Mint Tea Benefits and Side Effects

Mint tea

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

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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.

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. It can also be mixed with eucalyptus for flu and cold prevention.

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, according to the National Institutes of Health, peppermint was not recognized as a distinct kind of mint until the 1700s.

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

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 oil may reduce stomach spasms and general gastrointestinal discomfort.
  • Peppermint oil has been shown to reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • Peppermint oil has been shown to relieve some respiratory (breathing) problems.

Mint Tea Side Effects

Again, since most research into the benefits and side effects of peppermint has 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).

5 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Institutes of Health. Peppermint Oil.

  2. Chumpitazi BP, Kearns GL, Shulman RJ. Review article: the physiological effects and safety of peppermint oil and its efficacy in irritable bowel syndrome and other functional disorders. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2018;47(6):738-752. doi:10.1111/apt.14519

  3. Alammar N, Wang L, Saberi B, et al. The impact of peppermint oil on the irritable bowel syndrome: a meta-analysis of the pooled clinical data. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2019;19(1):21. doi:10.1186/s12906-018-2409-0

  4. Meamarbashi A, Rajabi A. The effects of peppermint on exercise performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013;10(1):15. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-10-15

  5. Papathanasopoulos A, Rotondo A, Janssen P, et al. Effect of acute peppermint oil administration on gastric sensorimotor function and nutrient tolerance in health. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2013;25(4):e263-e271. doi:10.1111/nmo.12102

Additional Reading
  • Peppermint. Therapeutic Research Center. Natural Medicines Database. 

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

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

By Malia Frey
 Malia Frey is a weight loss expert, certified health coach, weight management specialist, personal trainer​, and fitness nutrition specialist.