Does Mint Tea Have Caffeine

In this brief article, we will answer the question “does mint tea have caffeine?”, and will be telling you about the benefits of mint tea, how to prepare it at home, and some potential side effects that mint tea might have. 

Does Mint Tea Have Caffeine?

No, regular mint tea does not have caffeine. 

However, certain mixed mint teas such as green tea might contain caffeine from some of the other ingredients added to them.

What Is Mint Tea?

Mint tea is celebrated in various cultures, such as Morocco, and is made using green tea leaves, sugar (to taste), and mint, which can be peppermint, spearmint, or orange mint leaves. The mint leaves can be added in varying proportions according to personal preference. They are from the genus Mentha (Lamiaceae) and have been recognized for its medicinal, therapeutic and aromatic properties since ancient times. There are approximately 25–30 species of Mentha. Peppermint is a hybrid of spearmint (M. spicata L.) and water mint (M.aquatica L.), while orange mint is also known as eau de cologne mint (M. piperita f. citrata) (1,2,3).

Chef Intro

Spearmint contains carvone, a compound that gives it its mildly sweet and cool flavor and is also present in caraway seeds and dill. Peppermint is rich in menthol and menthone, which gives the tea a distinct, spicy flavor. Both species contain certain classes of phenolics, however, the predominant ones are eriocitrin for peppermint and rosmarinic acid for spearmint (2).

Mint tea is generally allowed to steep for about 10 minutes; more than that will give it a bitter taste.

What Is The Nutritional Value of Mint Tea?

Mint leaves contain antioxidants including vitamin C, other vitamins and minerals, and anti-inflammatory components.

However, their amount in a single cup of mint tea is quite low, since most of them are destroyed as the leaves are made into a beverage. A study found that there are 11 phenolic compounds and 8 carotenoids, 47 hydrophilic and 17 lipophilic metabolites in the mint that are considered as bioactive (3).

What Are The Benefits of Mint Tea?

Early Native Americans made a traditional version of mint tea using wild mint leaves to relieve an upset stomach. Is is said as folk remedy or in complementary and alternative medical therapy that the benefits of mint include: biliary disorders, dyspepsia, enteritis, flatulence, gastritis, intestinal colic, and spasms of the bile duct, gallbladder and gastrointestinal tract (1).

Here are some of the health benefits that mint tea has to offer:

Relief From Stomach Problems

Peppermint can help settle an upset stomach. In certain cases, peppermint has also provided relief for the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). When using peppermint oil as a treatment for IBS symptoms, many studies found a significant positive effect (1).

These attributes are due to its ability to relax stomach muscles which improves the flow of bile, aids food digestion, and facilitates gastric emptying. 

However, peppermint might act as an irritant in some individuals, so those suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease should avoid taking it. Although the toxicity of mint is considered low, the use of peppermint is contraindicated in patients with bile duct, gallbladder and liver disorders. Caution is also recommended for the use of peppermint oil capsules in patients with gastrointestinal reflux, hiatal hernia or kidney stones (1).

Relieves Cold and Flu Symptoms

The aroma of mint tea can open nasal passages. Moreover, menthol present in peppermint leaves possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that contribute to providing relief from cold and flu (1). 

Certain studies also reveal that menthol has anti-viral properties, which makes it even more effective for managing the symptoms of flu. It is also effective as an antitussive agent and is helpful in alleviating the nasal symptoms of allergic rhinitis (1).

Some other possible benefits of mint tea include relief from tension headaches, muscular soreness, abdominal and menstrual pain. In a study using peppermint oil, the intensity of pain experienced by patients with tension-type headaches was significantly reduced (1). Besides, Powdered peppermint extract and powdered spearmint extract showed significant inhibition against key enzymes of type 2 diabetes (α-glucosidase) and hypertension (2).

How Do You Make Mint Tea?

 

Various commercial mint teas are available, both as tea bags and loose-leaf, and most are mixes containing green tea, peppermint, and spearmint. As mentioned, green tea contains caffeine, so if you’re avoiding this component, look for a herbal option without green tea.

However, if you’re looking for a stronger flavor and more health benefits, you can easily make your own mint tea at home using fresh ingredients. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Boil two cups of water in a pan over the stove.
  • Remove the pan from heat and add a handful of chopped or torn mint leaves. You could use a single mint of your liking or a combination. Try varying amounts till you achieve the desired ratio.
  • Cover the pan and steep the leaves for no more than five to 10 minutes.
  • Strain the liquid and serve as a cool and refreshing drink on a summer evening, or as a warm and comforting winter night beverage. 

Is There Any Risk Of Drinking Mint Tea?

 

There are certain risks associated with drinking large amounts of mint tea, despite it having various health benefits and being a refreshing summer and winter drink (4):

  • Heartburn: as mentioned, peppermint aids digestion and provides relief from stomach pain. However, it can worsen the symptoms of acid reflux.
  • Medication Interactions: mint shouldn’t be taken by people on cyclosporine, a drug prescribed to organ transplant patients. Also, mint can adversely affect the action of medicines metabolized in the liver, and those that reduce gastric acid.
  • Diabetes and Blood Pressure: peppermint has been shown to reduce blood sugar and blood pressure, hence people with the conditions, as well as those taking medication for it, should avoid mint tea.
  • Kidney Stones: peppermint tea is not advised for people with kidney stones.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we answered the question “does mint tea have caffeine?” and told you about the benefits of mint tea, how to prepare it at home, and some potential side effects that mint tea might have. 

If you have any more questions or comments please let us know.

References

  1. McKay, Diane L., and Jeffrey B. Blumberg. A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.). Phyto Res Int J Dev Pharmac Toxicol Eval Nat Prod Deriv, 2006, 20, 619-633.
  2. Cam, Mustafa, et al. Bioactive properties of powdered peppermint and spearmint extracts: Inhibition of key enzymes linked to hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Food Bios, 2020, 35, 100577.
  3. Park, Yun Ji, et al. Metabolic profiling of nine Mentha species and prediction of their antioxidant properties using chemometrics. Molecules, 2019, 24, 258.
  4. Abdel-Aziz, Shadia M., Abhinav Aeron, and Tarek A. Kahil. Health benefits and possible risks of herbal medicine. Microb food health. Springer, Cham, 2016. 97-116.