Peppermint is quite an interesting and a favorite flavor for many people. However, one generally associates peppermint with chewing gum. Not just chewing gum, it is an ingredient for various other products. Given its medicinal value it is a common ingredient for beverages and even beauty products. Peppermint brings about stress relief; it helps to reduce weight, cures insomnia, brings relief from sinus, soothes stomach problems and alleviates many such problems.
As the methanol flavor of this herb is appealing to many it is not only used as a flavoring ingredient in food products, but also for making tea, which is enjoyed for its flavor and medicinal value. This is a very useful herb and it is the main ingredient for a healthy cup of peppermint tea. Peppermint helps in reducing fever, respiratory problems, improves your immunity. You can prepare your own cup of this beneficial tea by boiling the leaves, straining the brew and adding the necessary amount of sugar.
However, this tisane, like any other good product, comes with its fair share of side effects, which have been discussed below
1. Not Advisable For Mothers To Be:
This tea must have been a great relaxant during your menstrual cramps, was it not? But, I don’t think you should consider this drink at all if you are pregnant or desire to be so in the near future. Peppermint increases uterine blood flow by relaxing the uterus. In case of pregnant women this increases the risk of a miscarriage. This risk is even more enhanced if you have a history of miscarriage. You must consider your doctor before drinking this beverage during your pregnancy period. This beverage is also considered to be harmful for infants; hence breastfeeding mothers better avoid it.
2. Not Suitable For Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) Patients:
If you suffer from the gastro esophageal reflux disease or hiatal hernias then consult your doctor before drinking this herbal tea. Hiatal hernia is a condition of the body where the upper part of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm and affects the chest region this causes severe pain in the chest. As peppermint tea acts as a relaxant, it relaxes the sphincter muscle to the point where the stomach acids flow back to the esophagus and this increases thegastro esophageal reflux problem instead of reliving it. So it’s better to exercise caution while indulging in your favorite drink. Consult your doctor before you plan to drink this tea on a daily basis.
3. Allergic Reactions:
Many people come up with the complaints of flushed skin, headaches, contact dermatitis, unsteady feet, mouth sores. These are not completely uncommon with the consumption of peppermint tea. These allergic reactions occur as the immune system overreacts to peppermint. It means that our immune system identifies it as unsafe. These side effects do not occur to every person who drinks the peppermint tea but nevertheless this problem is not unheard of. Consult your doctor if you have any such allergic reactions.
4. Risk Of Toxicity:
There is a natural insecticide present in peppermint called pulegone. If you drink too much of peppermint tea it leads to a toxic reaction in our body, which is harmful.
5. Sudden Reduction In Blood Sugar Levels:
It lowers the blood sugar levels in the body when excess quantity of this brew is consumed. If you are suffering from diabetes and taking medication for the same then this tea will tend to negatively interfere with your medication. It is preferable for such patients to consult with your physician first.
6. Unsafe For Infants:
What is soothing for adults is not the same for infants. In fact, it is very harmful for infants and small children. It causes a lot of discomfort to them. It causes a burning sensation among infants and children, as the flavor is too strong for them. It is thus better to keep it away from infants and children. It also leads to serious breathing troubles among children. It is preferable that you consult your health-care supervisor before giving your little one such herbal drinks.
Contamination of food product is a serious problem that affects us. We must be aware of it and keep a check on what we are buying. The production of peppermint tea is not approved by the FDA; hence one cannot be completely sure that the product is free from contaminants. It must be purchased from a reputable manufacturer only, if one wants to avoid the dangers of contamination.
8. Interactions With Cyclosporine:
This drug tends to suppress the immune system. It is taken after surgery so that the body does not refuse the transplanted organ. Peppermint tends to reduce the effect of this drug. Hence it is preferable not to take this medicine after a surgery.
9. Affects Medications Metabolized By The Liver:
The herb peppermint generally works on the liver. Hence this herb has the tendency to affect the medicines that are processed by the liver.it is advisable to consult your doctor if you are taking such medications.
An overdose of peppermint will cause indigestion and will also interfere with any medication that you are taking for indigestion. It tends to aggravate the problem in many cases. A chamomile tea is preferable.
11. Medicine Interactions:
It is very advisable that one must consult one’s physician before addicting oneself to peppermint tea, especially if you are taking medications for Gallstones. Peppermint tea does have the ability to dissolve very minute gallstones; however it also tends to interact with the medication that you are already on.
Right at the beginning of the article a number of useful aspects of the herb has been pointed out. The peppermint tea is not without its drawbacks just like in case of any other herb. One must remember that the useful effects of this herbal tea can be enjoyed only when we know the correct dose or the number of times one can consume the tea, which will not cause a side effect.
Ideally it is preferable to consume two to three serving of peppermint tea a day to avoid any side effects. One must also be careful about the amount of tea one s using per serving. For every 150ml of water that is being boiled, one must use one tablespoon of peppermint tea. One just needs to be cautious while reaping the benefits of this herbal tea. Consult your doctor before you sip into this tea or if you feel any kind of discomfort.