SPEARMINT HERBAL TEA GUIDE: MEANING, HISTORY, RECIPES
Many of you will be familiar with the fresh, minty taste of peppermint tea, but perhaps not with its cousin, spearmint.
Spearmint tea is herbal tea or tisane made from the dried leaves of the spearmint plant. The scent of this woolly mint in the teacup is herbaceous, mellow, and green.
Common Names: Lamb mint, garden mint, spire mint
Mint belongs to the genus of plants called mentha, which is part of the Lamiaceae family. There are numbers of different flavours of mint, all of which make delicious flavoursome teas. One of them is spearmint.
Spearmint is also known as garden mint or lamb mint. A hardy invasive perennial which grows up to 2 feet, with small mauve flowers in spikes.
History Of Spearmint
Around 1000 BCE Egyptians used mint as part of the funerary process, and its spread paralleled the Roman empire’s growth. The smell of mint in Roman houses was a symbol of hospitality.
Mint has been used in baths since Roman times and was also strewn to sweeten the smell of churches. Its distilled oil is still used to flavor toothpaste, confectionery, chewing gums, and also to perfume soap.
Spearmint has been found to have some antifungal properties and has excellent antioxidant activity, and recent studies find that spearmint tea may be useful for mild female hirsutism, as the tea reduces levels of male sex hormones.
Health Benefits of Spearmint Tea
1. As the common name Lamb Mint implies, spearmint leaves are consumed and the tea is drunk to quell nausea (especially during pregnancy), calm indigestion, and expel gas after eating fatty foods such as lamb.
2. Spearmint tea helps the stomach produce bile for better digestion; this is the reason spearmint tea can be enjoyed after dinner for good digestion.
3. Spearmint tea reduces inflammation of the digestive tract and eases the symptoms of diarrhoea and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
4. You can also drink spearmint tea to alleviate cold symptoms such as sore throat and respiratory tract inflammation.
5. The tea also aids oral hygiene as it kills germs in the mouth and lessens toothache pain.
Do not drink it too hot or you may irritate the tooth more. Spearmint also contains some vitamin C.
How to Make Spearmint Tea (hot )
Whether you drink this spearmint herbal tea hot on a cool morning or iced on a warm afternoon, this is, well, refreshing.
Make sure you have this tea on hand so the minute you feel a little under the weather you can steep yourself a potent cup.
1) 1 cup of boiled water
2) 1 teaspoon of spearmint tea/3-4 fresh spearmint leaves
1) Fill the kettle with fresh water. Always use fresh spring water to make tea.
2) Bring the water to a boil, then pour some into your teacup or teapot to warm it up. Discard the water.
3) For a cup of fresh mint tea, you need about three or four fresh leaves per cup. This can depend on the variety and your taste, so experiment. If you are using dried tea leaves, measure out 1 teaspoon of dried tea leaves.
4) Put them ( fresh spearmint leaves or dried leaves whichever you prefer) straight into the teapot.
5) Pour the boiled water (which should be between 176 to 185°F/80 to 85°C) over the tea and cover it to keep the aroma trapped. Allow the tea to steep for three minutes.
6) Pour the tea from the teapot using a tea strainer. Serve the tea with a fresh mint leaf or mint flower in the cup.
Enjoy your warm and refreshing cuppa!
How to Make Spearmint Iced Tea
Spearmint grows like wildfire with little or no attention. If you’ve never planted spearmint, put a plant or two near your back door, then don’t be afraid to use it in all types of recipes. It’s unbelievable the zing fresh mint adds to even the simplest of recipes.
1) 2 cups cold water
2) 1 regular-size tea bags
3) 1-2 fresh spearmint leaves
4) ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
5) Freshly squeezed lemon juice (Don’t even think of using bottled)
1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the teabag and spearmint. Let’s steep for 15 minutes.
2. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a heatproof container. Add the sugar, lemon juice, and remaining 1 cup cold water and stir or shake until the sugar is dissolved.
3. Let cool, then chill and serve over ice.