Home > Women's Health > Mint Tea Warning

Mint Tea Warning

July 14, 2009 Written by JP       [Font too small?]

It seems as if so much of the information out there about natural medicine either glorifies or vilifies this long held tradition. The truth about holistic health care is difficult to come by because it’s often influenced by the prejudices of those interpreting the data. This same observation applies to me. I have a tendency to accentuate the positive aspects of natural healing techniques. I do this because there is science that supports my view, but also because most media outlets and the modern medical establishment tend to dismiss the validity of many alternative and traditional health practices. Having said that, I do try to present a balanced account of things. In doing so, I will occasionally bring to light certain precautions that I believe are warranted, even when using 100% natural remedies.

Mint tea is among the most popular herbal teas consumed throughout the world. It’s most common application is to help soothe digestive upset. Herbalists believe this benefit may result from the naturally occurring menthol which appears to relax the smooth muscles in the intestines. Modern science has also validated the usefulness of the essential oil of peppermint for the management of indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome. (1) But the efficacy and safety of peppermint and spearmint tea has not been extensively studied yet in a scientific manner. Today I’m going to share what we do know about the healthful effects of mint and issues that may be cause for alarm.

An interesting area of mint research has emerged in the past several years. Of late, scientists have been exploring how mint tea impacts androgens (sex hormones) in both males and females. The most recent example of this is a just published study that examined the role that spearmint tea can play in a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is an endocrinological disorder that affects women during their child bearing years. Common symptoms include abnormal menstruation, acne, depression, hirsutism (masculine patterns of hair growth) and other masculinizing symptoms (such as vocal changes), infertility and obesity. This condition is also generally marked by blood sugar abnormalities and insulin resistance.

In the trial, 42 women with PCOS related hirsutism were assigned to drink spearmint tea or a placebo herbal tea twice daily for 30 days. Blood tests measuring hormone levels were taken at the beginning, the mid way point and at the end of the experiment. The results indicate that the women receiving the spearmint demonstrated significant reductions in free and total testosterone levels and increases in luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone concentrations. These alterations are consistent with an improvement in PCOS. (2) A reduction in hair distribution wasn’t detected, but the researchers believe that the relatively short duration of the study was the reason why. Another shorter study from 2007 found almost identical results. (3)

It certainly appears that spearmint has a strong association with the hormones involved in PCOS. But it’s also possible that some of the improvements are the result of specific antioxidant activity that may help reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics and perhaps in others with insulin irregularities. (4,5)

The previous findings are generally thought to be positive. But a few other studies raise the possibility of unexpected complications that may arise from chronic mint tea consumption. One example can be found in a 2006 study presented in the journal Toxicology and Industrial Health. That research uncovered a possible adverse effect in the uterus of rats that were provided with peppermint tea for 30 consecutive days. (6)

It’s interesting to note that a study in male rats found the exact same hormonal shifts that were exhibited in the women with PCOS, namely, a reduction in testosterone. Potentially negative effects on the testicles of the rats were also detected. This testicular disturbance could possibly be important with regard to fertility. (7)

Other experiments have raised red flags with regard to large dosages of mint tea and possible harm to the kidneys and liver (in a rat model). (8,9) Concerns have also been raised about peppermint teas ability to interact with the liver in such a way that it may negatively affect the metabolism of medications. (10) These concerns need to be taken seriously, especially since peppermint tea is one of the most widely consumed herbal beverages among pregnant women. (11,12)

Finally, a rather potent mineral “blocking” effect has been reported in studies conducted on mint tea. Most, but not all, of the trials have found that peppermint and spearmint teas inhibit the absorption of dietary minerals such as iron. (13,14,15) This could actually be either a good thing or an unwanted consequence. For those who need extra iron, it’s obviously a harmful interaction. But most men and post menopausal women do not need additional iron and in fact, reducing iron levels may be advantageous. (16,17,18)

On the other side of the coin, a preliminary study from 2004 associated spearmint with substantial anti-cancer properties. (19) In addition, two recent medical reviews generally gave a cautious “thumbs up” to the safety of mint based preparations. (20,21)

My point in writing this column is not to scare you away from drinking mint tea. I personally will continue to do so when the mood strikes me. But if you consume it on a regular basis, you may want to weigh both the pros and cons. If you believe that something is completely benign, you’re unlikely to even consider the possibility that it may be doing you some kind of harm. My view is that natural remedies are capable of tremendous amounts of good. But they should be used with all the facts in hand and in the most judicious manner possible.

Be well!

JP

Bookmark and Share


Related Posts:

Tags: , ,
Posted in Women's Health

194 Comments to “Mint Tea Warning”

  1. Chris B Says:

    Damn. I drink two cups of this stuff everyday and now find out it may be reducing my testorone and shrinking my nuts.

    In the rat studies do you have figures of how much tea they were given and can you extrapolate that to how much humans would have to consume to get like amounts?

    Cheers,
    Chris

  2. Chris B Says:

    Just done some digging, it seems out of all the teas peppermint has the strongest estrogenic increasing and testosterone decreasing activity.

    “Among them, the extract of peppermint tea exhibited the highest estrogenic activity.”
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/12l57414p3035173/

    “After five days, the women’s levels of free testosterone (the biologically active form) declined, although their total testosterone level stayed the same. Women’s levels of luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, and estrogen rose, while their triglyceride levels dropped significantly…The researchers found a significant decrease in free (active) testosterone in the blood and an increase in several female hormones including follicle-stimulating hormone.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6376599.stm

    (Note: this doesn’t mean the above study would necessarily have the same effect in men)

    “After treatment with spearmint teas, there was a significant decrease in free testosterone and increase in luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone and estradiol.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17310494?dopt=AbstractPlus

    (Note: really NOT a good thing for men – unless you like low sex drive, a balding head and man boobs)

    In short, as a red blooded male I’m now relegating peppermint (and spearmint) to the “very occasional use” category.

  3. Kevin Says:

    Very interesting, now I know why mint cigarettes are usually for women. Fortunately I only drink green tea…not enough, I will avoid mint candies too. Thanks for the heads-up, JP!

  4. JP Says:

    Chris,

    That may be wise. If you would, please report back on any changes you may note due to this change in drinking habits.

    I’d appreciate that very much.

    Be well!

    JP

  5. JP Says:

    You’re welcome, Kevin!

    Be well!

    JP

  6. anne h Says:

    Is this all peppermint? Or somehow just tea?
    And about the masculinization – you might be right – just look at Peppermint Patty!
    (sorry, I couldn’t resist!)

  7. JP Says:

    Anne,

    It appears to just be peppermint (and spearmint) tea. I doubt that peppermint-flavored foods would have the same effect because they’d likely contain much lower quantities of the “active ingredients”.

    Regular tea – black, green and white wouldn’t apply.

    You’ve got a point about Patty. :)

    Be well!

    JP

  8. Brian Hildebrandt Says:

    I would think if mint increases estrogen levels as the one commentor noted that would be a bad thing for PCOS as well would it not, since they usually display estrogen dominance.

  9. JP Says:

    Brian,

    I believe that only one study (out of the two studies that I cited re: women with PCOS) found an increase in estradiol (footnotes 2&3). Both of those trials also demonstrated a marked decrease in free and total testosterone levels and increases in luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone concentrations.

    The experiment Chris referenced about “estrogenic activity” was an “in vitro” study done on yeast cells. It’s hard to say how exactly that would translate inside the human body.

    Perhaps the changes re: testosterone, LH and FSH outweigh any rise in estradiol in women with PCOS. Hopefully further research will help to clarify that issue.

    Be well!

    JP

  10. green tea Says:

    I am shocked after reading your information. I drink quite a lot of mint tea. Especially when I get cough and cold. Everywhere there is a mention of benefits of mint tea. No one would even think of such a harm being done behind it.

  11. JP Says:

    You bring up a good point. Natural “medicines” aren’t necessary 100% safe, 100% of the time. It’s important to take them seriously and use them judiciously.

    Be well!

    JP

  12. dott Says:

    Heavy tea drinking, at least, from traditional tea leaves from the tea plant will block iron absorption, in my experience.

    I drink iced tea all the time– 24/7 really, I am never without it. First thing in the morning, last thing at night. Even been using a lot of instant lately due to a short-term crazy life schedule. It’s not the tastiest, but it’s tea.

    Figured out recently that my iron was WAY down– cold ALL the time, tired a lot, cycles that wouldn’t quit, constant brain fog and major worsening of my a.d.d.symptoms. What to do, though? I LOVE tea!!! It’s not like I am going to quit drinking it to go back to diet soda!!

  13. JP Says:

    Good day, Dott.

    You are quite correct and you are not alone in having this problem. Tea consumption can indeed inhibit iron absorption.

    You might consider drinking herbal “teas” instead or natural diet sodas that are sweetened with stevia.

    If you simply can’t give up real tea, then you may need to supplement with iron and take it apart from tea. Your doctor may be able to advise you on the appropriate dosage and monitor your progress.

    Please note that there are more healthy, sugar-free drinks available now than ever before. Surely there must be something out there that will be appealing to both your taste buds and your physiology! :)

    Be well!

    JP

  14. dlm Says:

    What about the mint in TUMS? I eat them like candy.

  15. JP Says:

    Dim,

    I doubt the mint flavoring in TUMS will have the same effect. The quantity of mint is probably too small.

    I think a more pressing issue to look at is your regular use of an antacid in general. It would be great if you and your doctor could identify the cause of your heartburn and address it so that you didn’t have to use TUMS on a regular basis.

    Here’s some related information that may be of interest:

    http://www.healthyfellow.com/433/mastic-gum/

    Be well!

    JP

  16. Keith Says:

    Torturing animals with mint tea is disgusting and proves nothing except how people are heartless morons.
    There are no side effects to mint which is for HUMANS.

  17. JP Says:

    Keith,

    I take issue with the point of view that all laboratory work in animal models is torture.

    There isn’t a natural remedy known to man that doesn’t have the potential to cause adverse reactions in certain individuals. Mint tea is no exception. Herbalists have known this historically and scientists are confirming in the modern age.

    Be well!

    JP

  18. Mary Says:

    I’d really love to find a study that compares the effect of peppermint tea to those (humans or other animals) with PCOS, and those without PCOS. As noted there were ‘possible’ adverse effects to the uterines of the rats, but I would wager that the rats tested didn’t have PCOS. Perhaps this is not a drink for those (rats or humans) with normal gender hormone levels. In the PCOS study did they look at the effect on the uterus?

    I appreciate the information. The studies on the effect of iron I had not seen previously.
    Thanks.
    Mary

  19. JP Says:

    Mary,

    The studies you’ve expressed an interest in have yet to be conducted – to the best of my knowledge. I’ve been keeping an eye out for new data on this subject and haven’t come across anything in the medical literature. I’ll add any new research I come across as it becomes available.

    Be well!

    JP

  20. Anne Says:

    I hear it’s good for women to drink spearmint tea to reduce unwanted hair (face, chest) but it helps maintain healthy hair on head. But I’m reading conflicting stories about how often to drink it…everyday vs drinking only during your menstrual period.

  21. JP Says:

    Anne,

    Here’s what the actual text of the two human studies say:

    “Forty two volunteers were randomized to take spearmint tea twice a day for a 1 month period”

    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122473174/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

    “Twenty-one female hirsute patients, 12 with polycystic ovary syndrome and 9 with idiopathic hirsutism were included to the study. They took a cup of herbal tea which was steeped with M. spicata for 5 days twice a day in the follicular phase of their menstrual cycles”

    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/114124091/abstract

    Perhaps this is why you’ve been finding conflicting information about the best dosing schedule.

