Can Drinking Spearmint Tea Help Balance Your Hormones?

Dr. Jolene BrightenPublished: Last Reviewed: Balancing Your Hormones, Hormones Leave a Comment

Spearmint has garnered attention for its potential to balance androgens and alleviate symptoms associated with conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), as well as its ability to support digestive health. Research has found that drinking spearmint tea is an effective way to address hirsutism and other symptoms of high testosterone, as we’ll discuss in this article. 

Chances are you've consumed spearmint oil or extract before, most likely in the form of mint chewing gum or spearmint tea, which is brewed from the leaves of the spearmint plant. Did you know that spearmint, known for its refreshing taste and smell, offers more than just pleasant breath-freshening effects?

In this article, explore the hormonal benefits of spearmint tea, its role in managing PCOS symptoms, and considerations for spearmint's use, including guidance on choosing the best form to suit your needs, whether it be capsules or spearmint tea.

Discover why spearmint is linked to potential health benefits such as:

Benefits of Spearmint Tea for Hormonal Health

Spearmint (Mentha spicata L.) is a fragrant herb in the mint family that not only has culinary uses but is also known for its role in supporting health due to the various protective compounds it contains.

What are the benefits of spearmint tea? 

When you drink spearmint tea you are consuming beneficial compounds that support balanced testosterone levels, which can help with unwanted symptoms like:

  • Hair loss
  • Hirsutism (hair growth in unwanted areas)
  • Acne
  • Irregular periods

Spearmint benefits also include:

  • Supporting blood sugar balance
  • Increasing focus
  • Promoting healthy digestion
  • Reducing gas, bloating, and indigestion

The benefits of spearmint tea are due to its many health-promoting antioxidants and compounds, including:

  • Menthol: This aromatic compound gives spearmint its characteristic cooling sensation and is known for its soothing properties, which can help manage digestive discomfort and promote relaxation.
  • Rosmarinic acid: A potent antioxidant found in spearmint, rosmarinic acid has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, contributing to gut health and immune defenses,
  • Flavonoids: Spearmint is rich in flavonoids, such as limonene, dihydroxyflavone, and luteolin, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
  • Essential oils: Spearmint contains essential oils like carvone, cineol, and myrcene, which contribute to its scent and therapeutic properties. These oils have been associated with a range of benefits, including digestive support and stress relief.

Drinking Spearmint Tea for PCOS

Research suggests that spearmint tea can potentially help alleviate symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common hormonal disorder affecting up to 10% of reproductive-aged women. 

While there is no known cure for PCOS, medications can help manage the symptoms, but they often have side effects. Researchers have explored the potential of plant products—including spearmint and other herbs—to help naturally treat PCOS symptoms by reducing inflammation, hormonal imbalances, oxidative stress, and other processes involved in the condition.

Reduce Androgen Symptoms

Both human and animal studies have shown that spearmint tea consumption can help to reduce androgen levels, such as testosterone and DHEA, which are often elevated in people with PCOS. Spearmint tea may help manage symptoms like hirsutism (excessive hair growth), acne, and irregular menstrual cycle by lowering androgen levels.

In one small study that included 42 women with PCOS, after consuming spearmint tea twice daily for one month, on average, participants experienced a significant decrease in free and total testosterone levels and a decrease in hirsutism.

Another study found that spearmint and flaxseed used together were beneficial for improving PCOS symptoms due to the combination of spearmint's anti-androgenic activity and flaxseed's phytoestrogens, which could mimic the effects of estrogen. Together, the two contributed to greater hormonal health and fewer PCOS symptoms.

Improved Metabolic Health

A meta-analysis found that tea supplementation, including green tea and spearmint tea, could have positive effects on body weight (BMI) and insulin and glucose levels (markers of metabolic health) in adults with PCOS. This suggests that regular tea consumption may make it easier to lose weight with PCOS when combined with a healthy PCOS diet.

