When you drink peppermint tea every day, this is what happens to your body

Peppermint tea is made from the leaves of one of nature's sweetest and freshest-tasting plant families: mint. Peppermint, a hybrid of watermint and spearmint, has a particularly robust taste that flavors everything from toothpaste to candy canes to ice cream, as well as, of course, good old-fashioned peppermint tea. Aside from smelling absolutely delicious and providing our taste buds with a minty-fresh kick, peppermint has a myriad of health benefits, according to Healthline. You can reap these scientifically-proven impacts on a daily basis by sipping on a nice, steaming hot mug of peppermint tea, without any of the risks that come with drinking coffee.

So, how exactly does ingesting this refreshing tonic provide you with a little bit of healthy magic? And, conversely, are there any negative effects that can occur from daily peppermint tea consumption? Read on to learn everything that happens to your body when you drink peppermint tea every day.

If you drink peppermint tea every day, you'll get a boost of antioxidants

If you drink peppermint tea every day, you'll be getting a significant dose of antioxidant protection, according to a review published in the journal Phytotherapy Research. That boost is, of course, great for your health.

There are actually several different antioxidants at play in peppermint that help protect you from disease, according to registered dietitian Sofia Norton. "Peppermint tea contains antioxidant compounds such as rosmarinic acid and flavonoids (eriocitrin, luteolin, and hesperidin)," she told The List. "These compounds scavenge free radicals, which protects you from premature aging and a wide array of chronic diseases," she added.

This can be especially helpful for certain people, according to Healthline. If you have high blood sugar, live in an area with air pollution, drink alcohol, or have an antioxidant deficiency, you should consider drinking peppermint tea on a daily basis. It can help you fight the excess oxidative stress in your life and avoid future health problems.

You may lose weight if you drink peppermint tea every day

Are you one of those people who seems to gain weight just by looking at food? Have you tried everything from the keto diet to tracking macros to living on protein shakes? Perhaps you'd have a little bit of luck if you started drinking peppermint tea every day. "At baseline, peppermint tea is delicious and low in calories," registered dietitian Amanda A. Kostro Miller explained to The List. "So, if you are trying to watch your calorie intake or want to fill your stomach up to prevent premature hunger, pick up a cup of plain peppermint tea." Zero calories and lots of flavor? Sounds delicious!

That doesn't mean that drinking peppermint tea is some kind of magic bullet, though, or that the cuppa will burn all of the fat and calories for you, alas. Rather, it's a healthier choice compared to soda, alcohol, or loaded coffee drinks, as Healthline explained. It can help you stay on track.

Drinking peppermint tea every day can help you fight fatigue

Maintaining your energy throughout the day — whether it's a weekday or on the weekend — can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. And while you can always reach for a cup of coffee during those especially tired afternoons, you may have trouble sleeping later on that night, according to the Mayo Clinic. That, in turn, could lead to being tired the next morning and have you reaching for an even bigger cup of joe. Before you know it, you can easily find yourself in a vicious cycle of consuming too much caffeine.

Instead, consider drinking peppermint tea every day in the afternoon to see if it gives you a bit of a boost. In one small study in the journal Nutrients, 24 young people who were otherwise healthy said they felt less tired after ingesting peppermint oil capsules. Another study published in the International Journal of Psychophysiology revealed that peppermint oil aromatherapy helped people beat back daytime sleepiness.

While no studies have been done on peppermint tea specifically, according to Healthline, if you find that drinking it gives you energy, well, keep doing what you're doing.

Need to focus? Drink peppermint tea every day

Just as staying alert and energetic all day can be tough sometimes, it can also be difficult to maintain your focus. That's why you may find yourself reading and rereading the same paragraph of a document or book, yet unable to retain the information, which can be quite frustrating.

Fortunately, if you drink peppermint tea every day in the afternoon, you might just find that your ability to pay attention is renewed, according to registered dietitian Hayley Cimring. "The scent of menthol in peppermint tea stimulates the hippocampus area in the brain that controls mental clarity," she shared with The List. "This helps improve your concentration and focus — which makes a cup of peppermint tea a great choice for an afternoon pick-me-up!"

Just be sure you don't mitigate the beneficial impacts of peppermint tea by dumping too much sugar into your mug. That can be a detrimental to your focus, according to Psychology Today.