    Be well!

    JP

  22. laurieinseattle Says:

    Having been a borderline POCS patient I’m a little divided and would be interested to know more about this study as there are so many variables that aren’t explained. Example, I drink about 3 cups of Moroccan Mint (mixture of mint & green tea) every day and was borderline anemic. Yet today my iron levels have normalized and slowly my POCS symptoms are receding, as well as having my thyroid normalize. Granted it was just more than tea that helped this but I have to believe it was instrumental.

  23. SnS Says:

    Wow! Thanks for summarizing some of the information out there. I am a scientist by training, and in no way think that my personal experience as of late is science, but I do find it all quite interesting. I am growing spearmint in my garden (a little to well I might add). The other day I cut a whole lot of it back and decided to boil it in water to make mint tea. I used a lot of whole stem and leaf plant and made about a gallon of tea. I cooled it (since it is already hot here) and then we had some to drink later that day – about 2 glasses each – it tasted good, very refreshing. The next morning, during my workout, I felt like I couldn’t get enough oxygen, I ended up needing to put my head down (this has never happened to me before and I have been teaching fitness in the morning for over 10 years). That same morning my husband called me from work and was very strange, said he was having some kind of anxiety attack or something, maybe allergies he thought. He described it as if he felt he was suffocating, he also felt very claustrophobic. We analyzed everything we ate and talked about it, then figured it was a weird coincidence. Several days later we got the tea out and had some more and my husband had these weird symptoms again the next morning. When he described his symptoms all I could think of was Climacteric (lessening of male hormones with age) because that is said to cause claustrophobia and feelings of suffocation and that was exactly what my husband described it as – although with very sudden onset and I’m thinking too young at 45. So I Googled spearmint and testosterone and found your page. I’m going to look at some of the original articles now. I have no idea the concentration of mint in the tea I made, and I did not have any particularly noticeable effects the second time I drank the tea. But this is very strange for him and parallels his mint consumption. I’m also not trying to make people paranoid or scare them off of mint tea, but teabenefits.com does say “spearmint was revered by the Romans for its ability to “stir up the mind.”" and I think that it probably is wise to drink this in moderation (mixed with another tea or not made as strong as I made it). Moderation is always key with anything. I did quickly look to see if spearmint contained caffeine before I brewed it, but I never about looking at it’s effects on testosterone!!!

  24. JP Says:

    Laurie,

    Unfortunately, only the abstracts of most of these experiments/trials are currently available for free. You might try contacting the primary author of the most recent study (Dr. Paul Grant) with more in depth questions about the study protocol.

    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122473174/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0 (e-mail contained at this URL)

    It’s also possible that the green tea *may be* contributing to your noted improvement.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16378915

    Be well!

    JP

  25. JP Says:

    Thank you for sharing that fascinating anecdote, SnS! Really interesting! :)

    Be well!

    JP

  26. Mtm Says:

    SnS, when I read your comment, it reminded me of the time I first started to drink mint tea which was a few months ago and I felt the similar symptoms to your husband. I’m female and in my early 20s by the way. At first the benefits were amazing, I had it when I would feel stressed and it would sent me straight to sleep and of course there’s the frequent urination which I expected since mint is a diuretic but then a few days later, I would feel suffocated and lightheaded sometimes. Now I’m curious to find out what effect mint would have on female fertility levels in the long run.

  27. Ashely Says:

    OK wait a minute. Are you saying that it only causes harm to men? Can you explain more about what exactly it does to women?
    Thanks,
    Ashley

  28. JP Says:

    Ashley,

    The research conducted on women has focused on those with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It’s unknown if a similar effect would occur in women without PCOS. Females with PCOS have a hormonal imbalance (re: insulin, testosterone, etc.) and spearmint tea appears to address it to some degree.

    The cause for alarm in men is based solely on preliminary animal studies in which mice demonstrated a testosterone lowering reaction to chronic mint tea consumption. There were also signs of fertility problems and testicular damage. We don’t know if similar effects would transpire in men who frequently drink mint tea.

    Be well!

    JP

  29. PC Says:

    Very interesting article. So mint tea would be something for men who want to lessen their masculinity?

  30. JP Says:

    PC,

    Possibly. But only *if* the same or similar effects seen in male rats are translatable to men. No human studies in male patients have examined this issue – to the best of my knowledge.

    http://www.brazjurol.com.br/july_august_2004/survey/Urological_Survey_Sampaio_350_351.htm

    Spearmint induced hypothalamic oxidative stress and testicular anti-androgenicity in male rats

    Be well!

    JP

  31. Worldisavillage Says:

    Hi JP, thanks for your article. How about mint tea for women in menopause?

  32. JP Says:

    I’m unaware of any scientific basis or research supporting the use of peppermint or spearmint tea in menopausal women re: hot flashes, mood changes, skeletal health, etc.

    Be well!

    JP

  33. MM Says:

    JP
    My 8 year old son has been picking mint leaves in our garden which my wife has been boiling in water. My son loves to drink it. Is there any harm or damage that this can cause that you are aware of?? Do other teas like Celestial Seasons cause these issues or are they safe?

    thank you

    mm

  34. JP Says:

    MM,

    I’m not aware of any research that specifically addresses this concern – re: the effects of heavy mint exposure in developing children.

    My hunch is that it would be wise to refrain from giving large amounts of mint tea to youngsters on a daily basis. Perhaps you could introduce him to other herbal teas that he might enjoy equally well. This would allow you to cycle his mint intake. Nowadays they have so many great tasting teas available. A little trial and error should reveal some acceptable options.

    I would think that commercial mint teas likely carry similar benefits and risks as fresh preparations.

    Be well!

    JP

  35. sophia Says:

    so if im trying to increase my estrogen levels would mint tea help me?

  36. JP Says:

    Sophia,

    I haven’t seen any evidence that indicates that it would (increase estrogen levels).

    Be well!

    JP

  37. Svetlana Says:

    Yes, this is very true…
    this song comes to mind :) :)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7AzfiTg_6g&feature=related

  38. JP Says:

    Thank you, Svetlana.

    I like this song and especially this version of it. :)

    Be well!

    JP

  39. CrystalWI Says:

    I drink tea 24/7 as well (cold and hot) and give blood on a regular basis. I have given blood and drank tea since I was about 16 and have seen no issues with my iron – which is checked usually every 57 days – as that is how often I can go between blood donations… so I would not say that tea has an issue with iron… maybe certain kinds of tea…. but not all tea… I drink a huge variety of tea as most people give it to me as presents for birthdays and Christmas… or maybe I am just weird! HEHE

  40. JP Says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience, Crystal. :)

    Donating blood is an excellent way to assess your iron status – and obviously a very good thing to do for other reasons as well.

    The effect tea has on iron status is likely variable among individuals. There are so many factors involved in the absorption and utilization of iron that it’s too simplistic to focus solely on one potential risk-factor. We see similar reactions to various foods such as cruciferous vegetables (re: thyroid health) and soy (re: hormonal reactions). Some people can use these beverages and foods without any apparent ill-consequences. Others cannot.

    If one has a family history of anemia or suspects that they have symptoms that suggest it, a simple blood test can reveal the details. Or, like you, one can simply donate blood. If you’re iron status is unacceptable, they’ll let you know.

    Also, if you have too much iron in your system … drinking tea and drinking/eating/supplementing with other natural iron-binding substances may actually help to manage serum iron levels. Though this should be done in consultation with a health expert who is managing your care.

    Be well!

    JP

  41. Dave Says:

    Wow – thanks for the great info, JP! I’ve been growing my own herbs for the first time this summer with great success. The spearmint and sage seem to be doing the best, so I’ve been making large amounts of tea out of them. Been drinking quite a bit of both for about 6 weeks now. On a whim, I decided to google positive and negative aspects of ingesting these herbs and found that Sage contains large levels of thujone and should not be ingested in large quantities – yikes! And now I’ve learned from you that spearmint in large quantities may be shrinking my boys and lowering my libido – double yikes!! Who knew? What a shame, as I really enjoyed both as an ‘all day’ beverage. Oh well. Say, do you have any info on French Tarragon as a tea preparation? I really like having fresh herbal beverage to take the place of all the soda I was drinking.

    Thanks again for the help!

    Dave

  42. JP Says:

    Thank you, Dave.

    There isn’t a great deal of scientific information about French Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus sativa). At least not in human subjects.

    A recent animal study and a soon to be published human study on a related form of Tarragon (the “Russian” variety – Artemisia dracunculus L.) may help clarify the relative safety of this culinary/medicinal herb.

    http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2010/268547.html

    http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01057576?term=tarragon&rank=1

    Be well!

    JP

  43. kaitlyn Says:

    I stopped drinking spearamint tea after not having my period for 3 months. It’s only been 3 days since I’ve stopped but will my period come back in the next few months now that I’ve stopped? Im 16.

  44. JP Says:

    Kaitlyn,

    I can’t say for certain. But my best *guess* is that it will. Generally speaking, the body has an incredible ability of reverting to its normal state unless there’s been some sort of physical trauma involved.

    If you have access to a doctor, you can inquire with her or him as well. I’d advise that – if for no other reason than to ease your mind. I suspect that they’ll tell you to wait it out and see what happens. However, they may wish to conduct some blood tests to get a better idea about what’s going on. I’m of the opinion that’s always good to have medical support even when dealing with natural health issues.

    I hope this problem resolves itself soon. I’d really appreciate it if you’d let us know how things work out for you. That information could be helpful for others.

    Be well!

    JP

  45. Jo Says:

    I know that drugs such as Lupron are used in the paliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer, they reduce testosterone to near castrate levels. Since the cancer is sensitive to testosterone, the lack thereof causes the cancer growth to slow or stop.

    I’m wondering if anyone knows of any studies or info regarding how effective mint tea might be in this area?

    Thanks for posting your findings.

    Jo

  46. JP Says:

    Jo,

    I’m unaware of any studies re: mint tea and testosterone in men. There are several published trials that used male rats. Also, there have been a number of trials involving female study volunteers.

    Until controlled studies in men are carried out, I would say that the use of mint tea for this application would be inadvisable.

    Be well!

    JP

  47. Michael Says:

    Hi. Im a male 27 years old..

    I started drinking peppermint tea 2 months ago. Recently i went for a blood test.. The result is all normal excecpt for my LFT (Liver Function Tests) where my ALT and Direct Bilirubin was fairly high.. I blame it on my dermatitis skin oral medications and injections at first.

    But after viewing this site i was shocked.. I was also having long sleep sessions (12-14 hours daily), failure to concentrate, low motivation and reduced appetite..

    My question is: is it possible that from drinking Peppermint tea 8 to 10 cups daily since 2 months ago is causing those side effects as I mentioned above? Thanks..

  48. JP Says:

    Michael,

    That’s a lot of peppermint tea! Under the circumstances, I would stop drinking the tea and see if your blood work and health-related quality of life return to normal. It’s possible that your medications are also to blame – fully or partially. Another consideration is an interaction between the high tea intake and the medication.

