Which Type of Tea is Best for Bloating and Gut Health?
Tea is a popular beverage in multiple countries, with millions starting their days with a fresh cup. Tea provides a caffeine boost like coffee does but is considered healthier due to the improved nutrients and lower caffeine concentration. Tea has since become a health phenomenon people use to reinforce their health and improve their appearance. Most teas have a cultural significance in Eastern civilizations like China and Japan and a socio-cultural significance in the United Kingdom.
Eventually, tea spread to the Western world and retained its popularity. The truly impressive thing is that dozens of different tea varieties are harvested from several plants. Plants like Camellia sinensis, Clitoria ternatea, and Matricaria chamomilla all produce different types of tea.
Some teas are renowned for certain abilities and effects that can alter our current condition, though some of these abilities are exaggerated. As a result, tea's popularity has only surged as more people begin using tea and its extracts to bolster their health and appearance. This has been a welcome development since the issues affecting modern Americans have only increased over the last century.
One issue that has started becoming a problem is bloating, which can cause serious discomfort when it manifests. While bloating has many causes, there is not much general information about reducing it without worsening the situation. Fortunately, there seem to be teas capable of reducing bloating, but figuring out which ones can be challenging.
What Causes Bloating?
Most people complain about bloating at some point or another, primarily because it is a common issue. The concept of "bloating" might seem like a minor complaint that is baseless or psychosomatic, especially since a large meal usually precedes the complaint. Despite the arbitrary descriptor, bloating is a problem for millions and can cause serious discomfort or pain depending on the severity. In fact, between 10% and 25% of healthy adults have occasional bouts of bloating, 75% of which describe the symptoms as "severe," illustrating how serious the condition can be.
For people with certain gastrointestinal health conditions, that number jumps up to 90%, making bloating as painful as it is common. Bloating is a proven medical condition where your stomach feels full but becomes tight and somewhat painful. This results from increased gas levels in your gastrointestinal tract that changes the pressure in your gut. Everyone is susceptible to bloating, though women who have had children have a higher risk. Regardless of whether you fall under the high-risk category, the causes of bloating are fairly consistent across all demographics.
One of the most common causes of bloating is constipation, a condition that inhibits our ability to expel waste from our bodies. The condition traps gas and waste in our gastrointestinal tract, causing it to add to the pressure and expand our stomachs. While constipation is a leading cause of bloating, it is also rivaled by irritable bowel syndrome. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) causes significant gastrointestinal pain before or during a bowel movement.
The symptoms of IBS are often severe enough to warrant lifelong medical care to keep the symptoms from overwhelming you. Among those symptoms is bloating, making IBS one of the main causes since it increases our sensitivity to gas and reduces the pressure we can withstand without experiencing pain. There are other chronic conditions that count bloating among their symptoms, but constipation and IBS are among the most prominent.
It is also possible that your bloating results from indigestion or a reaction to a specific kind of food your body cannot handle. Everyone is unique in that they have certain intolerances to specific foods and drinks, with bloating being one of the main symptoms of this issue. Regardless of the cause, bloating is extremely common and can make life difficult or unpleasant when the symptoms manifest. Therefore, the search for a remedy has become a priority for those who suffer from chronic bloating or have certain dietary sensitivities. The question is: what tea can offer the best protection against bloating, considering the causes?
The Origins of Peppermint Tea
Mint is a plant we have all used at some point in our lives, though many do not realize that the different types of mint are derived from different plants. Mentha x piperita is one such variant and is actually a hybrid bred from M. aquatica (watermint) and M. spicata (spearmint). This hybridization resulted in peppermint, which is commonly associated with candy canes but has a more significant impact on our health than we realize.
Despite being a hybrid, the first peppermint plant was created in the wild without interference from humanity. It was allegedly discovered in Hertfordshire, England, by someone called Dr. Eales but was publicized by a naturalist named John Ray. Ray outlined the discovery in the second edition of his book Methodica Stirpium Britannicarum, published in 1696. After the publication of Ray's book, peppermint went through several scientific names before M. piperita was finalized in 1753 by famed researcher Carl Linnaeus.
Since peppermint's discovery, it has become an extremely common plant worldwide, even in countries where it is not native. By 2020, the global production of peppermint averaged 48,437 tons (43,941,307 kilograms or 96,873,999 pounds). Morocco accounts for 83% of worldwide peppermint production, but it is also produced in the United States. Specifically, peppermint farms in Oregon and Washington produce the bulk of America's peppermint.
As a result, peppermint is available in almost every country and has become an extremely popular addition to several products and treats. There are peppermint products in most grocery stores, including candy and chewing gum. However, we have also refined peppermint into tea, making it a beverage popular with those who favor a slight kick in their morning tea.
There are other peppermint products that you might have consumed at one point or another, but their viability as a health supplement is not guaranteed. Most peppermint products take advantage of the same nutrients found in the plant, but the production method of certain products reduces their efficacy. For example, a stick of peppermint gum will not provide significant health benefits since the gum is degraded by the additional ingredients used to produce it. Conversely, pure peppermint oil is imbued with the full range of nutrients found in the plant.
