Sometimes certain herbs jump out at you and demand the attention they deserve. Mint has been showing off her pretty leaves and stems to me lately, and I’ve been consuming a lot more herbal mint tea because of it. Here’s why I think you should too:
Mint (Herba Menthae, pinyin Bo He) has long been used in Chinese herbal medicine for its calming, relaxant, and antibacterial properties. It’s gently detoxifying, treats digestive, skin, gynecology, muscular disorders. In a previous post, I mentioned mint tea can help beat the weird warm weather bloat (read it here). San Francisco’s warmer fall days are perfect for making mint tea a part of your daily ritual so don’t delay. Read below and see if it’s a good fit for you.
Peppermint tea has a high content of menthol, which acts as a natural muscle relaxant and helps our bodies from taking on too much tension throughout the workday. Mint also has a cooling function and enters the Liver channel. When we go about our week overworked, under-slept, fueling ourselves with caffeine, and winding down with a glass of wine, we will create extra heat in the body, particularly in the liver and liver channel. Mint has the ability to cool and soothe the body helping us to feel less tense and anxious.
Benefits the eyes and skin
Mint’s cooling properties make it great for reducing redness and inflammation. Herbal mint tea great option for those who suffer from chronic red and dry eyes and has long been used in Chinese herbals formulas to vent rashes and speed healing from redness and itchiness on the skin.
Is a super gynecology herb
Mint is helpful for problems associated with PCOS and menstrual cramping. Studies suggest drinking spearmint tea can reduce circulating androgens in the body. Women who enjoyed two cups of spearmint tea had a reduction in both free and total testosterone, making it a great choice for women who have problems with hair loss, acne or fertility issues that are due to excess testosterone. Peppermint is added to one of the most famous Chinese medicine formulas to treat PMS and dysmenorrhea, making that time of the month more comfortable.
Eradicates colds with benefits a sore throat
Drinking mint tea at the first sign of a sore throat may chase off your cold. Bo He has long been used in cold and flu formulas especially when there are heat signs such as fever and swelling.
Eases digestive distress
Mint has an antispasmodic effect on the smooth muscles of the GI tract, which is why it eases pain and discomfort in people with IBS. Peppermint is the better choice for upset stomach or irritable colons. However, caution to those who also experience heartburn. Mint can also relax the sphincter muscle of the esophagus leaving people more vulnerable to reflux.
*An obvious bonus
Everyone loves to feel minty fresh. Both spearmint and peppermint are a saving grace for bad breath. Sipping on a cup of tea daily can make your co-workers or significant others happier around you. Or…make a cup for someone you love.
*A word of caution
Mint has a dispersing nature and chronic, repetitive use could potentially further deplete an already deficient person. As always ask your acupuncturist if it’s right for you.
Akdoğan, M., Tamer, M. N., Cüre, E., Cüre, M. C., Köroğlu, B. K., & Delibaş, N. (2007). Effect of spearmint (Mentha spicata Labiatae) teas on androgen levels in women with hirsutism. Phytotherapy Research, 21(5), 444-447. doi:10.1002/ptr.2074
Chen, J. K., Chen, T. T., & Crampton, L. (2004). Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology. City of Industry, CA: Art of Medicine Press.
Peppermint. Retrieved October 02, 2017, from http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/peppermint