    There’s not much solid data about peppermint tea and liver function in the scientific literature. Most of the research is laboratory-based and quite preliminary. No controlled intervention studies in human volunteers. Still, here are a few publications that may be relevant:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7720737 (negative)

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15027812 (negative)

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1440-1681.2003.03912.x/abstract (negative)

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11697539 (negative re: interactions)

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1742-7843.2006.00030.x/abstract (positive)

    I hope this helps and that your liver readings and vitality will normalize very soon.

    Be well!

    JP

  49. Cheyenne Says:

    The only question I can think of to ask is, if it’s ”soo badd” then why is it the Muslim and Asian people been drinking this tea for centuries! Nothing’s wrong with them? I’m a cook, and I worked with a Moroccan man and he introduced me to green mint tea, he drinks its all day long and nothing ever seemed wrong with him.
    Also, how I found this site, I was searching for the health benefits of it, and All pages I saw previously states the opposite of what your saying, now maybe they’re wrong, or right, but I don’t believe everything your saying about the tea is bad, just look at everyone who drank the stuff for hundreds of years…If it was that bad to drink it so much, then I think someone would have said something a Long time ago.

  50. JP Says:

    Good day, Cheyenne.

    My position is not that mint tea is bad. Nor am I saying that anyone who drinks it is necessarily in danger or doing something that is unwise. If it affects your body in a positive way, wonderful. I’m happy to know it. But at the same time, I cannot turn my back on scientific evidence that suggests a possible cause for alarm in some people and/or under certain circumstances.

    Coffee and wine have also been consumed by many cultures for thousands of years. This doesn’t mean that they’re safe under every circumstance or when used at very high dosages. These too possess health benefits and risks. Science helps to elucidate both sides of the issue.

    Be well!

    JP

  51. Cheyenne Says:

    Yeah I know…
    And you have stated it, but you have brought on an ”alarming” thing which many people are getting paranoid, And Yes maybe it could be the cause of all their symptoms…but like I said, if it was part of Thousands of hundreds of peoples life style for hundreds/thousands of years, then well maybe it’s really not as bad as you state…OR it could be that our new bodies are just not used of it..who knows, but stating scientific evidence only from animals (rats & such; me considering this was done in the Continent of America) is not hard evidence. Maybe if there was some research done on these peoples who where & are exposed to large amounts of consumption done, then that would be more accurate. And also, as you can tell they have NO problems with reproduction what so ever (as their population is so large). So this experiment would be more accurate and actually tell us something rather than torturing these poor animals to find out if they work on us, in this part of the world. :)

  52. JP Says:

    Cheyenne,

    We obviously differ in our points of view. But I appreciate you taking the time to express your perspective.

    Be well!

    JP

  53. Igor Says:

    Mint reduces testosterone? I can believe it. I’ve been on a peppermint tea kick this last week, drinking 1-3 cups a day, and in the last couple of days I’ve noticed that my sex drive is down considerably (which may not be such a bad thing over the short term since it allows me to concentrate more on my work). It’s looking like mint is something that may best be consumed in moderation.

    I wonder what it is about mint specifically that has this effect? Blueberries, apples, and sphaghetti sauce all contain phytoestrogens but I’ve never noticed a loss of sex drive from eating them on a frequent basis.

    Which herbal teas are the safest to drink on a daily basis? I really enjoy sitting with a warm drink a couple of times a day but I stopped drinking coffee years ago and I avoid drinking regular tea or things like rooibos since they’re loaded with fluoride.

  54. Igor Says:

    “spearmint was revered by the Romans for its ability to stir up the mind.”

    “reduced appetite”

    My experiences suggest that both of the above are true — mint increases mental clarity (which would make sense if it decreases sex drive) and mint suppresses the appetite.

  55. JP Says:

    Igor,

    I don’t believe they’ve identified exactly which components in mint are responsible for its hormone altering effects. This is suggested by the fact that the clinical trials have used mint teas rather than standardized extracts.

    This excerpt may be of interest:

    “Peppermint tea is generally considered a safe drink for regular consumption. The authors demonstrate that both M. piperita and M. spicata tea intake decreased plasma testosterone and increased plasma LH and FSH levels in rats. Histologic studies revealed extensive degenerative changes in the germinal epithelium and spermatogenesis arrest when compared to controls.

    Changes in the pituitary-testicular axis may be responsible for the testicular maturation arrest. The statistically significant decrease in both spermatogenesis and plasma total testosterone levels in the experimental groups was associated with an increase in the plasma FSH and LH levels. These observations prompted the authors to consider the pituitary-testicular axis.

    The plasma total testosterone levels had decreased and plasma FSH and LH levels increased, as expected. Therefore, the mechanism of spermatogenic abnormalities was more likely a result of the direct effect on germinal epithelium, and the hormonal deficit appeared to be a result of Leydig cell dysfunction. The pituitary gland or hypothalamus may also be affected, and the maturation arrest could have been the result of hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis deficiency. However, this hypothesis should be elucidated by additional studies focused on the hypophysial or hypothalamic tissues.

    Consumption of M. piperita and M. spicata teas affected spermatogenetic activity at the 20 g/L and 40 g/L dose, respectively, in rats. The authors remember us that despite M. piperita and M. spicata beneficial effects in digestion, people should be aware of their toxic adverse effects when not used in the recommended fashion or at the recommended dose.”

    http://www.brazjurol.com.br/july_august_2004/survey/Urological_Survey_Sampaio_350_351.htm

    With respect to herbal teas, you might consider organic chamomile and/or organic ginger tea. You can also contact manufacturers of green (or white) tea and rooibos to see if they test for fluoride content. The levels of fluoride are largely dependent on growing conditions and locale. Another option is to simply cycle your tea intake. Consuming an occasional cup of tea or a rooibos brew is unlikely to be problematic, IMO.

    PS – Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. Much appreciated.

    Be well!

    JP

  56. Anne Says:

    Thank you for all of this info. I just read today that mint can inhibit iron absorption. I have been anemic for several years and have fast growing large uterine fibroids. I have also had a very strong craving for mint which another friend with the same condition said she also had until resolving her situation by having a hysterectomy. She ate mint candies but I eat mint out of the garden. Lots of it and reading your site I am wondering if I have worsened my condition by increasing estrogen levels and I wonder how else to address the cravings. Any info would be very helpful. Thanks! Anne

  57. JP Says:

    Anne,

    Interesting. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    re: worsening estrogen levels

    Possibly. One study suggests that regular spearmint tea consumption may lower estradiol levels:

    http://bit.ly/97G2H3

    Another theoretical concern might be your iron status. Fibroid-related bleeding can deplete iron stores in the body. *If* mint further reduces iron concentrations, it could be cause for concern. Blood tests can determine if this is an issue in your case.

    Even though it may seem counterintutitive, a lack of iron *may* manifest as a mint craving.

    http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2006/10/23/mint-craving-mi/

    Be well!

    JP

  58. Pooh_11 Says:

    i read the article and was wondering wether drinking mint tea makes you bald? i think it helps reduce facial hair…but does it affect ur hair in general? Also are there any significant concerns for females?
    Thanx
    -Galexiya

  59. JP Says:

    Pooh,

    It shouldn’t. The hormonal climate that causes unexpected hair growth in women is different from that which allows for normal hair growth.

    I’ve addressed the potential health concerns for men and women in the column and in previous replies. I’m unaware of more recent data that contradicts those statements.

    Be well!

    JP

  60. Jason Says:

    I found this interesting: http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/endocrine/hypopit/lhfsh.html

    Both LH and FSH increase with the consumption of mint, but they also increase in animals when the gonads are removed. These hormones bind to the gonads and in males cause the testis to produce and secrete testosterone. It’s possible that the mint keeps the hormones from binding to the testis, thus reducing overall testosterone levels, though only free testosterone levels have shown to have been reduced in the studies you’ve mentioned.

    “In both sexes, LH stimulates secretion of sex steroids from the gonads. In the testes, LH binds to receptors on Leydig cells, stimulating synthesis and secretion of testosterone. Theca cells in the ovary respond to LH stimulation by secretion of testosterone, which is converted into estrogen by adjacent granulosa cells.”

    I just had some peppermint tea tonight for the first time in forever which prompted me to do an internet search on it. I also remembered reading about the spearmint being linked to reduced facial hair in females.

    Personally I’ve been struggling with lethargy, depression and digestive upset for some time now in addition to chronic neck and back pain. I’ve been trying to eat as healthy as I can, find and take the best supplements and see a chiropractor but it’s not enough. I thought peppermint tea might help relax my digestive system and I feel as though it has. What effects will I notice if I start drinking the tea regularly? Whose to say?

  61. Jason Says:

    I almost forgot to mention I mixed the peppermint tea with rasberry leaf tea. I’m currently in process of researching the effects of the latter.

  62. Igor Says:

    Jason: Rasberry leaf tea is loaded with phytoestrogen. It’s considered a “women’s tea”.

  63. Igor Says:

    To improve digestion, consider adding some raw or fermented foods to your meals. Examples are raw meat or eggs yolks, raw milk cheese, or lacto-fermented foods like traditionally-made yogurt or sauerkraut. A tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar before each meal can work wonders.

    All of these are full of digestive enzymes.

  64. Igor Says:

    “Finally, a rather potent mineral ‘blocking’ effect has been reported in studies conducted on mint tea.”

    Mineral blocking is common with plant foods. Whole grains, for example, are full of phytic acid which binds to minerals, preventing their absorption by the body, and oxalic acid in vegetables like spinach has a similar effect. That’s why so many vegans are anemic.

    Fermenting whole wheat (as in sourdough bread) neutralizes most of the phytic acid.

  65. Jason Says:

    Igor, I just started on raw sauerkraut recently, and ordered many bottles of sauerkraut juice 2 days ago. Hopefully that will help some.

    I have ACV but hardly ever use it..I’ll start using it again for awhile and see if I feel a difference. I do raw eggs rarely, I usually fry them in coconut oil until the yolk gets just solid enough to flip the egg and keep its shape. Raw egg whites contain avidin which blocks absorption of biotin.

    I didn’t find anything about raspberry leaf tea being full of phyto-estrogens when I did a net search on it the other day, but some say the the p-e’s inhibit regular estrogen by competing for binding sites. I make sure I stay away from unfermented soy though due to excessive p-e’s, enzyme inhibitors, GMO and pesticide concerns, etc..

    I felt pretty good after drinking raspberry leaf tea with the peppermint tea the other night, but my system is funny like that sometimes. I thought it was interesting that I also did notice a feeling of not enough air for awhile, but that may have been because I was lying face down on a massage table with my head in a face cradle while I stretched my psoas muscles. It may be that the time I spent lying face down compressed my lungs long enough so that it felt like I couldn’t get enough air for awhile after, or it could have been the high potency tea I made. I think I’ll drink some again without the stretching and see if I notice the same effect. I certainly felt calmer overall, however, aside from the temporary hypoxic feeling, and I woke feeling refreshed in the morning.

    Another thing I noticed was I was able to expand my diaphragm and take in what felt like 2-3 times the normal amount of air per breath, and I haven’t noticed that since drinking the tea that night, even though I’ve done the psoas stretch numerous times since then (didn’t notice a hypoxic feeling either, other than that one night).

    I read that raspberry leaf tea is very high in vitamins and minerals and that it tones the pelvic floor muscles somehow.

    The only other thing that’s been worrying me lately regarding my health is my car. It always smells like chemicals inside when I turn it on and while I’m driving it. I’ve had it for a lot of years (since ’03 I think) and it’s a ’97, but for the time being I’m still stuck with it. Too bad it passes smog, I coulda traded it in when Obama was giving handouts otherwise. Oh well.

