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Mint tea: types and health benefits

Did you know that there are many different types of mint plants? Peppermint is one of the most well-known mint varieties. You can buy a mint plant and use the leaves to make fresh mint tea, or you can purchase dried or cut mint. With its extremely refreshing yet also warming flavor, mint is delightful in every season. Mint is an herbal infusion that does not contain caffeine and is therefore perfect for drinking in the evening. Mint can be drunk on its own or as an addition to green tea; the well-known Moroccan mint tea and our own Minty Green are good examples of this.

Known mint varieties

The mint family (Lamiaceae) includes more than 200 species. The genus Mentha, part of the mint family, includes 42 species. Spearmint (M. spicata L.) is the most popular and is widely produced. Here is a brief overview of some common mint varieties:

  • Peppermint (Mentha Piperita): Peppermint is a hybrid of watermint and spearmint that can be grown in a wide range of climates, mainly in North America, Europe, and northern Africa. There is also a wild-growing variant of peppermint, but it is only found in Central and Southern Europe. Peppermint has a clean, refreshing, menthol-like character.
  • Nana Mint (Mentha Spicata): Also known as spearmint, nana mint is known for its pronounced mint flavor with nuances of menthol. Nana mint, along with green gunpowder tea, forms the classic Moroccan mint tea.
  • Watermint (Mentha Aquatica L.): As the name suggests, watermint grows in the shallow edges and channels of streams, rivers, and damp meadows. The scent of watermint is similar to peppermint but slightly more herbaceous.
  • Japanese Mint (Mentha Arvensis L.): A type of mint that primarily grows in tropical and subtropical climates and is known for its pronounced menthol flavor.

Fresh or dried mint

To make fresh mint tea, you can buy a mint plant. Mint plants are very inexpensive and can now be found in almost every supermarket. However, the mint plants need water daily. If you want to go a step further, you can also sow mint seeds yourself. All you need are mint seeds and a lot of patience, as it takes about 2 to 3 months for the seeds to sprout and the mint leaves to grow large enough to harvest for tea.

Dried mint is a good alternative for those without a green thumb. It is easy to store and stays fresh for a long time. Dried mint tea tastes different from fresh mint tea. What you lose in freshness with dried mint, you gain in warm caramel tones that nicely contrast with the abundant mint flavor. You can also try different types of mint to find your favorite.

Health benefits of mint

Herbal teas are widely used to improve our health, and mint has many health benefits. Peppermint has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries. In ancient China, peppermint was used in combination with white tea as a detoxifying and anti-inflammatory agent. Nowadays, most people know mint tea as a classic after-dinner drink that helps digest a heavy meal.

There has not been a lot of scientific research into the health benefits of mint. Mint is said to have significant antimicrobial and antiviral effects as well as strong antioxidant, antitumor properties, and potential as an allergen.

Researchers have also found that peppermint is a good variety to try for abdominal pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome. It has a relaxing effect on the smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal tract. It can also help with nausea, vomiting, and tension headaches. Another study has shown that peppermint has potential medicinal properties for respiratory conditions.

Watermint, on the other hand, could be used as a strengthening, calming, and soothing agent for intestinal parasites, constipation, diarrhea, stomach problems, gallbladder disease, liver diseases, impotence, low or high blood pressure, and promoting a long life.

At, we also have a number of mint varieties in our assortment, including Peppermint and Nana Mint.


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