Most peppermint consumers do not realize that peppermint tea (and peppermint in general) has several health benefits that can help us address certain issues. Peppermint tea is not common in most households since it inherits the same menthol-like taste found in gum and candy canes. While some people enjoy the flavor, it is considered a niche that not everyone enjoys. Nevertheless, peppermint tea might be necessary to deal with bloating.
Can Peppermint Tea Reduce Bloating?
Despite being a common health issue for millions worldwide, treating chronic bloating episodes can be difficult and unpleasant. Fortunately, several proven treatments for bloating have been used in modern and alternative medicine for decades. Typically, a doctor prescribes antacids to reduce bloating in the short term and dietary changes to prevent recurrences. While this might be effective for some people, some prefer a more naturalistic approach.
The good news is that medical professionals consider many alternative options viable despite their non-pharmaceutical origins. Two substances accepted by holistic and traditional medicine are peppermint and herbal tea. As both tools are considered viable treatment avenues for chronic bloating, the stars seem to have aligned for combining them. Peppermint tea is a niche but highly nutritional beverage that has earned notoriety for its health benefits.
Peppermint has been scientifically connected to several gastrointestinal issues, specifically as a tool for relieving them. While "cure" is a strong word for conditions that are likely to recur if you fall back on poor habits, it is possible to use peppermint to reduce their severity. Bloating is a digestive issue, despite the fact that your stomach is growing larger for no reason. The nutrients in peppermint are proven to relax the digestive system and reduce pain caused by certain chronic issues.
Peppermint also prevents the muscles from contracting, allowing them to relax and reduce the onset of symptoms. One of the most notable reviews concerning peppermint's benefits for the gastrointestinal tract was conducted in 2014. The review focused on 9 different studies that had a total of 726 subjects between them. All of the subjects had been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome before the studies began and were divided into test and control groups:
- Test Groups: The subjects in the test groups were given peppermint oil for approximately 2 weeks.
- Control Groups: The subjects in the control groups were given a placebo for approximately 2 weeks.
The studies all yielded the same results and proved that peppermint could reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Conversely, the subjects in the control groups showed little to no improvement. One particular study had 72 subjects diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. The subjects in the test group were given capsules of peppermint oil for 4 weeks, while the control group received a placebo.
When the study was finished, the subjects in the test group had a 40% reduction in symptoms compared to the control group, which had a 24.3% reduction. The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are not limited to bloating, but the effects of peppermint can reduce that symptom so it is not as painful as it would be without intervention.
Finally, there was a review of 14 additional studies focusing specifically on children experiencing gastrointestinal distress. Nearly 2,000 children were evaluated in these studies, and all of them were experiencing abdominal pain from their symptoms. The children in the test group were given peppermint to address their symptoms, while those in the control groups were given placebos. Ultimately, the review concluded that the children who were given peppermint reduced their symptoms' frequency, duration, and severity. These reviews and studies prove that peppermint can reduce the damage caused by bloating and other gastrointestinal distress.
You might have noticed that the studies focused on peppermint oil rather than tea, which might raise some concerns about whether tea is an effective medium. The good news is that peppermint tea contains the same nutrients as peppermint oil and only changes the method by which it is consumed. Furthermore, many medical experts agree that herbal tea can reduce the symptoms of bloating regardless of whether it contains peppermint. Therefore, a tea made from peppermint leaves will enjoy the effects of both herbal tea and peppermint to help reduce your symptoms and restore your quality of life.
While this does not mean you should go around eating candy canes to get your dose of peppermint (the sugar overwrites the nutrients from the plant, rendering candy canes harmful), you can take advantage of peppermint oil and peppermint tea to enjoy the same benefits seen in the studies.
Finding the Right Blend
Peppermint is an extremely popular plant that provides a unique taste to a niche following. While not everyone is fond of how peppermint tastes, there is no doubt that it offers significant health benefits. Bloating is becoming more common in modern Americans, primarily due to the high-fat and high-carb diets we consume combined with an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. These factors have radically increased the rate of bloating in American citizens, making it more common for people to experience pain after eating.
Fortunately, the benefits of peppermint seem to reduce this issue and make it possible for us to live quality lives even if we are predisposed to chronic bloating. There is no shortage of peppermint tea, but the ideal scenario is finding a specialized blend that uses additional herbs to enhance the peppermint's effects.
We at Teami believe that the natural substances of the world are the best for dealing with common gastrointestinal ailments. While we recognize some conditions will always require modern medicine, we maintain that a cup of tea can go a long way toward your recovery. That is why we have cultivated a catalog of tea blends designed to offer the full range of benefits found in plants like peppermint.
One of our main products is our Profit Tea Blend, which contains peppermint and is reinforced with goji berries and roselle to enhance the effects. We encourage you to visit our website and try a bag of our tea. After all, finding the right blend is a Teami effort.
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