Fresh Mint Tea
If you cook on the regular basis, you have probably been faced with purchasing herbs more than needed for one recipe. This time, I happened to have mint sprigs left from making mojitos for an office party. Tossing out the leftover fresh herb did not sound right to me, so I decided to make something simple with mint leaves. Thus, I discovered that making fresh mint tea is a great solution for finish off this herb quickly.
It is really simple as you just need to brew the fresh mint leaves with hot water, just like how you make other tea. It tastes clean, refreshing, and soothing. You have probably already familiar with the flavor of peppermint candy. The mint tea flavor is similar but with less intense and less sweet than the candy. I must say my favorite part of sipping a cup of fresh mint tea is inhaling its sweet menthol scent. The smell really stimulates me to mentally perk up when I am feeling lethargic.
Health Benefits of Mint Tea
Mint tea is a delicious and relaxing beverage that has numerous health benefits.
1. Soothe upset stomach and improve digestion
The cooling effects of menthol in mint tea can help to soothe an upset stomach by improving circulation and relieving inflammation that causes stomach pains. The menthol also stimulates the secretion of gastric juices that can break down food and speed up digestion. This reduces the symptoms of diarrhea and constipation and great for people who suffer irritable bowel syndrome.
2. Freshen bad breath
Beside easing indigestion, mint may fight the bacteria in your mouth that cause bad breath. The signature of minty fresh taste behind also helps to camouflage bad breath. Hence, you can drink mint tea after consuming smelly foods to neutralize the odors. Just make sure your min tea is made from real peppermint with no flavoring, to get the best result.
3. Combat cold
Mint leaves contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help fight clogged sinuses due to infections, the common cold and allergies. In addition, the menthol in mint leaves improves the perception of airflow in your nasal cavity, helping you fell as though your breathing is easier.
4. Reduce fever
Drinking a hot cup of mint tea induces sweating, which is a great way to cool down the body naturally. At the same time, the menthol works internally to decrease temperature thus bringing down your fever. Menthol is also a natural muscle relaxant, so it helps to alleviate the aches and pains that come along with high fevers.
5. Improve concentration
Studies have shown that the scent of menthol stimulates the brain area that controls mental clarity and focus, hence drinking mint tea will boost alertness and concentration. To take advantage of this benefit, try making a homemade mint humidifier by making this homemade fresh min tea.
6. Prevent nausea
The mint leaves has antispasmodic properties that can treat the feelings of nausea and prevent vomiting. The scent can help soothing muscles that contract and lead to vomiting.
7. Reduce stress
The fresh and cooling aroma from mint tea is a great natural aromatherapy to reduce stress and increase overall well-being and peace. That is because mint tea contains natural sedative qualities that help you unwind after a long day. Mint tea is also naturally caffeine-free, so you can drink it any time without worrying about insomnia.
Side Effects of Mint Tea
Mint tea can have a few minor side effects. This tea should be avoided by people with allergies to its ingredients such as menthe and sufferers of acid reflux. Pregnant women should monitor and limit intake. As with most teas, it is important to talk with your doctor before drinking tea with any medications because mint tea can interact with medications designed to treat heartburn and acid reflux along with those for blood pressures and diabetes.
Tips on Making Fresh Mint Tea
1. How to choose fresh mint leaves
Look for mint leaves that are perky and even-colored, not wilting. For the best herbal tea, try to select stems with unblemished leaves with no brown spots or bug damage. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to one week.
2. Muddle the leaves
Muddling is the best way to release concentrated essential oils in the mint leaves without having tons of little mint scraps all throughout the drink. To release the oil properly, gently bruise the mint leaves with the back of a wooded spoon or a muddler. Do not over-muddling the mint leaves because the over-crushed mint leaves breaks the chlorophyll in the leaf which gives a bitter grassy taste.
Fresh Mint Tea
- 4 cups boiling water (1 liter)
- 30-40 mint leaves
- honey (optional) for sweetener
Put mint leaves into your teapot. Muddle the leaves with a wooden spoon gently.
Fill up the teapot with boiling water and let it infuse for 5-10 minutes until the liquid starts to take on a slight pale yellow/green hue. Strain the tea into cups and sweeten with honey if you like.