    Oh, and I ordered Carlson fish oil, but that’s probably a discussion for another topic. Hopefully that will help my moods too.

  66. Igor Says:

    “Raw egg whites contain avidin which blocks absorption of biotin.”

    You’re right. I didn’t recommend eating the egg whites raw, only the yolks. The whites should be cooked.

    “I didn’t find anything about raspberry leaf tea being full of phyto-estrogens…”

    The box my wife has, from a company called Traditional Medicinals, has printed in large font “Traditionally used as a uterine tonic.” She takes it to relieve menstrual cramps. Draw your own conclusions. :-)

    I don’t know if taking cod liver oil will relieve digestive upset, but you may see an increase in energy and stamina from the Vitamins A and D.

    Hope you find something that works!

  67. Jason Says:

    Thanks Igor, I’m searching high and low! If I ever do get over this hump I’ll be one healthy dude! I’m eating a lot more wild salmon, and I just read how one of my favorite dr’s recommends 5k to 15k iu of D per day, and takes 10 k himself to maintain a blood level of about 75ng/ml of D.

  68. Rayne Says:

    hi, i am a nineteen year old female who suffers from hirsutism and i was considering drinking a cup of spearmint tea once daily to treat it…but the information on this page has me worried…i’ve had my iron checked before and it was just fine, the last thing i need is to turn anemic suddenly. i’m actually pretty desperate to get rid of this hirsutism, though…are you saying that women with pcos would benefit from mint tea more so than women without it?

  69. JP Says:

    Rayne,

    Please consult with your health care team about the appropriateness of using spearmint tea. Individual considerations need to be taken into account.

    Having said that, the iron issue mostly comes into play if you drink the tea along with meals or snacks.

    Example: If you have a cup of tea at the same time that you eat food that’s rich in iron, it may limit your absorption of this essential nutrient. But if you drink spearmint tea on an empty stomach, this risk should be absent.

    I can only comment on the research that’s currently published – which is included in the column above. The available studies have evaluated the effects of spearmint tea in women with idiopathic hirsutism and PCOS.

    I’m keeping an eye out for additional research regularly. I’ll post anything I find as it presents itself.

    Be well!

    JP

  70. ks Says:

    I have been drinking peppermint tea at least twice a day for close to a year and have developed some pretty bad cystic acne. I am 47 years old and wondering if this could be a contributor to the worst acne I have ever had.

  71. JP Says:

    KS,

    I haven’t come across any reliable information on this topic. You may want to avoid the peppermint tea for a trial period and see how your skin responds.

    Be well!

    JP

  72. Someone Says:

    I drank Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane tea for about 2 weeks recently, one or 2 cups a day, because my stomach was upset. (and it helped immediately, but I continued to drink it.)

    I have immediate and obvious estrogenic effects, so I started to look online for the ingredients. It’s a combo peppermint/green tea, and I thought for sure it was the green part with this effect, but I’m now thinking it’s the peppermint (which is first ingredient listed). I’m very happy with this surprise effect.

    I want to add, JP, that I think this entire post is written to scare people, when it’s based mostly on MICE. A previous commenter pointed this out to you – it is indeed cruel, as well as idiotic, to test on animals, when, as you’ve pointed out several times right here in the comments, we’re not mice.

    I suspect you are like some other “scientists” who believe that your health picky detail is more important than another animal’s death. UGH.

  73. JP Says:

    Someone,

    I appreciate your comments. Thank you.

    While you appear to be grateful for the (apparent) hormonal effect of this tea, others may not feel the same way. For instance, women who need to be mindful of exogenous hormonal manipulation – ex: women with breast or ovarian cancer, PCOS, etc.

    In the piece above, I cited several studies that involved human subjects. I’ll continue to do so as new research becomes available.

    Be well!

    JP

  74. Jason Says:

    I think “Somone” is having trouble distinguishing the value between the life of a roach or rodent from that of a human being. Mice are about 98 percent genetically identical to human beings which is why research done on them can be valuable. You’re getting self righteous about feeding them TEA for Pete’s sake! I guess you don’t know what its like to have a crippling disease for years on end, a disease that would stay with you your entire life if not for research, including animal research to find a cure. If there’s no difference of value between human life and any other animal then why don’t you go marry a fish. Heheh.

  75. JP Says:

    Thank you for adding your perspective, Jason. I appreciate it.

    I prefer to include research conducted in human models. But, like you, I believe there is value to be found in animal (and in vitro) experiments as well.

    The reality is that there are degrees of quality when it comes to all medical research – anecdotal vs. scientific evidence; double blind vs. open label inquiries; trials funded independently vs. those financed by companies with vested interests. This is especially true in the realm of natural medicine. The pickings can be slim. I simply try to do the best that I can with the information that’s available.

    Be well!

    JP

  76. Someone Says:

    Jason, did a mouse save you from a crippling disease? Would 50 mice save you? How about 1000?

    I would prefer a human – you would do fine – to try that out before I do. I’d appreciate that. You can be my guinea pig.

    JP, 5 times in your comments just on this one thread, you indicate that animal trials may not be significant for humans. A responsible journalist would point out that 1) most animal trials are totally repetitious ones that have been done for years and are useless, and 2) animals are NOT the same as humans, even though Jason believes he’s only 2% different from a mouse, and 3) you give more credence to human studies, thereby discounting animal studies.

    Or does good health only extend to humans in this blog?

  77. Jason Says:

    Dear Someone,

    Again, we’re talking about mint tea. This is a place for people to describe their experiences with and share information about it. It’s not an appropriate place for you to vent your hatred towards humanity. Why don’t you try a therapist for that?

    Know that I’m done responding to your negativity and your flat earth mentality. All that’s doing is feeding the beast.

    For the record, “humans”, or homo sapiens sapiens, are a species of animal. In other words, we are animals (and some, such as yourself, tend to be far more “rabid” and out of control than any other species of animal on the planet).

    Take care.

  78. Peejay Says:

    Does this happen only with mint? Does it happen with Chamomile too?

    I have IBS so I use peppermint tea and chamomile tea when I feel an onset …

  79. Peejay Says:

    @ Ks

    I wonder why you’ve developed acne… peppermint is supposed to be used in treatment of acne and some other skin problems…

  80. Vicki Says:

    THANK YOU for posting this from a woman who does actually have PCOS and will benefit from this. THANK YOU

  81. JP Says:

    Thank you, Vicki! :)

    Be well!

    JP

  82. K.A. Says:

    There is so much misinformation in this thread, I’ve lost count!

    People, please, don’t ever do anything based on comments on a blog (or based on a blog entry). Always review the source of the information, and even then analyze all study methods and assumptions with a critical eye. But I can’t believe how far off some of these comments are.

    For starters, people are citing a study in which, supposedly, the opposite effect for spearmint tea was found–that estradiol was actually lowered. Then I reviewed that study, which was linked directly in the comment, and it stated no such thing; the results replicated many previous studies that found lower active testosterone, but elevated FSH, LH, and estradiol. People are literally advising you based on claims that are the exact OPPOSITE of what the cited study shows!

  83. Mint Lover Says:

    Most of these stories mention side effects from large doses of mint tea, but is there any real harm in 1 cup every 1-2 days?

  84. JP Says:

    K.A.,

    It would be helpful if you could add the number of the comment and/or footnote link that you’re referring to. This is a long thread with dozens of comments. If you do so, I’ll be happy to address your concerns.

    Be well!

    JP

  85. JP Says:

    Mint Lover,

    If you’ve been using mint regularly without any ill effects, it may very well be fine for you. For some people, it could even been beneficial. However, keep in mind that some of the studies I cite have used rather conservative dosages (two cups daily). This may be enough to provoke negative and positive effects.

    Again, this is no reason to panic. But if you happen to have any health issues that may be related to frequent, long term mint tea consumption, you might want to experiment with taking a break from it and/or consult with your physician about your suspicions.

    Be well!

    JP

  86. Marie Says:

    Mint Tea produces Hypoglycemia and Hypothyroidism. That explains all the side effects above.On the other hand, women who drink mint tea develop bigger breast and hips,are more sexually attractive,(hourglass shape) beautiful face, but experiencing low blood sugar and under active thyroid gland. THAT SUCKS!

  87. JP Says:

    Marie,

    I couldn’t find evidence to support any hypoglycemic or hypothyroid activity that is attributable to mint tea. Can you please post links that support this assertion? Thank you!

    Be well!

    JP

  88. Rob Says:

    Hi JP,

    First of all, I’d like to say thank you for the scientific perspective that you’ve maintained throughout this very interesting page.

    I am a 20 year old Physics undergraduate, and have a limited knowledge of biology; and was wondering if you could answer some questions.

    - Firstly, I have read a few (somewhat amateur) pages about stinging nettles and how the nettle root can be used to slow balding in men and help treat men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BHP). Nettles apparently remedy these problems by reducing dihydrotestosterone levels. I heard that mint and nettles were quite similar (..I don’t know where I heard that) and I was wondering whether there are any relationships between mint and nettles and their effects on testosterone levels?
    Is there any evidence that nettle teas share similar side effect to mint teas?… or is this a totally different thing all together?

    http://www.rain-tree.com/nettles.htm
    http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/stinging-nettle-000275.htm
    (as well as others which I have misplaced)

    - Secondly, I was wondering what possible side effects of men drinking large amounts of mint tea could be? I understand that testosterone is important during puberty, but what role does it play in adult humans other than sperm development? What exactly does ‘testicular damage’ and ‘reduced fertility’ mean?.. Is this permanent damage, or just a temporary decrease in sperm count? (Without an account, I can only read the abstracts of the papers referenced) Do you think youngsters could be more at risk to these effects?

    - Thirdly, I actually wouldn’t mind reducing my sex drive slightly (especially around exam time). If mint tea can reduce sex drive by reducing testosterone levels, do you think there would be any long-term side effects to using mint tea in this way for short periods of time?
    On the other hand, I AM a 20 year old male – testosterone levels are probably supposed to be quite high..

    Hope this post wasn’t too long,
    Rob

  89. JP Says:

    Thank you, Rob.

    1. Nettle root is sometimes used to manage prostate enlargement. However, in a real world setting, it doesn’t appear to augment testosterone levels.

    http://www.thorne.com/altmedrev/.fulltext/12/3/280.pdf

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16635963

    2. Testosterone is necessary for other functions in the body besides the ones you’ve mentioned including: healthy cognitive function, energy levels and mood, the maintenance of bone and lean body mass, etc.

    Most of the specific questions you’ve posed are ones that I wish we had answers to but currently don’t.

    3. I wouldn’t suggest trying to lower your testosterone levels without first establishing that they’re elevated. For instance, some people have a rather pronounced sex drive while presenting normal or below normal testosterone levels. Even some so-called “sex addicts” have suboptimal testosterone concentrations.

    Since your sex drive appears to be associated with stressful events (exams), you might consider using some form of stress management technique such as deep breathing, exercise or meditation.

    Be well!

