Mint Teas: Hormonal Effects

Mint tea is used in traditional medicine for a number of reasons, the most well known being its benefits of digestive function. For example, peppermint tea has been shown to aid digestion and be beneficial in a number of digestive disorders including bloating and stomach cramps. Peppermint may also have systemic hormonal effects and some of these effects have been researched in animal models. For example, in one study, researchers investigated the effects of Mentha piperita labiatae (peppermint) and Mentha spicata labiatae (spearmint) herbal teas on the testosterone, luteinising hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone levels of rats. The teas caused increases in luteinising hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone levels and a decrease in testosterone levels in the male rats in the experimental group, when compared to the control groups receiving no mint tea. However, whilst these effects are interesting, the dose provided to the rats was very high, and in this regard did not reflect a normal nutritional intake. Therefore whilst mint has the ability to interact with the hormonal system, it is unclear what these effects would be in humans consuming a relatively more normal intake of mint. 

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Akdogan, M., Ozguner, M., Kocak, A., Oncu, M. and Cicek, E. 2004. Effects of peppermint teas on plasma testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone levels and testicular tissue in rats. Urology. 64(2): 394-398

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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