How Spearmint Tea for PCOS Works

Some research suggests that compounds found in spearmint, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, may have anti-androgenic effects that could be beneficial for PCOS.

One proposed mechanism is that spearmint may inhibit enzymes responsible for converting testosterone into the more potent androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT). By reducing DHT levels, spearmint may help lower overall androgen levels and alleviate symptoms like hirsutism and acne associated with PCOS.

Additionally, some studies indicate that spearmint may have an impact on regulating certain hormones involved in PCOS, such as luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which can contribute to the hormonal imbalances seen in the condition.

How Is Spearmint Used?

Spearmint can be consumed in various forms, including fresh leaves, dried leaves for tea, essential oil, or supplements like spearmint capsules or extracts. 

To make spearmint tea at home, simply steep fresh or dried spearmint leaves (about one or two tablespoons) in hot water for several minutes, then strain the leaves and enjoy the tea hot or cold.

Most of the studies on drinking spearmint tea for PCOS or hormone issues are based on 2 or more cups daily. 

Spearmint supplements are also available in capsule form for convenience and typically are taken by mouth with water according to the product's instructions.

Spearmint is most commonly used in addition to nutrition, lifestyle, and medications. While spearmint has many wonderful benefits, it is best leveraged as an adjunct therapy.

Being patient is key. It can take a month or more to see results, although you may notice changes sooner. If you already have hirsutism, spearmint will not reduce the hairs already there. But by way of supporting healthy testosterone levels, it can help lessen the likelihood new ones will start growing.

Spearmint Supplements

Spearmint supplement dosage varies based on what it is being used for with dosages ranging from 100 mg to 900 mg, the latter being most widely used for memory support. It’s important to consult your doctor if you are considering a spearmint supplement. 

Spearmint supplements are often used by women with PCOS and have the advantage of being more convenient than tea.

In some cases, spearmint will be part of a combination supplement. This is how you will find it in my MyoInositol Plus. It’s specifically formulated with a combination of inositol, D-chiro-inositol, vitamins, minerals, and herbs, including spearmint leaf, for comprehensive hormone support, particularly for those with conditions like PCOS. 

Inositol is a natural compound found in the body that assists in glucose metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and egg maturation. Supplementing with extra inositol can be helpful for blood sugar regulation in those with PCOS because it regulates cell signaling pathways for hormones and neurotransmitters.

This specific inositol formula was created to offer support for overall hormone health, including balancing elevated androgens. 

If you're interested in supplements to help PCOS, you can learn more here.

Can You Drink Spearmint Tea Every Day?

Spearmint tea is generally safe for most people to drink daily. Based on study findings, drinking two cups of spearmint tea per day is enough to have positive effects on hormones and digestion.

While spearmint tea is usually well-tolerated, people with certain health conditions or allergies to any type of mint should exercise caution and consult with a healthcare provider before adding spearmint tea to their routine.

Is Spearmint Safe?

In general, spearmint is considered safe for most people when consumed in moderate amounts as a tea (about two cups per day) or added to dishes as a flavoring agent. 

While one or two cups are unlikely to cause side effects, excessive intake of spearmint tea or spearmint supplements can potentially lead to digestive issues or allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to its effects. 

Always be sure to follow recommended dosage guidelines and monitor for any adverse reactions, including an upset stomach or signs of allergies, such as a rash or itchy mouth.

Who Shouldn't Take Spearmint Capsules?

Spearmint supplements, such as capsules or extracts, are not suitable for everyone, including:

  • Those with gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux, who might experience worsened symptoms from minty and spicy foods or supplements.
  • People with liver or kidney disorders.
  • Those who are allergic to any type of mint.
  • Pregnancy

For people with hormonal imbalances, including PCOS, who are being treated with medications, it's important to work with a healthcare provider when introducing spearmint supplements. 

Additionally, pregnant or breastfeeding women should seek medical advice before taking spearmint capsules or other spearmint supplements.