    JP

  90. K Says:

    Dear jp
    I am a big peppermint tea drinker I have between 5-8 cups a day I have been drinking it for about 13 years I used to drink enormous amounts of normal tea but found it made me feel nauseous when I fell pregnant and replaced it with peppermint tea and only drank that through my pregnancy again about 5 cups a day thinking it was far better than tea. The pregnancy
    went fine apart from everytime I went to get all my tests for iron folic acid vitamins etc they were always very low they even said I was aneamic malnourished despite being on super preggers mum vits and eating very well, I always put it down to having M.E and my mum suffered from aneamia, baby was getting everything he needed just not me . My son is now a very healthy 12 yr old. I also having been suffering from bad spots and boils on face and body since I put that down to M.E also. I am now late 30s and have been trying for another baby for nearly 2 years now. I thought it may be taking a while because of my age I got checked out a year and half ago doctors said everything normal could be a tiny bit of a sign of pcos but it wouldn’t effect pregnancy so now thinking peppermint could be either helping or not pcos and maybe stopping me getting pregnant could the peppermint tea be the reason it may be not happening I will try to not drink it, but it will be very hard do you know any good replacements and is there a recommended dose. Sorry for the essay. Thanks for your balanced view on peppermint tea. Could you offer any advice. Shame there is not enough studies on it.

  91. JP Says:

    Dear K,

    A conservative approach might be to cut back on the amount of herbal tea in general. Try drinking more water or warm water with a squeeze of lemon juice instead.

    PCOS can be addressed in many other ways. The best, first-line approach is adequate exercise, a lower carbohydrate diet and stress management, IMO.

    If you do continue to drink tea (of any sort), consider drinking it apart from food and supplements. This will prevent some of the undesirable (nutrient) absorption issues.

    Be well!

    JP

  92. n Says:

    Do you have to drink only spearmint tea to lessen the effects of PCOS, or will any mint, or peppermint tea work? I am a little confused on this point. Also, so you know any brands that have spearmint tea? I don’t recall seeing any. Thanks!

  93. JP Says:

    N,

    I’d stick with spearmint tea since that’s what was used in the successful studies.

    I’m not sure where you’re located. Here, in North America, there are several manufacturers that distribute spearmint tea products: Alvita, Now Foods and Traditional Medicinals.

    Be well!

    JP

  94. awake.wayfarer Says:

    I have shared this article in my blog. Hope you don’t mind.
    If any problem, please let me know.

  95. JP Says:

    AW,

    No problem. You just used an excerpt of the text and linked back to the original article. I think that’s perfectly fine.

    Be well!

    JP

  96. ray Says:

    ray,

    I’m sure you mean well, however, I beleive that it is unethical to compare tea to alcohol. Mint tea has been made by the First Nations peoples for thousands of years and they had no health issues regarding mint tea, furthermore I do not think that you are aware of the impact that this article has on consumers. When people take perscription medication to make them feel better there are side effects also, some effects are actually worse than the illness itself. I must also agree that most things will harm you in some way when taken excessively, even water can harm someone when overly consumed but does that mean we should stop drinking it? Or that there should be a big warning sign on water coolers?

  97. JP Says:

    Hello, Ray.

    I understand the points you’re making. However in my experience, many people assume that drinking virtually any herbal tea is healthy irrespective of circumstance or dose. This is not the case. Food and herbs can be used in a therapeutic manner. But they also need to be respected and potential side-effects need to factored in.

    Learning from traditional wisdom is essential. Combining historical observations with modern science is even more powerful, IMO.

    Be well!

    JP

  98. syboat Says:

    “(Note: really NOT a good thing for men – unless you like low sex drive, a balding head and man boobs”

    What is CHris B on about?! Pepperminy lowers free testosterone which is less for conversion into DHT which is better for hair” Why do you think there are mint extracts in hair loss male shampoos?

  99. B Says:

    Hi

    A very interesting Article with both interesting and odd points made. (really a £2.50 mouse is as important as a human HHMM….) I think more research should be made into holistic and homoeopathic remedies, unfortunately the EU are currently changing the laws for homoeopathic remedies due to lack of understanding and research. However I worry that any negative press will give them cause for more unnecessary restriction

    I only drink mint tea when feeling bloated or suffering with an upset tum. I have no ill effects from drinking mint tea, but then I only use it for medicinal purpose and when needed. I mainly drink water.

    I drink many different teas, standard, camomile, jasmine, green etc. But only when the body feels it needs that particular tea. For example camomile for the time of the month or to help with sleepless nights and stress. jasmine for circulation to help with the rynauds, etc etc

    In my opinion eating and drinking any product requires moderation and balance. Over indulgence in anything is unhealthy, especially if your personal self’s body has an intolerance.

    I wouldn’t drink alcohol twice a day every day nor would I mint tea. Again its up to the individual to take all points into account and make your own decisions, look at the pros, cons and your own body and choose.

  100. liz Says:

    Is mint tea bad for uterus fibroid?

  101. JP Says:

    Good day, Liz.

    There’s nothing specifically on the subject matter in the medical literature. But I think you might find this recent column to be of interest:

    http://www.healthyfellow.com/822/uterine-fibroids-a-natural-approach/

    Be well!

    JP

  102. Josef Says:

    Hello,

    It was interesting to see a discussion going from last year on tea.I am a male, 23 year old and have a question on slowing hair growth, particularly facial hair.

    Unfortunately, I have a lot of hair and now I noticed there are hair growing around areas adjacent to the nose.I understand min tea lower testosterone.

    What can I drink or eat to slower hair growth?

  103. JP Says:

    Hello, Josef.

    Have you consulted with your doctor about this? It would be best to work with her/him. Blood tests and other considerations may be warranted prior to trying to alter your hormones on your own.

    There’s some evidence that certain natural supplements, such as soy isoflavones, may be helpful in lowering DHT and T levels. However the evidence is mixed.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2834330/?tool=pubmed

    http://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282%2809%2900966-2/abstract

    Caloric restriction may be another option worth considering – if you have weight to lose and the discipline to follow such a diet:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1474-9726.2010.00553.x/abstract

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2829643/?tool=pubmed

    Be well!

    JP

  104. Josef Says:

    Hello JP,

    thank you for replying.

    Do you think drinking mint tea once per day is ok to slow down the hair growth without experiencing the bust and higher estrogen?

  105. JP Says:

    Josef,

    It’s hard to say based on the limited data available. The human research on mint tea has mostly involved a specific female population – those with PCOS. Thus far, the male data has focused on animal subjects.

    I’m sorry I can’t offer you a direct ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. My best advice would be to consult with your doctor. If he/she doesn’t offer a good treatment option, inquire about the mint tea option. Feel free to print out the column and/or the study abstracts to share with your health care provider. This may be helpful.

    Be well!

    JP

  106. Kathy Says:

    So if mint tea ruins a man’s sex drive, or is it a mouses sex drive? why don’t they test it in jails on sex offenders? Yet another benefit of mint tea.

  107. Jason Says:

    As I understand there is already a program in place in which sex offending inmates are chemically castrated, but the effects only last if the chemicals are regularly administered. Not a bad idea though. I read somewhere that the romans banned mint tea for soldiers because it caused them to be more amorous, perhaps estrogen like, in a “hold me, make love not war” type of way. Interestingly enough, many inmates have been shown to have numerous vitamin/mineral deficencies which when corrected reduce outbreaks of violence.

  108. Andrea Says:

    \having PCOS, this sounds like a wonderful remedy. What are your thoughts on a conservative amount that would have a positive effect but not the negative or do they come hand in hand?? Also, when you say prevents mineral absorption, are you only talking about iron, or all minerals??? What do you all think would be a good happy=medium with this tea???

  109. JP Says:

    Hello, Andrea.

    I would personally do two things: 1) I’d verify with my doctor whether or not drinking mint tea was appropriate given my health and medication history; 2) If given the go-ahead, I’d stick to the dosage successfully used in the aforementioned study: a cup of spearmint tea, twice-daily.

    The issue of compromised mineral absorption could likely be bypassed by simply drinking the mint tea apart from food – meals, snacks and supplements.

    Be well!

    JP

  110. Vaden Says:

    Here’s something I never expected to see. I’ve been using smokeless tobacco for a little over 3 years and just recently decided to quit b/c of the health risks. So I found out about this supposedly “safe” alternative called Mint Snuff. I checked for carcenogens and drugs like nicotine and there were none. So my question is this; with the tobacco, unless I was eating, I kept some in my lip almost constantly…I haven’t, although I just started using the mint, had any problems mentioned here as of yet and if I were to use this mint snuff like I did with the tobacco chances are I’ll have an even greater negative effect than most people here?

  111. JP Says:

    Vaden,

    It’s hard to say for certain. My hunch is that the possible benefit (assisting you to stay off of the tobacco snuff) will probably far outweigh any potential side effects of the mint variety. Also keep in mind that you may be able to slowly get off of the mint snuff as well – once you’re ready to do so. You needn’t use it for an extended period.

    BTW, the claim that mint snuff can support tobacco withdrawal is indeed confirmed in the medical literature:

    http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/ccp/68/2/241/

    Continued success on remaining tobacco-free!

    Be well!

    JP

  112. helpmeout? Says:

    Hi, I’m fifteen and I’m pretty hairy due to my ethnicity and genetics. I’m a girl, btw. Should I start drinking this tea? I’m not quite sure if it may have a negative effect:/

  113. helpmeout? Says:

    Also, what negative effects can it have? Would having one cup a day make a difference? I do not have PCOS.

  114. JP Says:

    Helpmeout,

    I think you should print out this column and present it to your doctor to see what he/she thinks. If your doctor has any questions about the studies I’ve cited, feel free to have them contact me via the “Contact Us” section at the top of the page.

    Drinking one or two cups of spearmint tea, on an empty stomach / apart from meals, is generally considered to be quite safe.

    Be well!

    JP

  115. helpmeout? Says:

    Thank you! I guess there’s no harm in drinking one cup in the morning.

  116. jackie Says:

    I was just diagnosed with acid reflux and even with medication sometimes my stomach hurts…for the first time I made a fresh mint tea drank it and few minutes later my stomach ache was gone…I’m also anemic…does this mean I can’t drink mint tea anymore, even though it helps me with my stomach pain…now, i’m concern with being anemic…pls, respond…

  117. JP Says:

    Hi, Jackie.

    I’d run this question by your doctor to be certain. However, I wouldn’t anticipate a problem with the mint tea … provided that it is taken apart from your iron supplements and/or foods that are rich in iron.

    One last note, if you decide to drink mint tea regularly, just be mindful of any potential changes you see in your health. If you happen to find that any anemic symptoms arise, please contact your physician. He or she may suggest a solution as simple as adjusting your dosage of iron.

    Be well!

    JP

  118. Cristina Says:

    Hello and thank you for your explanations!

    I’ve read about this studies – I don’t have PCOS, I have something more mild (I don’t know how to translate this into English) and I’ve started drinking it as a treatment esp. for my mild hirsutism. I’m going to tell you how it goes at the end of my attempt :)
    I mean I’m sure that mint tea has less negative side effects than oral contraceptives, for sure.

    Is there any way in which I could read more on these studies? I want to be able to observe my reactions.

  119. JP Says:

    Hi, Cristina.

    I wish you all the best in your efforts to address your mild hirsutism. :)

    You can learn more about the details of the research by clicking on the numerical footnotes located at the bottom of many of the paragraphs in the column. These (numerical) links will direct you to the original research which informed my work on this topic.

    Be well!

