Posted on May 22, 2019, 10 p.m.
You may want to consider having a nice fragrant cup of peppermint tea next time you have to give a speech or are heading into an important meeting because peppermint tea can help to increase short and long term memory within twenty minutes, according to a release from the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference.
Northumbria University researchers tested peppermint tea against memory and cognition in 180 healthy people who were randomly selected to drink either hot water, chamomile tea or peppermint tea. Participants completed questionnaires rating their moods before drinking their tea; 20 minutes after drinking they were tested with another questionnaire to measure short and long term memory as well as other cognitive functions.
Peppermint tea was found to significantly improved long term memory, increase working memory, and enhance alertness, while chamomile tea appeared to reduce attention and memory as compared to the hot water and peppermint tea groups.
“It’s interesting to see the contrasting effects on mood and cognition of the two different herbal teas. The enhancing and arousing effects of peppermint and the calming/sedative effects of chamomile observed in this study are in keeping with the claimed properties of these herbs and suggest beneficial effects can be drawn from their use.” says Dr. Mark Moss.
This is not the first study to link peppermint with memory, in a study involving 144 participants exposed to aromas of the essential oils ylang-ylang, peppermint or no aroma to test cognitive performance, peppermint oil was found to significantly increase memory and increase alertness.
Another study from Leiden University tested peppermint aromatherapy against lavender and other scents and found peppermint to stimulate a more focused and exclusive state.
Peppermint/Mentha piperita/Mentha balsamea Wild is a hybrid plant, and a natural crossbreed between watermint and spearmint, most don’t produce seeds and must be cultivated by planting shoots.
The main medicinal compounds include menthone, menthol, menthyl acetate, cineaol, and menthofuran, as well as containing pinene, caryophyllene, limonene, and pulegone which all contribute to the beneficial ability to help the body and mind in a variety of ways.
Peppermint can help to reduce muscle and nerve pain, aid in digestion, and reduce inflammation, as well as having some antibiotic and antifungal activity. Peppermint can help ease intestinal spasms and symptoms of IBS, reduce gas, and help to stimulate production of bile within the intestines which further aids digestion.
Benefits of peppermint’s ability to stimulate bile secretion has been specifically studied: menthol and limonene constituents were shown to promote bile secretion which was noted to possibly help to significantly decrease total cholesterol levels.
The German Commission E has approved use of peppermint as a treatment for tension headaches as a German study using a 10% peppermint solution to treat tension headaches in both adults and children had positive results.
Peppermint tea is one of the most common and readily available herbal teas which makes a great alternative to coffee and black tea in that it not only stimulates memory but is a decent stimulant itself. However, some studies suggest peppermint may not be that good for those with excessive heartburn.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement
British Psychological Society. Peppermint tea can help improve your memory. Public Eureka Alert. Release: 28-APR-2016.