The Benefits of Peppermint Herbal Infusions
Australia has hit peak winter – that time of year when it feels like it’s always a good time to put the kettle on. Whether we’re looking for a warming morning pick-me-up, a soothing post-meal ‘digestive’, or a fragrant way to end the day, we’re increasingly turning to healthy, caffeine-free organic herbal infusions. One of the most popular of these, and one the world has embraced for centuries, is peppermint. Here, we reveal why so many of us are choosing to reap the benefits of this aromatic infusion day after day, and night after night.
What is Peppermint?
A beautiful, bright-green herb, peppermint (Mentha x piperita) is actually a hybrid of two species, watermint and spearmint (the latter also known as ‘common’ or ‘garden’ mint). One of the most revered and ancient herbs for its medicinal powers (as well as being the default accompaniment to roast lamb!), peppermint has been used to treat everything from aiding digestion to easing muscular cramps, clearing the sinuses and as an antibacterial agent against bugs such as giardia. Its chemical make-up offers some insight into why peppermint has such a venerable place in traditional medicine. It contains the chemical compounds menthol, known for its antiseptic qualities (goodbye sore throats), and menthone, which gives peppermint its clean, ‘minty’ scent (hello clearer sinuses), and is used in everything from toothpaste and food flavourings to perfume. Peppermint essential oil also contains high levels of natural pesticides, making it beloved of organic gardeners, and has long been used as a natural repellent against insects, such as mosquitoes and spiders, and even pesky rodents.
Peppermint’s natural health benefits
As a natural remedy, peppermint – particularly peppermint oil – is believed to have a number of health-giving properties, including:
- Promoting good digestion and easing nausea
There are plenty of good reasons why, historically, peppermint infusions have been the beverage of choice after a meal. The antiseptic and antibacterial components in peppermint are reputed to help bring balance to an ‘overworked’ digestive system and reduce bloating and discomfort after eating. There are also some encouraging study results around peppermint oil’s efficacy in reducing the symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
- Freshening bad breath
Leading on from peppermint as a post-meal hero is another benefit of its antibacterial properties – the reduction of bacteria in the mouth and throat that lead to unpleasant odours. Drinking a refreshing peppermint infusion after eating is said to help freshen the mouth and reduce the possibility of bad breath. Your friends will love you for it!
- Boosting the immune system
While a steaming cup of aromatic, organic herbal peppermint tea is a soothing balm in itself, peppermint’s antibacterial properties may help to reduce the unwanted bacteria that linger in your respiratory system, and so help to ward off colds and flu. Combining peppermint with ginger, as in Nerada’s Peppermint & Ginger organic infusion, these properties get even more of a boost – and may well add to the overall benefit, too.
- Relaxing the muscles
Chemical components in peppermint are thought to help reduce cramping (another reason why peppermint tea has historically been used to aid digestive discomfort), and may help lessen the severity of menstrual pain and headaches. In turn, this may help aid more restful sleep.
- Aiding concentration
Apart from being a delicious way to keep those fluids up while you’re at work or studying, drinking a peppermint infusion may help to increase your concentration. Inhaling the menthol fragrance of peppermint is thought to open the capillaries and therefore increase oxygen levels in the blood, and, consequently, the brain.
Why choose Nerada organic peppermint herbal infusions?
Nerada has long been committed to sourcing top-quality, 100% organic ingredients for its Peppermint, and Peppermint & Ginger Organic Herbal Infusions, along with its entire range of sustainably produced organic herbal and green-teas. That means Nerada products are grown without use of pesticides, fungicides or artificial chemical fertilisers, making your healthy choices even healthier – for you and our planet.
Ways to enjoy Nerada’s peppermint infusions
- Simply add boiling water to our Peppermint, and Peppermint & Ginger, infusions for a soothing, sustaining drink to enjoy any time of day or night. Don’t add milk, but if you want to sweeten the deal, add a teaspoon of soothing honey to the mix.
- Of course, peppermint infusions are also delicious served chilled over ice as a refreshing thirst-quencher. Just add a sprig of fresh mint and perhaps a slice of cucumber as a garnish.
- This richly aromatic winter lamb recipe by American food writer Joanna Pruess – Moroccan lamb stew with mint tea and apricots – combines that classic pairing of mint and lamb, with the added kick of spices and ginger.