    JP

  120. Jayde Says:

    Hi there. I recently purchased a book on how to deal with PCOS.(still waiting on it to arrive) but in the mean time i have been doing research on how to control my symptoms. I have came across that spearmint tea reduces testosterone and i bought some spearmint and chamomile tea i have had one cup and now a bit worried to keep going on drinking it due to all the comments! Am i right in saying its going to be beneficial in drinking this tea ( one cup a day) for my symptoms? or should i try something else. I have been discharged from the clinic i was attending for PCOS and told to control it by loosing weight and better my diet. Advise would me much appreciated! thanks!

  121. JP Says:

    Hi Jayde.

    The best information I’m aware of about mint tea is presented in the column and comment section above. To the best of my knowledge, no additional evidence has been published of late.

    Please type in the word “PCOS” in the search feature on my site. You’ll find some additional information about other natural ways of addressing it.

    Generally speaking, a diet that emphasizes low glycemic, whole foods that are rich in fiber and healthy fats is a good starting point, IMO. Daily exercise and stress management are also important considerations.

    Be well!

    JP

  122. Cacahuatita Says:

    The first time I had mint tea I couldn’t breath quite right, but then again I do need to get my nose fixed because it’s a mess inside and I can’t breath properly anyway.

    But then, after I tried it a second time I loved it. I’ve been drinking quite some mint tea lately so I thought I should now about some side effects. The only thing that kind of sounded familiar was the side effects on a 45 year old guy “He described it as if he felt he was suffocating, he also felt very claustrophobic.” (SnS), but then again my nose is such a mess inside I get like that without the tea sometimes.

  123. Cacahuatita Says:

    Oh, and by the way I used to drink a mix of green tea and mint tea…that made my head hurt like hell the first time I drank it, but then it could have been to strong.

  124. lindsey Says:

    It just spearmint that has the effect not peppermint.

  125. JP Says:

    Hi Lindsey.

    Some of the animal research suggests similar activity re: peppermint. But, I don’t know of any human studies confirming or refuting this as of yet.

    Be well!

    JP

  126. Erik Says:

    JP, Would you clarify the evidence for possible testicular damage? Temporary libido drops are one thing, but potential damage is a whole other ball game. So to speak.

    Thanks.

  127. overblown Says:

    It’s worth making it clear that the people behind the Peppermint/Rat study say that drinking peppermint tea is SAFE. And that the rats were given huge doses of mint.

    Why JP doesn’t mention this, except in a comment where he quotes it, I don’t know. It’s certainly not clear to the readers here.

  128. JP Says:

    For the sake of clarity, here’s one of the concluding remarks:

    “Despite the beneficial effects of M. piperita and M. spicata in digestion, we should also be aware of the toxic effects when the herbs are not used in the recommended fashion or at the recommended dose.”

    http://www.goldjournal.net/article/S0090-4295%2804%2900418-2/abstract

    A few relevant points:

    1. When conducting toxicity studies, higher than usual dosages are often employed.

    2. The fact that this research was conducted in rats needs to be factored in. Men are not rats. Still, animal experiments are common starting points of research that hopes to establish the relative safety of drugs and supplements.

    Nevertheless, the purpose of carrying out trials of this nature isn’t simply an exercise in futility. None of these scientists involved are concerned about rats overindulging in peppermint tea. However, they do wonder about the potential harm of chronic use and/or overindulgence in humans – be they adult men, pregnant women, etc.

    IMO, the bottomline is this: It’s folly to assume an herb that is powerful enough to modulate hormones in women is not powerful enough to also cause side effects. That’s why cautious use is called for and testing is invaluable.

    Be well!

    JP

  129. JP Says:

    Hi Erik,

    Sorry for the delay in my response. There’s very little information to go on re: testicular changes. Here are some excerpts from the few available studies:

    “The follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone levels had increased and total testosterone levels had decreased in the experimental groups compared with the control group; the differences were statistically significant. Also, the Johnsen testicular biopsy scores were significantly different statistically between the experimental groups and the control group. Although the mean seminiferous tubular diameter of the experimental groups was relatively greater than in the control group, the difference was not statistically significant. The only effects of M. piperita on testicular tissue was segmental maturation arrest in the seminiferous tubules; however, the effects of M. spicata extended from maturation arrest to diffuse germ cell aplasia in relation to the dose.”

    http://www.goldjournal.net/article/S0090-4295%2804%2900418-2/abstract

    “Our study suggested that spearmint probably induced oxidative stress in hypothalamus resulting in decreased synthesis of LH and FSH which in turn down-regulated the production of testicular testosterone through the disruption of a number of intermediate cascades.”

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691508004523

    A few other studies, using another form of mint, report that:

    “The present study was undertaken to assess the reversible contraceptive efficacy of methanolic extract of Mentha arvensis leaves. Aqueous solution of the extract (10 mg per day per mouse) when administered orally to male mice of proven fertility for 20, 40 and 60 days caused inhibition of fertility while maintaining their normal sexual behaviour. With the increase in treatment duration, there occurred a corresponding decrease in the mean weight of testis and accessory organs of reproduction. Sperm concentration, motility and viability in the cauda epididymis were also decreased. Spermatozoa with coiled tails also appeared in the epididymal smear. However, all the induced effects returned to normalcy within 30 days following withdrawal of 60-day treatment.”

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874101003646

    Once again, it’s important to note that these are all preliminary studies conducted in animals. There aren’t any human studies re: mint and testicular changes that I’m aware of. Still, the data is worth considering if you’re a frequent mint user, IMO. In that case, I’d keep an eye out for any signs of unwanted effects – just to be on the safe side. If there are none, great! If you suspect something, consult with your doctor and/or take some time away from mint and see if it helps.

    Be well!

    JP

  130. john Says:

    So the fact that the morrocan population is 35 million people, and there is no known problems with fertility among males in the country (with there daily consumption of mint tea!!) compared to other country’s were mint tea is never drunk or very rarely, Means nothing oh Mint tea must be so bad us.
    This is just a study to scare people
    How do we know that the testostrone of the mice didn’t lower because of the cages they were kept in during the trails and the living conditions?

    Be well

    John doe

  131. AltDoc Says:

    What is surprising about this warning? The only so-called scientific evidence is valid for chemical drugs. Every else is “not scientific evidence”. Next time one sees the wordings “no scientific evidence”, many people know the reason for these “warnings”.

  132. Rachel Says:

    Ive been taking spearmint pills twice daily to combat my hirsutism. I was diagnosed as having high androgens (idiopathic- or maybe just being Italian :P ) and its too soon to see any results but I m curious if any other women here have done this and seen any results in regards to hirustism and spearmint/peppermint. Thanks again!

  133. Me Says:

    Hello, I would like to say something about mint tea. I drank it 2 years, since 2005-2006, until 2008 august, I was really addicted to this tea! I found out that I can;t live without it for even for a day. In 2006 I drank it a lot, and I got my first panick in summer 2006, end of summer, then spring. I found out that this tea also helps me to cope with a panick.. heart beat… and I began to drink it all time, even for profilactic… I began to experience adrenal cryse every time in red days! Every time, I had worse adrenal cryse – heart beat and suffocation.. I drank it and it helped… and then it began more and more, and more frequent… I was drinking this tea instead of drinking water and else,… I found out that I was so addicted and could not do anything with that./ Although I was skinny, beautiful, young, and period was normal.. But I had polycystian ovaries, but it is ok, here in our country, so I did not cure… AND I began to have LOW BLOOD SUGAR, only because I drank that tea so much and for long time! aND i HAVE IT STILL, i dont know how to cure this. HELP! I dont drink this tea since 2008 august, because I was put on anti-anxiety medicine because my status was so severe, I had panicks too much and too hard. I blame this on this tea! I really don’t know how it did it to me. Because I have never had panicks, adrenal cryse before begining drinking this tea! And I developed a PMS, this was really severe, even to suffocation, and that is why I was put on meds.. Really don’t know how to restore. If the author of the text can help, please write me

  134. JP Says:

    Hi Me,

    I want to be certain that I understand what you’re currently dealing with. It seems that you have: anxiety, low blood sugar and PMS symptoms. Is this accurate?

    Have you had a comprehensive examination to determine what may be causing your symptoms? By this, I mean blood, physical and (possibly) psychological tests that may detect irregularities (emotional, environmental, hormonal, nutritional, etc.) which could be contributing to your symptoms? If you haven’t done so already, I would encourage you to do so as soon as possible.

    Be well!

    JP

  135. Me Says:

    Oh, then you very very much, JP for reply! Well, I have the glukometer, where I check the blood sugar. This is where I make the test. I’ve made other analysys and they show that thyroid is fine, i gave birth some time ago, and I think I have adrenal fatigue. I did not have anything of this before starting drinking mint tea. It all began in 2006, after some months when I drank it frequently.
    This things that became bad while time I was drinking it were:
    - I was cold, hands and legs were cold, I was freezing a lot, I could not warm up by myself, so I drank more tea to warm up. BEcause the tea is hot.
    - In the end of 2006 I have developed hypoglycemia in the evenings. I ate and felt fine after that.
    - THe PMS developed – spasm of lungs a little, spasm of little vessels, neurocirculatory distonya, like suffocation
    -heart beating – during period, like as an attack, heart beats about 220 in a minute, I calmed down again by drinking mint..
    -Polykystos – this I did not care -nothing serious

    OK, I would like to mention that mint tea is also a diuretic, I think it flushed out a lot of elements (vitamins and minerals) from my system, so I felt worse. I had heart problkems – it was beating too fast in the attack, that I coped only with mint tea..

    I did not know that all of that caused the mint tea and began to take it even for profilactic of these symptoms.

    ALso I was dizzy, problems, I was scared to fall, because of the dizzyness. I forgot about to tell about that I could not sleep well also..

    So, this is it I guess. All of that is still with me, not as bad as before, but it does not pass. The worst thing is hypoglycemia and freezing and very very tired…

    I need to recover, because it is like living for surviving. THe sugar falls firstly before luch, and else, so in the morning it was ok.

    ANd I would repeat that I did not have any of these things before I began to drink this tea. Never. I was calm, and sleeping well, and no sugar falls. Everything was fine.

  136. JP Says:

    Hi Me,

    What is your diet like? Have you been tested to rule out anemia? Some of your symptoms *could* be the result of anemia. However, I’m not a physician and cannot tell you whether or not that is the case.

    Be well!

    JP

  137. Me Says:

    Yes, I also thought in the 2008 that I have anemia, but I tested the results and it said it was normal, and hemoglobin was high! It is all due to mint tea. I guess I lack of magnesium a lot.
    Anyway, I eat soup, potatoes, milk products, macaroni, oats.

  138. JP Says:

    Are you eating a diet that is specially tailored to address your hypoglycemia? This would be a good place to start. And, as you mentioned, magnesium and various other nutrients may be of value.

    http://www.healthyfellow.com/968/natural-medicine-in-iran/ < --- magnesium info.

    http://www.healthyfellow.com/567/twitter-therapy/ <— more PMS tips

    Be well!

    JP

  139. george Says:

    OMG.. JUST DRINK IT, no matter what you’re drinking or eating, everything has good and bad stigma associated with it.. you guys that live your life according to others are just sad.. my wife of 82 has been drinking peppermint tea with regular sugar all her life.. and so have I. No problems, 4 kids with their own that also drink it. Not overweight, no health issues, and no BS from hippies to live their lives a certain way.. it’s just stupid, stop putting rules on your lives, the gov’t gives you enough.

