Peppermint is a plant with highly minty flavored oil in its leaves. It is a hybrid between the watermint and spearmint plants. It is a sterile plant, meaning that it does not produce seeds. It propagates by growing like crazy and trying to take over your garden when you’re not looking (non-scientific explanation). Because of its ability to grow most anywhere, it is often considered a weed, and an invasive species, especially in the United States and Australia. Mint leaves and oil have long been used as traditional medicine, and in more recent history as flavoring for candies, confections, and personal care products. Peppermint is recommended by some as a remedy for upset stomach, nausea or morning sickness due to pregnancy. But does it actually work?
- Better for You – natural peppermint oil is a healthier alternative than pharmaceuticals, and it’s way better than throwing up any day
- Saves Money – if you know where some peppermint is growing, you can get mint leaves for free. Otherwise it is one of the lowest cost nausea remedies available
- All natural – it’s easy to make your own peppermint oil tea
- Works pretty well – the best morning sickness remedy I found
- Freshens breath – a nice little side effect especially for 1st trimester moms who gag just by thinking about their toothbrush
- Flavor burn out can occur if used too often (you get sick and tired of it)
About six months ago I had a friend visit who I hadn’t seen in a while. She was newly pregnant, about 10 weeks along, and feeling pretty miserable. When I offered her something to drink she asked just for a cup of hot water and proceeded to brew her own cup of peppermint tea from a stash in her purse. I asked about this as I had never heard of peppermint tea for morning sickness. My friend told me this was about the only thing she could tolerate, and it really did help her feel better. I love learning new things!
Several months later, it was my turn to do the pregnancy thing again. My first trimester was a rough one. With past pregnancies I had morning sickness in the morning or in the evening, but with this one I was sick all. day. long. As I started losing weight (a first for me with any pregnancy) I knew I would have to try something different in order to get some food to stay in.
Thankfully, peppermint is abundant in my life. Peppermint tea bags are available for free in the work kitchenette. I have a small patch of peppermint (weed) that I allow to have a small corner of my flower garden. And it seems there are always peppermint candies around if I need one.
I started with the tea. I needed to keep hydrated after the regular vomiting, and liked that tea was easily available at work. (It’s also freezing in my office, and it was nice to hold onto a warm cup in those ice cold conference rooms). Most mornings I would start off with a cup of peppermint tea, slowly sipping it over the course of 30 min until it was too col to be palatable. And you know what? It actually worked! Not just while I was drinking the tea, but for at least an hour afterward. The nausea faded, and I could get in a quick snack. I even found that smelling the tea as it brewed and was still too hot to drink helped make that “urpy” feeling fade a bit.
I tried making my own peppermint tea from my collection of mint weeds in the garden and this is what I learned: 1) It takes A LOT of mint leaves to equal the amount of leaves in a tea bag. There was no way my small patch could sustain me for more than a day or two. 2) The tea worked about the same as my 100% peppermint tea bags. 3) I was in my first trimester and could barely get myself dressed and out the door to work in the morning let alone harvest, prepare, and brew some homemade mint tea. Peppermint tea clearly fell into the “Buy It” category for me on this nifty “Make it or Buy it” decision tree.
Finally – the peppermint candies. I found they worked okay, mainly I felt because they kept my mouth slightly distracted. However, I didn’t really like the sweet, sugary film coating my teeth after sucking on one of these for a while. And since pregnant women tend to have more cavity prone mouths (most of the few cavities I’ve ever gotten were while pregnant) I decided to stick with the tea.
Overall, the peppermint really worked to help curb my queasiness! I found the effects to be reasonable long lasting, and the price and time investment is quite low. It was great to have a new weapon in my fight against morning sickness, and I will definitely recommend to all new mothers-to-be. If peppermint hasn’t worked for you, check out my other reviews of papaya and ginger – maybe one of those will do the trick instead!
Have you ever tried peppermint for an upset stomach? What else works for you when you’re feeling queasy?
PS – You know I’m not a doctor, right? This information is based on my experience only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Your experience may vary, even from one pregnancy to the next. Please remember to speak with your healthcare professional about any medical concerns you have, and follow their recommended course of treatment. You can read additional fine print details here.
Peppermint tea was the opposite for me for morning sickness. I’m a glutton for punishment and tried it repeatedly because I had heard that it worked and I was desperate for relief while in the office. It made my morning sickness worse every time to the point I couldn’t even smell it without throwing up. It actually took years after that before I could enjoy peppermint tea again (in a non-pregnant state).
It’s just like everything else…will work for some, not others.
Oh no, Regan! I’m so sorry to hear that 🙁
Thanks for the post. I know peppermint is good for digestive issues and we’ve used it to help settle our stomachs, however, I was not able to tolerate any type of peppermint flavor at all when I was pregnant. This happened during both of my pregnancies, the peppermint made me nauseous. I bought bubble gum flavored toothpaste because of the mint in the regular toothpaste! So, I’m glad to see it was/is soothing for some pregnant moms. I was just learning about herbs at the time, and would have loved to have tried it! Oh well. Thanks for the info, I’ll pass it on to other moms-to-be! Really enjoy your blog. Reviews are always appreciated!
