Why Drink Peppermint Tea?
Peppermint tea benefits
Many people ask what is peppermint tea good for? Peppermint leaf tea is traditionally considered the best herbal tea for settling the stomach, especially after a large meal. Peppermint tea benefits also include clearing of sinuses and blocked noses during a cold. Menthol is a common ingredient in cough and cold remedies.
Peppermint is a pleasant tasting and invigorating tea and a well-recognized flavour, making it a great tea to try if you have never had herbal tea before. If you want to start drinking more herbal teas for the health benefits and calming effects, it makes it easier to get used to the different flavours.
Why Grow Mint for Peppermint Herbal Tea?
You can make peppermint tea fresh all summer long and still have plenty to dry in the dehydrator, convection oven or hang up to dry to use in the winter time. It is wonderful added to hot chocolate as well as for simple tisanes.
Peppermint tea blends with lemon, orange and other citrus flavours. It also goes well with licorice, ginger, green tea, spearmint, lavender and chamomile. These blends are popular and can be bought or made yourself with grown or bought dried ingredients.
Mint is an attractive plant that bees love. By having a patch in your garden, you are providing nectar for honey bees all season long. As the mint will flower all summer and often later in the autumn, it provides flowers when there is little else.
By growing your own vigorous tea-herbs like mint, you can easily grow it organically by leaving it alone except on harvesting. With your own organic peppermint tea, you can be sure there were no sprays and you will save money as you no longer have to pay for organic teas.
The biggest advantage of drying your own peppermint tea is freshness and the amazing flavours and consistency year after year. You will get more goodness and therapeutic effects from your own mint tea than from mint that has been produced commercially. Commercial production may involve loss and evaporating many of the wonderful essential oils by excessive heating, drying and mechanical chopping or grinding.
The best dried herbal and peppermint teas taste so fresh and intense that you would guess they were made with the fresh flowers, stems or leaves. Anything you grow and dry in a fairly short time period will taste excellent. Try it and you will see.
If you have a lot of loose peppermint tea, it can be fun to make your own peppermint tea bags. There are small paper tea bags you can fill on the open side, then iron closed. The small are for herbal teas and the large 4"x5" size better for bath teas. If you want to, you can make your own convenient mint tea blends this way.
Which Variety of Mint is Best for Peppermint Tea?
One of the wonderful things about Mentha X piperita (peppermint) is its vigour. It spreads well so you will never be short of mint to make tea with. Make sure you have it planted somewhere you will never tire of it, as it reaches weed proportions when it has the right conditions.
Often you will read recommendations for planting mint in pots in the ground so that the roots cannot run and spread. But be aware the mint stems will run over the side of the pot and then set down roots, so plant this to fill in a bare corner of the garden!
Most people do not know you cannot grow peppermint from seeds as it is sterile. The root propagated hybrid peppermints are much sweeter than the seed grown Mentha spicata, a more pungent strong smelling mint grown for its oils.
When deciding which peppermint to grow for your tea, there are a myriad of choices and varieties. There are many types of peppermint plants available for tea including
- 'fruit sensations' - deliciously fruity aroma and mint flavour
- 'Julia's sweet citrus' - a mix of citrus flavours perfect for tea
- 'candied fruit' - the exact aroma of candied fruit with a mint background
- 'marshmallow' - sweet marshmellow flavour on top of fresh mint
- 'sweet pear' - strong ripe pear aroma for this wonderful tea mint
- 'Swiss' - light and refreshing mint flavour used in herbal cough drops
- 'variegata' - pretty variegated foliage with strong peppermint aroma
The candy cane peppermint from Richter’s herbs is very tasty made into a tea. It has a sharp traditional peppermint taste with a sweet flavour as well. Chocolate mint varieties are quite rich and rounded in flavour too and a real favourite.
Simple Peppermint Tea Recipe
- Use a tea ball to infuse 2 teaspoons of dried peppermint leaves (or a tablespoon of fresh mint leaves) into a mug of boiling water.
- Allow the tea to infuse to 3-5 minutes. Leaving the tea longer than that may bring out some of the bitter elements of the leaves into the flavour.
- For natural sweetness in your herbal tea you can use a teaspoon of honey that will quickly melt, or you can use a small amount of dried Stevia in the tea ball if you even require it.
Sweetener may not be needed if you grow and use a sweet tasting variety of peppermint hybrid in your mint tea recipe.