  140. Sal Says:

    Just curious, can you tell us the exact studies that were done? You say “scientists”, who do they work for, who funds them? If what you say is true how would you compare the negative effects of mint teas versus all the poisons the powers to be give us to eat and drink? Just another curious question, why in the world are dumbass scientists spending any time researching the “negative” effects of mint tea, don’t we have more important “dis-eases” to cure? Oh wait, sorry, I almost forget, we don’t cure we treat (got to financially rip people off).

  141. JP Says:

    Hi Sal,

    The exact studies can be accessed by clicking on the footnote links (numbered 1 – 21 in the body of the column). Additional studies are cited in subsequent comment replies.

    Be well!

    JP

  142. katy Says:

    How frustrating. Mint tea has always been my favorite, although I don’t drink it all of the time. However, lately I’ve found myself happy, but tired a lot, and I haven’t been sleeping well. I have IBS, but I have also had daytime fogginess for as long as I can remember. I’ve often thought that I have ADD. I am a healthy eater. I just started drinking herbal tea more often because I thought it would help with my alertness and be a great alternative to coffee, since I don’t like coffee and I don’t drink tea from tea leaves. Oh well, back to the drawing board. Thank you for the info.

  143. startled! Says:

    Sorry, but this is deeply wrong! CAUTION:

    R-CARVONE (SPEARmint flavour) has the testosterone decreasing effect, not MENTHOL (PEPPERmint flavour), which helps to INCREASE testosterone levels – very important to differ).

    Do some research before spreading false (esp when opposite) information! This can be very painfull for “blind” followers…

  144. JP Says:

    I appreciate your passionate reply. However, it’s factually inaccurate to the best of knowledge. Please review the following:

    http://www.brazjurol.com.br/july_august_2004/survey/Urological_Survey_Sampaio_350_351.htm

    Your confusion may be related to the study linked to below. It found that adding menthol to topical testosterone formulations may enhance skin penetration.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1021/js9701465/abstract;jsessionid=552EEF1A089EDB78E9EC7B741BC1FC73.d03t04

    If you’re aware of any scientifically based evidence that contradicts my assertion, please feel free to share it.

    Be well!

    JP

  145. Mic Says:

    starting drinking pepperment tea on a regular because I found that its supposed to help with esophageal spasms. I have had this annoying pain in my throat for 7 mo and no help from docs. So I tried this. Weird because I’m a little concerned now because I have starting spotting daily…in between my periods.

  146. JP Says:

    Hi Mic,

    Please consult with your doctor about the recent spotting.

    There’s a rationale for using peppermint oil re: esophageal spasms.

    http://journals.lww.com/jcge/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2001&issue=07000&article=00007&type=abstract

    However, if it turns out that you’re not tolerating it well, you might consider other alternatives such as testing for magnesium deficiency, identifying potential dietary triggers and stress management techniques.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9705572

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/esophageal-spasms/DS00763/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies

    Be well!

    JP

  147. CA Says:

    I have been battling with bad facial hair. i have been prescribed meds for it but not too sure about it. I have read on the spearmint tea and how it helps, but not too sure. ididn’t have this problem when I left high school just started like9 years ago. What can i do?

  148. Momof three38 Says:

    do not believe EVERYTHING you read and hear.

  149. JP Says:

    CA,

    I suggest consulting with an integrative physician about your individual situation. You might also search for the term “PCOS”, using the search function on this site, for some general approaches worth considering.

    Mom of Three,

    Agreed. That includes the belief that all natural remedies are without potential side effects.

    Be well!

    JP

  150. ray Says:

    As a peppermint tea drinker for the last 5 years my nuts have gone from boulders full of juice to shrvivelled prunes. Me thinks its time to give it away

  151. Poppy Says:

    So, in conclusion, if I have small breasts, drinking peppermint tea would enlarge them?

  152. JP Says:

    Hi Poppy,

    I wouldn’t conclude that. Also, I don’t recommend using any supplements that claim to enlarge breasts.

    Be well!

    JP

  153. Christine Smyth Says:

    NEVER EVER GO BY ANYTHING SO CALLED PROVEN WITH EXPERIMENTS ON ANIMALS. IT IS ALL UNATURAL, AND I THINK SCIENTISTS SHOULD USE EACH OTHER TO PROOVE THESE SO CALLED FACTS, IT WOULD BE MORE BENEFITIAL. BUT I AM SURE THEY WOULD NOT LIKE TO SUFFER THE PAIN THEY WOULD HAVE TO GO THROUGH.. SHAME REALLY, THEY THEN MIGHT HAVE SOME COMPASSION FOR THE ANIMALS THEY TORTURE.

    CHRISTINE SMYTH.. LOVER OF ANIMALS

  154. Terrence Says:

    Maybe the spearmint flavor doesn’t have the same side effects as the peppermint? Personally, if I were simply to trust my senses, the spearmint flavor seems less “menacing,” although I enjoy both, and usually drink a combination to relieve anxiety before public events or before I sleep.

  155. JP Says:

    Hi Terrence,

    IMO, the best way to evaluate your assertion is to look at the studies themselves. I don’t think we should assume that the potential benefits or risks of peppermint apply to spearmint and vice versa … without proof. That’s why I tried my best to mention whether peppermint or spearmint was used in the respective studies (cited in the column and in some of my comments and replies).

    Be well!

    JP

  156. Tracy Says:

    Hi I have been back from a health retreat for 8 months and i gave up coffee (I still have green tea and the very very occasional coke zero so still have some caffine) i replaced my coffee drinking with herbal infusions. I feel in love with peppermint tea and now drink 8-10 cups a day.

    I was concerned i had formed an addition to it as i cant put the cup down when i drink it and must drink it all immediately and the hotter the better (I know crazy right) and i find my appatite has increased. I am going to reduce to 2 cups a day and replace with another herbal to balance out based on your comments above I think i should practice moderation with this.

  157. JP Says:

    Hi Tracy,

    I hope your switch to a more varied tea drinking routine improves your health. Please also keep in mind that drinking very hot tea may be dangerous. IMO, allowing your tea to cool, at least a little bit, is advisable:

    http://www.healthyfellow.com/187/hot-tea-cancer-risk/

    http://www.healthyfellow.com/355/chocolate-hot-tea-lutein-and-soy-updates/

    Be well!

    JP

  158. Grandma Says:

    Hi. I’m a senior citizen with lifelong PCOS, including that pesky Hirsutism. I tried spearmint tea this week, and like the result. I will be continuing a 2-c per day dosage. Thanks for the information.

  159. JP Says:

    I sincerely hope it helps you achieve greater wellness, Grandma.

    Please consider informing your doctor about your plan of action. Doing so will help her/him monitor your progress and, possibly, even learn something new.

    Be well!

    JP

  160. TG Says:

    I was going to say something similar to Cheyenne about Moroccans and their mint tea. It is a thrice-daily beverage for many, many Moroccans and they seem to have no trouble with infertility as a population. Most of their health problems have come with the widespread use of sugar…go figure :)

  161. sarah rocks Says:

    I did not find it helpful JP. What does that stand for anyway???????????????????? Anyway, what r the benefits of drinking it, except 4 the down sides of it. EXPLAIN it more sincerley. PLZ CAN SOMEONE ANSWER MY QUESTION?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  162. JP Says:

    Hi Sarah,

    I’m sorry to hear that.

    JP stands for John Paul.

    I list a number of potential health benefits associated with mint throughout the column that’s posted above. You might also find this review to be of interest:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.1936/abstract

    Be well!

    JP

  163. emm Says:

    It’s to bad your web description used name calling (“morons”). let’s stop the name calling. I almost didn’t go to your site, but then i thought let’s see what the wacko has to say. you had more info than other sites. There are side effects, and I’m surprised that I can’t find anyone discussing the fact that peppermint has tannin in it and therefore may cause headaches. I know because I got them. It appears you could do even more research, especially with regard to the constituents of p-mint and there possible effects. Thanks for the info. at your site and have a wonderful day. Sincerely EMM

  164. JP Says:

    Hi Emm,

    I’m not sure if your name calling comment was directed at me? This is my site and I don’t resort to that type of exchange. Having said that, some visitors express themselves in a different way. I try to allow a reasonable margin for different forms of expression – provided that the comments aren’t overtly cruel or otherwise damaging. If you find a comment where you feel I’ve name called, please let me know and I’ll be happy to address it.

    Tannins have both positive and negative aspects to them. They’re documented as affecting the absorption of certain nutrients and may provoke undesirable side effects (such as headaches) in those who are sensitive to them. On the other hand, tannins also possess antioxidant activity and have shown preliminary benefits with regard to a number of health conditions ranging from cancer protection to hypertension. There’s a tremendous amount of research on tannins emanating from various sources including berries, black tea and nuts. All of these foods are largely health promoting, but not if you’re sensitive to them.

    Be well!

    JP

  165. Maarain Says:

    Thanks for this expert review and discussion! I found this when seeking data about possible antiandrogenic or otherwise helpful herbs for hair loss. I am a 60+ old relatively healthy woman with some hair loss problems lately. Clearly I have been losing hair more in the male pattern: mostly from the temples and top of head. No hirsutism sure: my facial and body hair has always been scanty (I am Finnish).
    Here in Finland i can buy in the grocery through the year fresh potted spearmint (to use as spice) as well as dried peppermint tea (2 grams in each bag) in the brand I last bought. If I tried the fresh spearmint to help hair, how much could the daily dose be for a woman like me? How about the peppermint tea bags?

  166. JP Says:

    Hi Maarain,

    Unfortunately, I don’t have access to the full text of the studies in question – the abstracts are linked to below.

    Spearmint (Human, Female Studies):

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.2074/abstract

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.2900/abstract

    Peppermint (Male Rat Study):

    http://www.brazjurol.com.br/july_august_2004/survey/Urological_Survey_Sampaio_350_351.htm

    There are some organic spearmint leaf teas available in the US. Perhaps you could acquire said products (or similar products) online or from a local, specialized vendor such as a health food store or natural food market.

    Based on the limited data, a daily dosage of two cups of spearmint tea daily may be worth considering. Blood tests would also be helpful in determining your baseline hormone levels and any changes that may or may not occur … as well as any possible adverse reactions. These are all matters that you can run by your doctor and hopefully navigate together.

    Be well!

    JP

  167. Kim Says:

    If the effect of peppermint tea is a ‘decrease in free and total testosterone levels and increases in luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone concentrations’ and this decreases the sex-drive in men.. does it increase it in women?

  168. JP Says:

    Hi Kim,

    The quote you cited was referencing the effects of spearmint tea in women – not men. If anything, mint tea *may* negatively influence libido in women … if it’s used chronically and in therapeutic quantities. Testosterone tends to increase libido in both men and women:

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/testosterone-therapy/AN01390

    Be well!

    JP

  169. marokkanischeminze Says:

    Thank you for your studies but did you know that there are countries who drink traditionaly green tea with (Morrocan)Mint, multiple times a day? There are even tourists than me who found out, that the morrocan mint tea seams to be very healthy and have some very side effects in a positive way. You are more relaxed and so on. This mean that you have to sort betweet peppermint (Mentha × piperita) and minth (Mentha spicata var. crispa ,Marokko’), they are not the same and they are huge differences between the peppermint and mint tea.

