş N. Effect of spearmint (Mentha spicata Labiatae) teas on androgen levels in women with hirsutism. Phytother Res. 2007 May;21(5):444-7. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2074. PMID: 17310494.
  • Grant P. Spearmint herbal tea has significant anti-androgen effects in polycystic ovarian syndrome. A randomized controlled trial. Phytother Res. 2010 Feb;24(2):186-8. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2900. PMID: 19585478.
  • Farr SA, Niehoff ML, Ceddia MA, Herrlinger KA, Lewis BJ, Feng S, Welleford A, Butterfield DA, Morley JE. Effect of botanical extracts containing carnosic acid or rosmarinic acid on learning and memory in SAMP8 mice. Physiol Behav. 2016 Oct 15;165:328-38. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2016.08.013. Epub 2016 Aug 12. PMID: 27527000.
  • Bardaweel SK, Bakchiche B, ALSalamat HA, Rezzoug M, Gherib A, Flamini G. Chemical composition, antioxidant, antimicrobial and Antiproliferative activities of essential oil of Mentha spicata L. (Lamiaceae) from Algerian Saharan atlas. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2018 Jul 3;18(1):201. doi: 10.1186/s12906-018-2274-x. PMID: 29970065; PMCID: PMC6029017.
  • Khoury M, Stien D, Eparvier V, Ouaini N, El Beyrouthy M. Report on the Medicinal Use of Eleven Lamiaceae Species in Lebanon and Rationalization of Their Antimicrobial Potential by Examination of the Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial Activity of Their Essential Oils. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:2547169. doi: 10.1155/2016/2547169. Epub 2016 Dec 8. PMID: 28053641; PMCID: PMC5178328.
  • Shahbazi Y. Chemical Composition and In Vitro Antibacterial Activity of Mentha spicata Essential Oil against Common Food-Borne Pathogenic Bacteria. J Pathog. 2015;2015:916305. doi: 10.1155/2015/916305. Epub 2015 Aug 16. PMID: 26351584; PMCID: PMC4553199.
  • Farid O, El Haidani A, Eddouks M. Antidiabetic Effect of Spearmint in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats. Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2018;18(6):581-589. doi: 10.2174/1871530318666180517101708. PMID: 29769013.
  • Caro DC, Rivera DE, Ocampo Y, Franco LA, Salas RD. Pharmacological Evaluation of Mentha spicata L. and Plantago major L., Medicinal Plants Used to Treat Anxiety and Insomnia in Colombian Caribbean Coast. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018 Aug 7;2018:5921514. doi: 10.1155/2018/5921514. PMID: 30158996; PMCID: PMC6106973.
  • Watt EE, Betts BA, Kotey FO, Humbert DJ, Griffith TN, Kelly EW, Veneskey KC, Gill N, Rowan KC, Jenkins A, Hall AC. Menthol shares general anesthetic activity and sites of action on the GABA(A) receptor with the intravenous agent, propofol. Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 Aug 20;590(1-3):120-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2008.06.003. Epub 2008 Jun 7. PMID: 18593637.
  • Connelly AE, Tucker AJ, Tulk H, Catapang M, Chapman L, Sheikh N, Yurchenko S, Fletcher R, Kott LS, Duncan AM, Wright AJ. High-rosmarinic acid spearmint tea in the management of knee osteoarthritis symptoms. J Med Food. 2014 Dec;17(12):1361-7. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2013.0189. PMID: 25058311; PMCID: PMC4259186.