Oh, I’m sorry it didn’t work for you! Isn’t it funny how every body (and every pregnancy) is different?
YES! Ever since I was little, my mom kept a bottle of pure Oil of Peppermint in our medicine cabinet. I threw up regularly as a kid, and would have done a lot more if not for the “heading off” effect of the peppermint. It usually works for my husband and myself even now! I also like ginger.
Can’t wait to try it pregnant, hopefully it will still work. =)
Great idea! I’m thnking that sniffing at a couple mint leaves might do the trick too. I will definitely try it out next time one of us feels woozy.
I’ve never been pregnant (and honestly, I don’t even want to be!), but during stressful periods at work I suffer from stomach problems and I started drink a herbal tea which is:
1/3 peppermint tea
1/3 liquorice tea
With one cup my stomach is like new and the tea tastes AWESOME! 🙂 Maybe you can try this, just as an alternative to plain peppermint tea. I would be curious to know if it works for morning sickness too.
The most common remedy I’ve heard, however, is eating something salty, like crackers with salt crystals.
This sounds like a great tea, Sara. Do you mix it up yourself?
Unfortunately I cannot grow any plant myself….I have tried with few herbs and nice flowers, but they tend to die under my eyes. I suppose I don’t have the green thumb, so I have stopped committing “plant massacres”.
I just buy the teabags or have it made in a health store.
HI Sara – planting mint might be worth a try. I’m not sure where you are, but as long as it gets water, mint will try to take over the world. Some days I WISH I could kill it out fo my garden!
I got a lot of relief from peppermint tea in my second pregnancy (which miscarried at 7 weeks). My first pregnancy’s nausea got off to a bad start because I happened to be vacationing in a place where the water tasted terrible, so I was a little dehydrated when the nausea hit, and then even when I got home I had a hard time drinking significant amounts of liquids until the nausea faded somewhat in the 4th month–but after that, I drank a lot of peppermint tea and found that it helped with nausea and also with tired slumpy feelings, especially if consumed with chocolate! 🙂 A small bite of chocolate melted in my mouth with peppermint tea was a favorite taste treat.
I agree that peppermint candies are not as effective. In addition to the sugar yuck, they may include artificial flavor in addition to (or even instead of) real peppermint oil, so that would explain the lesser effect. Another reason to avoid the typical red-striped mints is that they often contain red food dye, which may cause thyroid problems and is best avoided in general but especially during pregnancy.
Chocolate plus peppermint tea sounds amazing!! Thanks for sharing Becca (and I’m sorry to hear about your loss).
One thing to be wary of is that both peppermint & spearmint have compounds that convert to aspirin in the liver, so while they are useful for nausea, you don’t want to overdo, since the aspirin is a blood thinner. Both teas are a good way to get pain relief from the aspirin into a body with a tender tummy, tho. My grandmother used to drink peppermint tea for arthritis.
Interesting info. Thanks for sharing Marivene!
I’m really glad you found the peppermint so helpful. I didn’t use it during my pregnancy, but it definitely works for upset tummies in our house.
Glad to know it works for non-morning sickness too!
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I never used the peppermint tea. I had HORRIBLE morning (afternoon and evening) sickness through most of the first 7 months of all 9 of my pregnancies. I used 1 drop of peppermint oil under my tongue and then drank a large glass of ICE water. Then I sat for 10 minutes breathing the vapors in deeply. It always stopped or greatly reduced the nausea.
Thanks for the tip on another way to get the peppermint oil in!
Great info. I’ve used mint tea for an upset stomach before and it did work for me. Thank you so much for sharing with Wednesdays Adorned From Above Link Party last week.
Have a great week.
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Maybe I had really mild cases of morning sickness, but I always found that drinking a glass of chocolate milk solved my problem. I also recall that my oldest sister would drink milk when she had morning sickness.
I am 19 and only about 7 weeks pregnant. I absolutely love Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate & Mint Squares. They are so yummy and seem to help immediately. although my nausea has been mild so far they are still really nice to have around.
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I am an occasional psychedelic user and thoroughly enjoy my journeys to the altered planet earth, as well as my journeys to other dimensions. However, with most psychedelic plants comes a downside: nausea. It can be overlooked, but sometimes it can really put you in a negative frame of mind! I have a potted mint plant on my window sill, and if my stomach begins to make a fuss, I just pluck off a shoot, run it under the faucet to wash it off, and chew on 4 or 5 of the leaves. Within minutes my nausea is almost completely gone!
By the way I am not pregnant! Lol! I just thought I’d share here that this is great for treating nausea at the onset of a trip!
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