Peppermint: A Healthy Herbal Tea for the Holidays
Everyone has their holiday rituals, and many of us have certain holiday foods that occupy a special place in our hearts. I wish I could say that mine was butternut squash soup or another healthy, hearty dish. But, no. As a teenager growing up in Washington, DC with a certain ubiquitous corporate coffee shop on every corner (and sometimes in-between), I rather shamefully admit that my yearly holiday vice was a peppermint mocha with whipped cream and red sprinkles.
I know. I know. Not exactly the healthiest choice. I imagine that the coffee-to-corn syrup ratio was roughly equal, and it wasn’t so much a “morning pick-me-up” as “a week’s worth of dessert.”
Why was this my favorite holiday treat? Well, peppermint is a classic wintry, holiday flavor. During this season when candy canes bedeck gift baskets and Christmas trees, many of us start to crave minty treats. Unfortunately, most of those minty treats are coated in chocolate and absolutely loaded with sugar.
It’s easy to forget sometimes that peppermint is actually an herb, not a candy–and a healthy one at that!
Nowadays, instead of ducking into a coffee shop for my peppermint fix, I simply brew myself up a cup of organic peppermint tea, and my stomach is so much happier for it.
Peppermint tea is one of the few non-juice drinks permitted on the Gerson Therapy, and for good reason. Peppermint tea soothes the stomach, and helps relieve nausea, digestive discomfort and gas.
Because of its soothing properties, peppermint tea is more than just a tasty warm drink. It also has an important therapeutic role in the Gerson Therapy.
When Gerson patients experience flare-ups and healing reactions that cause digestive distress, nausea and vomiting, they are encouraged to drink as much peppermint tea as possible. In cases where patients are vomiting and unable to stomach the juices, the peppermint tea does a double-duty: it provides the patient with the necessary fluids to prevent dehydration, and at the same time works to settle the stomach.*
If you want to make your own fresh peppermint tea, peppermint is quite easy to grow in your garden, a pot, or even in your windowsill. Just boil the fresh leaves in distilled water, let it steep for about 12-15 minutes, and then strain it into your cup. One heaping tablespoon of fresh peppermint leaves will make one cup of tea. If you’re making a few cups at once, the ratio of water to leaves should be 1 tbsp mint for every 1 cup of water.
You can also buy organic peppermint tea at most health food stores, either loose or in bags. Just add boiling distilled water, and let it steep.
Voilà! A warm, minty mug of holiday cheer!
*For more on using peppermint tea during healing reactions and flare-ups, read page 189-190 of Healing the Gerson Way by Charlotte Gerson.
About the Author
Ally Bacaj is the Gerson Institute’s Communications Specialist.
Ally manages the design and content of our website and writes, edits and collects contributions for our blog. She also shares information about the Gerson Therapy and nutrition on our Facebook page and on Twitter @GersonInstitute.
In her spare time, you can find Ally exploring flea markets, taking in live music and, this time of year, curled up with a mug of hot herbal tea.