Peppermint Tea: The Ultimate After Dinner Drink
Peppermint – or most any mint – is my favourite herb. I grow peppermint, spearmint and chocolate mint along one of my backyard fences. Plant it once and it just keeps coming back, thicker and thicker, each year with no upkeep. I didn’t even water mine this year. That’s easy gardening.
So what are the benefits of peppermint tea?
- Digestive Aid – Don’t reach for coffee to relieve fullness after a meal. As I discussed recently (http://wp.me/p2MUih-s) coffee relieves fullness in a way that is detrimental to the way you feel in the short term and to your overall health in the long term. Peppermint relieves gas, easing the pressure on your full stomach after a meal. This makes you feel less full. It also relaxes the muscles your stomach uses to churn that food around so that your meal ends up well-digested by the time it gets to your intestines. This, in turn, allows the nutrients in the food you’ve eaten to effectively travel through your blood to your cells. Peppermint stimulates the digestive process, where a coffee with milk and sugar will actually shut the digestive process off. So you can see that peppermint has a positive rather than negative effect on the digestion of your meal while giving you the exact same feeling of relief that coffee gives.
- Combatting Nausea – Use peppermint tea when you feel like you might, well, lose your meal. If you’re feeling nauseous, whether due to illness, pregnancy, or travel sickness, mint will help this feeling pass so you can go on with your day.
- Easing of Fevers in Cold and Flu – Relief from fever that is due to cold or flu can come in this delicious natural tea rather than using something off the drug store shelf that has a list of side effects written on the box it comes in. And you know that cold I wrote about the other day (http://wp.me/p2MUih-1K)? I should have put the kettle on for a peppermint tea when I felt that burning in the head and throat because peppermint eases these symptoms when accompanied by mucus discharge.
- Easing Anxiety – Being a nervine tonic, peppermint eases tension, anxiety and hysteria. It even eases the pain and tension associated with painful menstruation.
This isn’t just a tasty herb. It’s tasty medicine that you can grow yourself or purchase at any store or establishment that sells tea. Reach for it for relief or just to relax.
In the summer I always mozy into the backyard after a meal and eat five or six leaves right off the plant because I know it will help transform the food I just ate into a healthier me. It gives me confidence knowing that the mint will help me feel good in the time before my next meal rather than tired due to indigestion.
Next time you serve a fine dinner to friends or family you might consider serving peppermint tea afterward before everyone starts asking you to make coffee. Trust me when I say that moods and spirits will be up for the rest of the evening and your guests will go home feeling like you were a great host.
Big thanks to David Hoffman and his Holistic Herbal for the brush up on this topic.
Originally posted Oct. 10, 2012 – reposted because it’s still a great herb!