Although it is unclear whether it will provide protection against dementia, peppermint tea has been shown to enhance working memory.
Mint is an aromatic herb of the mint family. It tastes similar to mint but is softer and sweeter.
The finding emerged from a review that sought to evaluate three herbal teas — German chamomile, rose hip and peppermint — and their impact on health issues of importance to women, such as sleep, anxiety and menstrual difficulties.
Commenting on the findings, GP, study co-author and guest advisor to the independent health and well-being group, The Tea Advisory Group (TAP), Dr. Jill Jenkins, Dr. Jill Jenkins said: “Among the herbal teas reviewed in this paper, peppermint in particular has been found to improve memory. .
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According to Dr., the review “identified a study of 90 women and men with age-related memory decline and found that 900 milligrams of peppermint extract per day improved the quality of working memory by 15 percent and spatial working memory by nine percent.”
Working memory is a small amount of information that can be taken into account and used in carrying out cognitive tasks.
Spatial memory is specifically related to the storage and retrieval of information within the brain needed to plan a route to a desired location and remember where an object is located or where an event occurred.
“Trends for improved mood, alertness, and behavior were also evident in this study,” Dr. Jenkins noted.
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“Another human study using peppermint extract 900 mg per day in 142 women and men (ages 50 to 70) found that peppermint improved cognitive function,” she continued.
This finding is of particular interest because, apart from the obvious effects of dementia, the epidemic has wreaked havoc on memory function.
“Most of us have experienced a lack of social contact over the past two years, and due to the dearth of new experiences, events, and dates, our memories may have become more muddled,” Dr. Jenkins explained.
What else did the study reveal?
According to Dr., “This new study looks at several women’s health issues and finds compelling evidence that drinking herbal teas — German chamomile, rose hip and peppermint — can enhance sleep quality and in turn help improve memory performance and deteriorate mood.”
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The review identified randomized controlled trials (RCTs) from a large international database of peer-reviewed research papers.
Such trials were identified using specific search terms (such as “herbal tea/infusion/tican,” “chamomile tea/infusion/tican,” “mint/mint tea/infusion/drip” and “hip/rose tea/infusion”/ tisane’),” Dr. Jenkins explained.
She continued, “Because we wanted to assess the mechanisms of action (i.e. how tea might work – rather than the fact that it works – on various health issues) we also identified studies of tea and tea extracts conducted in laboratories.
“Studies like this can delve deeper into how tea and its ingredients affect parts of the body as well as the whole body.”
According to Dr., overall results from a review of randomized controlled trials were that chamomile can improve sleep and reduce anxiety.
“Improved sleep and anxiety can improve brain function (due to better rest) so it can be concluded that chamomile tea can indirectly improve brain function, although the immediate effect of chamomile is calming without any immediate memory effect,” he noted.
According to Dr. Jenkins, chamomile may increase the activity of the brain’s neurotransmitter (serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine) and thus have positive effects on mood and anxiety.
“There is also evidence from laboratory studies that rosehip improves spatial memory.”
You can buy 20 mint tea bags for £2.69 at hollandandbarrett.com