Mint Tea Benefits and Side Effects

Skinny Mint Tea vs. Mint Tea: Which Is Better?

High Angle View Of Tea And Teapot In Tray On Table

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Mint tea is an herbal tea that is appreciated around the world for its fresh aroma and soothing taste. Mint tea benefits are widely promoted, but not all of them are supported by scientific studies. Other types of mint tea—such as Skinny Mint Tea—have become popular based, in part, on the benefits of mint tea.

What Is Mint Tea?

Typically, mint tea is made from peppermint leaves. Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) is a hybrid, or a blend, of the spearmint plant and the water mint plant. The perennial peppermint plant has bright green leaves and can easily be grown in a variety of low light spaces (including an apartment) so it has become a popular plant to cultivate for food and beverages. 

Mint tea can be made solely with peppermint leaves, but you can also combine peppermint with spearmint leaves to make double mint tea. Some people even combine peppermint with other herbal ingredients to create unique blends.

Peppermint tea has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years dating back to Greek, Roman, and Ancient Egyptian cultures. However, peppermint was not recognized as a distinct kind of mint until the 1700s, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Peppermint tea bags and loose peppermint tea are widely available in grocery stores, health stores, and online. It's bright flavor and reputation as a health aid has made it one of the most popular types of tea in North America.

What Is Skinny Mint Tea?

Skinny Mint Tea is a brand of tea that has become an internet sensation among people who are trying to lose weight. Different tea products are sold as part of a detox plan called a "teatox". Each ingredient in the tea is rumored to help with weight loss. Unfortunately, very few of the ingredients have been proven to help with weight loss and consuming many of them may produce uncomfortable side effects.

Morning Boost Skinny Tea Ingredients

  • Green tea has not been shown to boost weight loss, according to the National Institutes of Health.
  • Yerba mate has been shown to possibly aid weight loss, but more evidence is needed to confirm this benefit. Yerba mate may produce side effects including sleep disruption, palpitations, increased heart rate, stomach upset, restlessness, and anxiety, according to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).
  • Guarana fruit is a stimulant that is often used for weight loss, but no strong scientific evidence supports this benefit. If you overuse this herbal ingredient you may experience vomiting, agitation, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, or nausea.
  • Nettle leaves are a diuretic that promotes urination. This may lead to lost water weight, but not fat loss.
  • Dandelion can also be used to promote urination in some people, but lost water will be regained when you rehydrate.

Skinny Mint Night Cleanse Skinny Mint Ingredients

  • Ginger root may actually increase your appetite.
  • Peppermint has not been shown to boost weight loss.
  • Orange leaves have not been shown to boost weight loss.
  • Lemongrass may help animals sleep better, but has no effect on humans, according to MSKCC.
  • Hawthorn berries are sometimes taken to improve sleep, but there is not enough evidence to support this benefit, according to the Therapeutic Research Center
  • Senna is an FDA-approved nonprescription laxative. However, health experts do not recommend that you take laxatives to promote weight loss.

It is important to note that the Skinny Mint company does not directly say that their product should be used for weight loss. Instead, they promote the product to help your body "detox." However, many of the reviews posted on the site mention losing weight. These quotes and pictures may lead a reader to believe that weight loss is a primary benefit of the product.

Skinny Mint Tea vs. Mint Tea

If you are looking for mint tea, then peppermint tea is the way to go. Skinny Mint only uses peppermint in one of its formulas and only a small amount of peppermint leaves are used in the manufacturing of the tea. 

If your goal is to slim down, you still may achieve better results with peppermint tea. Many dieters drink calorie-free mint tea instead of having dessert or having a high-calorie coffee, saving hundreds of calories each day. Additionally, many tea drinkers report a calming effect after drinking mint tea. This may help some dieters curb angry food cravings.

Lastly, you aren't likely to experience uncomfortable side effects with peppermint tea. However, the ingredients in Skinny Mint tea may cause you to have increased bowel movements and urination which can be uncomfortable or inconvenient.

How to Prepare Mint Tea

You can purchase mint tea bags at your local grocery store or health market. Most stores also sell loose leaf peppermint that can be used with a tea infuser.

To prepare mint tea, simply place the tea bag or infuser with tea leaves in the bottom of a 6-8 ounce cup and fill with hot water. Let the tea steep for 4-6 minutes based on your desired intensity.

Some drinkers enjoy peppermint tea with lemon or a little bit of sugar.

Mint Tea Health Benefits

Although many websites and tea sellers promote a wide range of mint tea health benefits, most of them are not backed by published research. That doesn't mean you won't experience a benefit, it simply means that scientists don't know if the benefit can be replicated with scientific studies.

According to the National Institutes of Health, very little research has been done on peppermint leaf. Most research into the benefits of mint has been done with peppermint oil which is much stronger.

  • There is some evidence that peppermint may reduce stomach spasms and general gastrointestinal discomfort.
  • Peppermint has been shown to reduce symptoms of IBS.
  • Peppermint has been shown to relieve some respiratory (breathing) problems.

If you drink peppermint tea instead of a high-calorie coffee drink or instead of enjoying a dessert after dinner, you will most likely benefit from a reduction in calories.

Mint Tea Side Effects

Again, since most research into the benefits and side effects of peppermint have been conducted with peppermint oil, you may not experience these side effects from drinking peppermint tea because tea is not nearly as strong. However, some people may experience nausea when consuming peppermint. There is some evidence that it may decrease sperm production, and if you use peppermint oil there is a chance that you will experience a rash where your skin contacts the oil (contact dermatitis).

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Article Sources
  • Peppermint. Memorial Sloan Kettering Integrative Medicine About Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products. 

  • Peppermint. The National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health.

  • Peppermint. Therapeutic Research Center. Natural Medicines Database.