Key Takeaways on Drinking Spearmint Tea for Hormone Balance

  • Spearmint tea and supplements offer potential benefits for hormone balance, particularly for those with conditions like PCOS, characterized by elevated androgens. 
  • For most adults, it's safe to consume one or two cups of spearmint tea daily.
  • Spearmint is included in my MyoInositol Plus formula, which can help balance elevated androgens and promote hormonal health.
  • Always follow dosage guidelines and with a healthcare provider if you have any underlying health concerns or conditions before beginning to use spearmint capsules. Remember, while spearmint supplements and tea do have benefits, they are not intended to treat or cure.

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References

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  2. Sadeghi Ataabadi M, Alaee S, Bagheri MJ, Bahmanpoor S. Role of Essential Oil of Mentha Spicata (Spearmint) in Addressing Reverse Hormonal and Folliculogenesis Disturbances in a Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in a Rat Model. Adv Pharm Bull. 2017. 7(4). 651-654.
  3. Zhang LL, Chen Y, Li ZJ, Li X, Fan G. Bioactive properties of the aromatic molecules of spearmint (Mentha spicata L.) essential oil: a review. Food Funct. 2022. 13(6). 3110-3132.
  4. Abdolhosseini, Shahrbanoo; Hashem-Dabaghian, Fataneh; Mokaberinejad, Roshanak; Sadeghpour, Omid; Mehrabani, Mitra. Effects of Pomegranate and Spearmint Syrup on Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal. 2017. 19.
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  6. D'Arrigo G, Gianquinto E, Rossetti G, Cruciani G, Lorenzetti S, Spyrakis F. Binding of Androgen- and Estrogen-Like Flavonoids to Their Cognate (Non)Nuclear Receptors: A Comparison by Computational Prediction. Molecules. 2021. 26(6). 1613.
  7. Grant P. Spearmint herbal tea has significant anti-androgen effects in polycystic ovarian syndrome. A randomized controlled trial. Phytother Res. 2010. 24(2). 186-8.
  8. Jung W, Choi H, Kim J, Kim J, Kim W, Nurkolis F, Kim B. Effects of natural products on polycystic ovary syndrome: From traditional medicine to modern drug discovery. Heliyon. 2023. 9(10).
  9. Sadeghi Ataabadi M, Alaee S, Bagheri MJ, Bahmanpoor S. Role of Essential Oil of Mentha Spicata (Spearmint) in Addressing Reverse Hormonal and Folliculogenesis Disturbances in a Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in a Rat Model. Adv Pharm Bull. 2017. 7(4). 651-654.
  10. Mehraban M, Jelodar G, Rahmanifar F. A combination of spearmint and flaxseed extract improved endocrine and histomorphology of ovary in experimental PCOS. J Ovarian Res. 2020. 13(1). 32.
  11. Shen W, Pan Y, Jin B, Zhang Z, You T, Qu Y, Han M, Yuan X, Zhang Y. Effects of Tea Consumption on Anthropometric Parameters, Metabolic Indexes and Hormone Levels of Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2021. 12.
About The Author

Dr. Jolene Brighten

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Dr. Jolene Brighten, NMD, is a women’s hormone expert and prominent leader in women’s medicine. As a licensed naturopathic physician who is board certified in naturopathic endocrinology, she takes an integrative approach in her clinical practice. A fierce patient advocate and completely dedicated to uncovering the root cause of hormonal imbalances, Dr. Brighten empowers women worldwide to take control of their health and their hormones. She is the best selling author of Beyond the Pill and Healing Your Body Naturally After Childbirth. Dr. Brighten is an international speaker, clinical educator, medical advisor within the tech community, and considered a leading authority on women’s health. She is a member of the MindBodyGreen Collective and a faculty member for the American Academy of Anti Aging Medicine. Her work has been featured in the New York Post, Forbes, Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, Bustle, The Guardian, Sports Illustrated, Elle, and ABC News. Read more about me here.