  170. San Says:

    Hi. I drink peppermint tea from childhood. I love tea so much. At early ages i could drink any tea but now i do not like green tea or black tea. I am crazy about mint!!! When it is season, I drink it 2 to 10 cups a day dependent how much i want. Also in winter i drink much tea of other herbs, not green. So I do not notice any adverse effects during my lifetime. I know that every herb has its side effects also mint but i think it is dependent on person. Ans of course it is psychological moment too. If you hate mint, you should not drink it.

  171. JP Says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us, San!

    Be well!

    JP

  172. Daniel f. Says:

    @ Keith,

    Right well I’ll make sure your name is on the list when they want to do soe more lab tests. I’m sure you won’t mind, given that you’ll be saving some rats!

    People are quite happy to take medication when they are ill, but moan about testing on animals.

  173. Amber Says:

    I started drinking peppermint tea a couple of weeks ago.
    Having moderate-to-severe PCOS and at only 25, not having a menstrual cycle for the last 5 years (and so not ovulating)- within a week I began menstruation and other symptoms seem to have lessened in severity.
    I had no idea that peppermint tea may help, I was just looking it up to be sure it was safe as I also take Warfarin for pulmonary emboli. This was caused (most likely) but the combined oral contraceptive pill Estelle35, which contains estrogen. Since this incident I won’t be able to take hormones ever again due to the risk of a repeat.
    So really, I feel it can be quite beneficial but there should be more information. Peppermint tea is something I’ll continue to use as it is a bit of hope in what is otherwise a case of definite worsening of symptoms and infertility.

  174. macwin d'mello Says:

    Does mint have potential to cause impotence?

  175. JP Says:

    Hi Macwin,

    A few animal studies suggest that it’s *possible*. Please note that this is a far cry from proving that humans consuming mint tea will experience the same effects. To the best of knowledge, human studies on men in relation to mint and impotence haven’t been carried out. Below, you’ll find links to two animal studies which hint at the influence of mint intake (in male animals) and hormonal disruption:

    http://www.goldjournal.net/article/S0090-4295%2804%2900418-2/abstract

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691508004523

    Be well!

    JP

  176. Betty Says:

    Thank you for your blog. I have had surgery, chemotherapy and now continue on an aromatase inhibitor (to block the production of estrogen) to treat ER+/PR+ breast cancer. Is Stash’s Moroccan Mint (green tea with peppermint) a bad idea for me? I drink many cups of green/white tea a day.

  177. JP Says:

    Hi Betty,

    Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, I can’t offer a very specific response because I’m unaware of studies which address your individual concerns. However, I can tell you that some studies suggest that green tea is beneficial re: breast cancer. Other research hasn’t found any particular benefit (or risk) associated with tea consumption. The effects of mint intake in relation to breast cancer have yet to be examined in controlled trials.

    http://www.healthyfellow.com/1297/egcg-and-breast-cancer/

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3584908/

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3096981/

    Also, here are a few additional links that may be of interest:

    http://www.healthyfellow.com/1161/seaweed-and-breast-cancer/

    http://www.healthyfellow.com/861/breast-cancer-decisions/

    http://www.healthyfellow.com/415/iron-and-breast-cancer/

    Be well!

    JP

  178. Betty Says:

    Wow. Thank you!

  179. DLB Says:

    I run a blog about menopausal issues and am constantly researching the relationship between food and menopause. I just had an enormous hot flash and wondered if it could have been the cold mint tea I just drank. Someone gave me a box of peppermint/spearmint tea and I had a hot cup yesterday and had a big flash, but thought it was because the tea was hot. So after having it cold without even sugar, and lighting up on fire, it got me thinking…and here am!

    Facinating information here. I’m going to share it on my blog.

  180. Shalini Says:

    Hi,

    I just came across your blog. I’m a woman and I have a pretty bad facial and body hair problem. I also have thinning hair. I was diagnosed with mild hypothyroidism, mild PCOS and an almost severe vitamin D deficiency last year. When I started taking a vitamin D supplement, my hair stopped falling so much and it seemed to be getting thicker. I decided not to take birth control pills or thyroid medication cause my hypothyroidism and PCOS were only mild. Anyway, a few weeks ago, I found out about spearmint tea and how so many women have found it very helpful in reducing their facial and body hair, acne and other PCOS-related symptoms. Almost immediately after I started drinking 2-3 cups of spearmint tea (that wasn’t even pure) everyday two weeks ago, my hair started falling a lot again. I also felt lethargic, sluggish, lazy.. I could also sleep a lot.. All of these I used to feel when my hair was falling a lot before. I think there has been a reduction in hair growth in my face and body though, my face is less oily and the skin and hair on my head are smoother. I still take my vitamin D supplement the same way. What could be the problem? Was I drinking too much? Did spearmint tea prevent the absorption of the Vitamin D? I’ve stopped drinking the tea for two days already, I’m not sure if there has been any improvement in the hair fall..

  181. Jerry J. Says:

    I have been drinking peppermint tea for a few years on a very regular basis. I like it strong so I use 2 tea bags in a large mug. I never drink more than that in a day. I just had my yearly physical and the doctor just told me that my kidney function in down. Now I am worried and hope this is not permanent. I will no longer drink the tea. I drank it because I have IBS ,and I enjoyed it. I can’t tolerate any caffeine. I am so disappointed and now I’m concerned about drinking any herb teas.

  182. JP Says:

    Thank you, DLB!

    Be well!

    JP

  183. JP Says:

    Hi, Shalini.

    Unfortunately, I can’t tell you if the addition of mint tea is causing or exascerbating your current symptoms. However, you may be able to learn a lot by simply avoiding the tea for a period of time. Observing any change in symptoms improve will provide you with important information.

    The best way to take Vitamin D3 is to to include it with a large meal that contains a large amount of healthy fat. Also, it’s important to periodically determine the level of 25(OH)D in your system. You may need to adjust your dosage based on your results.

    Lastly, there are many natural ways of addressing PCOS symptoms other than drinking mint tea. Chief among them is to maintain tight control of your blood sugar via a low carbohydrate diet, exercise and lifestyle factors which influence insulin sensitivity.

    http://www.healthyfellow.com/tag/pcos/

    Be well!

    JP

  184. JP Says:

    Hi Jerry,

    The body can be very resilient. Please don’t lose faith in its ability to heal itself with proper care and consideration. While I urge you not to worry, you may want to be proactive in supporting your kidneys. Below are a few links that may be of interest:

    http://www.healthyfellow.com/742/fish-oil-and-kidney-health/

    http://www.healthyfellow.com/678/your-biological-machine/

    Be well!

    JP

  185. JP Says:

    Since quite a few people have been asking for natural, safe alternatives for PCOS, please consider fish oil:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24639805

    Be well!

    JP

  186. Andy Says:

    Thanks for this interesting post, I have been drinking peppermint tea for some time now but have recently switched to drinking fresh leaf mint.

    I am a bodybuilder and have been for several years, I have been taking courses of steroids previously with on and off cycles and pct etc.

    I am now currently clean and getting my immune system back to normal along with my hormones and estrogen, Usually I would take post cylce therapy, however this time I am avoiding anything like this.

    I know playing with testosterone and hormones is not a good thing, I have always taken liver care tablets and milk thistle with my courses and eat clean.

    Due to my testosterone level being high and need stabilizing back to natural I will continue to drink this over the next coming months.

    Thanks for the detailed information, I always like to read up on things that I’m drinking, eating or taking.

    If anyone is curious or interested in this I can report back to see if peppermint/mint is helping with my clean out to normality.

    Thanks again Andy.

  187. JP Says:

    Hi Andy,

    By all means, please report back. IMO, it would be helpful to work with a physician who is familiar with men’s health issues. He/she may be able to assist you in reestablishing hormonal balance.

    I wish you all the best. Be well!

    JP

  188. JP Says:

    Study: Spearmint Extract May Improve Cognition in Seniors http://www.naturalproductsinsider.com/news/2014/05/study-on-spearmint-extract-show-potential-cogniti.aspx

    Be well!

    JP

  189. Thomas Nye Says:

    I have to say it is very refreshing to actually read comments that are polite and informative. This conversation and communication level is strongly needed on this planet. In regard to the subject, I just bought an ounce of spearmint after learning that it can lower testosterone levels. This is exactly what I need to do in regard to a “natural” hormone therapy for prostate cancer as opposed to the anti androgens that are normally given. There is quite a bit of information in regard to androgens in plants on line.
    T

  190. Thomas Nye Says:

    http://endometabol.com/?page=article&article_id=3644

  191. JP Says:

    Thank you for your contribution, Thomas! Please take a look at some of the other content on this site pertaining to PC. I hope it will help and inspire you.

    http://www.healthyfellow.com/256/herbs-and-prostate-cancer/

    http://www.healthyfellow.com/1055/walnuts-and-prostate-cancer/

    http://www.healthyfellow.com/483/breast-and-prostate-cancer-news/

    http://www.healthyfellow.com/687/best-of-natural-cancer-fighters/

    http://www.healthyfellow.com/904/ginger-green-tea-and-cancer/

    Be well!

    JP

  192. Hettie Says:

    Hi JP

    Just wondering if there’s a difference between spearmint and peppermint? Or do they both do the same job in reducing testosterone?

    Peppermint seems easier to come by!

    Cheers,
    Hettie

  193. JP Says:

    Hi, Hettie.

    There are some differences. To the best of my knowledge, only spearmint tea has been evaluated in human studies in relation to hirsutism and PCOS. Peppermint tea has shown some related activity in animal studies.

    It’s true that peppermint tea is easier to find, but spearmint tea can be easily acquired online and at some larger health food stores. A few brands that come to mind are Alvita and Celebration Herbals – both offer organic spearmint tea bags.

    Be well!

    JP

  194. JP Says:

    A new, positive study about spearmint tea:

    http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jmf.2013.0189

    J Med Food. 2014 Jul 24. [Epub ahead of print]

    High-Rosmarinic Acid Spearmint Tea in the Management of Knee Osteoarthritis Symptoms.

    Connelly AE1, Tucker AJ, Tulk H, Catapang M, Chapman L, Sheikh N, Yurchenko S, Fletcher R, Kott LS, Duncan AM, Wright AJ.

    Abstract Individuals with medically diagnosed knee osteoarthritis (OA) participated in a randomized, double-blind study to investigate the effects of a high-rosmarinic acid (rosA) spearmint tea. Sixty-two participants were randomized by sex and screening pain score to consume tea brewed from a high-rosA spearmint variety or a commercially available spearmint twice daily for 16 weeks. Pain, quality of life (QoL), and physical function at baseline and week 16 were assessed using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), Short-Form 36-item Health Survey (SF-36), 6-minute walk test (6MWT), and stair climb test (SCT). Data from 46 participants (mean age=60.7; BMI=32.9 kg/m2) were analyzed. Pain score significantly decreased from week 0 to 16 for the high-rosA group but not for the control group and scores for stiffness and physical disability significantly decreased from week 0 to 16 for both groups. Increased QoL score on the bodily pain index in the SF-36 was observed at week 16 within the high-rosA group only, although no significant differences were observed between the groups. A nonsignificant improvement was observed in the 6MWT at week 16 in the high-rosA group only. There were no changes in the SCT for either group. Therefore, 16-week daily consumption of the high-rosA and commercial spearmint teas significantly improved stiffness and physical disability scores in adults with knee OA, but only the high-rosA tea significantly decreased pain. Consumption of high-rosA tea warrants further consideration as a potential complementary therapy to reduce pain in OA.

    Be well!

    JP

Leave a Comment




*
To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
Click to hear an audio file of the anti-spam word