Struggling with congestion? Try drinking peppermint tea every day

Drinking peppermint tea every day can help you fight the symptoms of some respiratory sicknesses. According to a study in the Israeli journal Harefuah, the beverage has antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help you open up blocked sinus cavities. And, if you've ever had a bad sinus infection, you know what a relief it is to finally clear up and breathe through your nose again!

That's not all that drinking peppermint tea can do for your sinuses, either. In a study in the journal Clinical Otolaryngology and Allied Sciences, researchers found that the menthol that's naturally present in peppermint can improve the "nasal sensation of airflow" in your nose and sinuses. So, in addition to drinking peppermint tea, you may find it beneficial to hold your head over a steaming cup of peppermint tea as the steam can help you feel like you're breathing better. 

Your immune system will get a boost if you drink peppermint tea every day

As the World Health Organization noted in March 2020, the spread of the novel coronavirus throughout the world has been "alarming" for a variety of reasons. Experts agree that practicing good hygiene habits can help stop the spread of the virus and protect you and the people around you.

As worrying as the threat of illness can be, drinking peppermint tea every day could actually be a good weapon to keep in your arsenal. That's because it can make your immune system stronger, as noted by dietitian Hayley Cimring. "Peppermint tea is chock-full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which have antimicrobial and anti-viral properties," she revealed to The List. "The antimicrobial properties in peppermint tea kill bad bacteria lurking in your upper respiratory system and promote healing in the body."

Of course, drinking peppermint tea is not a substitute for washing your hands, maintaining a sterile environment, or social distancing. But, even if it helps a little bit, there's comfort in that.

If you struggle with allergies, drinking peppermint tea every day might help

Everyone loves springtime, right? Finally, after months and months of short days and chilly temps, the sun comes out and all kinds of life sprouts from the ground. In stark contrast to the gray winter landscape, all of the trees begin to blossom and colorful flowers seem to pop up overnight.

However, if you suffer from allergies, spring can be an especially rough time, given that there's pollen everywhere and you can't stop sneezing. But if peppermint tea is on the menu every day, you may experience a reduction of those pesky symptoms, says registered dietitian Sofia Norton. "If you suffer from seasonal allergies, drinking peppermint [tea] daily may help you feel better," she told The List. "A compound in peppermint called luteolin-7-O-rutinoside inhibits the release and activity of histamine."

You can also apply peppermint oil for the same effect, according to Healthline, or use a diffuser to help you breathe a little easier.

Suffer from headaches? Drink peppermint tea every day

Whether from overdoing it at the bar the night before or due to muscle tension, one in 20 adults experiences a headache every day, according to the World Health Organization. Additionally, one in seven adults suffer from migraine headaches — and women are three times more likely than men to have them. 

If you are one of the people who're plagued with either of these conditions, try adding a cup of peppermint tea to your daily diet. It turns out it just might help you combat the pain, according to dietitian Hayley Cimring. "Menthol in peppermint tea opens up the blood vessels in the brain making it an effective remedy for headaches and migraines," she shared with The List. "In fact, even the aroma of peppermint tea helps provide relief from a headache." Once again, it's no substitution for NSAIDs or other medication, but it's good to have a natural option in your pantry.

Drinking peppermint tea every day is good for your digestive system

One of the most widely-touted benefits of having a cup of peppermint tea every day is for your digestive organs. But not all peppermint is created equal when it comes to your gut. "Studies found that dried peppermint was better than fresh peppermint when it comes to digestive issues," registered dietitian Sofia Norton explained to The List. "Peppermint oils stimulate bile flow, reduce the production of sulfur in the large intestine, and boost nutrient absorption." She added that peppermint tea can also help you if you struggle with constipation, thanks to the way it stimulates the GI tract.

There's more, too, as the menthol in peppermint tea helps calm the muscles that cause digestive cramping, according to dietitian Hayley Cimring. "Because of the way it helps the gut relax, it's a great choice for people who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)," she told The List

Your breath will be naturally sweeter if you drink peppermint tea every day

Looking to sweeten your breath without the sugar of breath mints or the artificial sweetener you find in some gum? Try sipping on a mug or two of peppermint tea every day to combat mouth odor. Peppermint possesses strong anti-bacterial properties, Chicago-based dentist Dr. Henry Hackney told The List. "That not only improves your gum health but also kills germs and decreases dental plaque formation," he continued. "As a result, you can enjoy healthy and fresh breath." The expert said that's why it shouldn't be surprising that peppermint is used in so many mouthwashes and toothpastes.

