We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
Spearmint -- a variety of mint with a milder flavor than peppermint -- has long had a place in human history. It was prized in ancient Greece for its medicinal properties. Today, spearmint makes an appearance in a variety of dishes, such as candies and salads, and also makes for aesthetically pleasing tea. Drinking spearmint tea offers a number of health benefits and can provide some essential nutrients -- but it also carries some possible health risks.
Preventing Genetic Mutations
Spearmint tea may offer protection against genetic mutations -- abnormal changes in your DNA that can disrupt normal cell function, cause tissue damage and contribute to chronic diseases, such as cancer. A test tube study, published in "Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis" in 2004, found that spearmint tea reduced genetic mutations, and also helped fight the formation of carcinogens, or cancer-causing compounds. While the role of spearmint tea in fighting mutations in humans needs further investigation, adding the tea to your diet might offer benefits.
Spearmint tea also has an effect on your hormone levels, and can prove helpful for people suffering from some types of hormone imbalances. One study, published in "Phytotherapy Research" in 2010, found that spearmint tea helped to reduce the overactivity of androgens, a type of sex hormone, in women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome. Spearmint tea also helps treat mild hirsutism -- excess hair growth often caused by androgens -- reports a study published in the May 2007 issue of "Phytotherapy Research."
Although it offers several benefits, spearmint tea might also pose a health risk in some individuals. One animal study, published in "Human and Experimental Toxicology" in 2003, found that spearmint can cause kidney toxicity in rats. In addition, a study published in "Toxicology and Industrial Health" in 2004 reports that spearmint interferes with iron absorption, so regularly consuming spearmint and spearmint tea might increase your risk of iron deficiency. Avoid harmful side effects by consulting your health-care provider before consuming spearmint tea on a regular basis.
Serving Suggestions and Tips
Drink plain hot spearmint tea as a healthful addition to your diet, or use it as a base for herbal tea blends; it pairs well with lemongrass, tarragon or peppermint. Alternatively, brew spearmint tea, then refrigerate it overnight to make iced tea. Add natural sweetness with a few sliced strawberries before serving.
Watch your calorie intake if you add sweetener to spearmint tea. Each tablespoon of honey you stir into your tea adds 64 calories, while a tablespoon of granulated sugar adds 49. While this might not seem like much, it can add up quickly, especially if you add several spoonfuls of sweetener, or if you consume spearmint tea on a regular basis. If you currently drink sweetened tea, lower your calorie intake by gradually reducing the amount of honey or sugar you add, until you adjust to the flavor of unsweetened tea.