In addition to making your breath pleasant and your mouth extra kissable, Hackney says drinking peppermint tea every day can have a positive impact on other aspects of your oral health. "Peppermint may prevent you from any future infections as well as reduce bleeding gum issues," he added.

Drinking peppermint tea every day can reduce your anxiety

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 31 percent of American adults will suffer from an anxiety disorder at one point in their lives. If you're included in that number, you may want to consider drinking peppermint tea every day, as it may provide some much needed calm, according to registered dietitian Hayley Cimring. "Peppermint tea is commonly used in aromatherapy as a way to reduce stress and increase overall well-being," she shared with The List. "That's because it contains natural sedative qualities that help you unwind after a long day."

Enjoying this beverage in the evening may have additional benefits, too, as noted by Cimring. "Peppermint tea is also naturally caffeine-free so you can drink it without worrying about insomnia," she continued. "The lack of caffeine in peppermint tea means you won't feel jittery and can relax before bedtime."

Since people with anxiety can also be caffeine-sensitive anyway, according to the journal Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, so peppermint tea is an optimal choice.

Have menstrual cramps? Try drinking peppermint tea every day

As most anyone who's ever had a period can tell you, menstrual cramps are no fun whatsoever. In some cases, they can be so debilitating that they disrupt activities like school and work, according to the Mayo Clinic. Fortunately, some medications and birth control can help relieve menstrual pain, although sometimes surgery is sometimes necessary as well.

If you're looking for a natural way to treat menstrual pain, you should consider snuggling up with a cup of peppermint tea. According to a review in the journal Phytotherapy Research, peppermint helps to relax the muscles, which can alleviate period cramps and pain. Additionally, a study in the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research found that peppermint extract capsules were just effective as NSAIDs at combating both the severity and the length of menstrual cramps.

Plus, warm beverages, like tea, in general can help ease symptoms, Alyssa Dweck, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Westchester, New York, told Women's Health, but peppermint has the added perk of being a great pain-reliever.

If you have GERD, don't drink peppermint tea every day

Drinking peppermint tea every day can help with a variety of ailments, according to science. That's likely why people have been drinking it for thousands of years in Europe, Asia, and beyond. Plus, it really does have a pleasant taste! However, that doesn't make it a great choice for everyone.

There are potential drawbacks to drinking peppermint tea for some people, as noted by registered dietitian Amanda A. Kostro Miller. "You may experience heartburn," she told The List. "One of the only issues with peppermint tea is that peppermint may be a trigger ingredient for those with heartburn or GERD, so these people may not want to consume peppermint tea." If you're prone to acid reflux, you might do better drinking a different kind of tea daily, such as chamomile tea, which has its own host of health benefits.

Avoid drinking peppermint tea every day if you're allergic to mint

Although rare, some people are allergic to mint. As such, consuming peppermint even in tea form can cause a variety of problems for these individuals, according to Healthline.

If any of the following happen to you when you start drinking peppermint tea, it's very important you talk to your doctor: swelling in your mouth, tingling or itching in your throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain. For more serious symptoms — like coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing, severe swelling, difficulty swallowing, low blood pressure, dizziness, or fainting — you seek medical attention immediately.  Any of these could be a sign that you're having an anaphylactic reaction, which can be life-threatening.

If you know you have a mint allergy, it's important to avoid any products that may contain mint or mint flavoring. That includes types of tea, breath mints, gum, or toothpaste. 

The bottom line of drinking peppermint tea every day

When it comes to the bottom line of drinking peppermint tea every day, if you're not allergic to it and you don't have GERD, it's very likely fine for you to consume. It's certainly safer than drinking rum or vodka every night, as drinking alcohol too frequently can cause some severe health issues, especially if you tend to overdo it on the booze. Peppermint tea may not get you buzzed, but it won't harm your liver.

If your daily mug or, ahem, three of peppermint tea sparks joy in your life, keep doing what you're doing, says registered dietitian Hayley Cimring. "Peppermint tea is a health tonic that can safely be consumed at any time of day," she shared with The List. "It's been used for thousands of years with many benefits for the body and mind. Make yourself a cuppa goodness and stay healthy." Sounds like a good plan to us!