The effectiveness of mint tea as a painkiller.

8 January 2010

A team working out of Newcastle University has proved that a cup of Brazilian mint tea has pain-relieving qualities matching those of commonly available painkillers. Hyptis crenata (Brazilian Mint) has been prescribed by Brazilian healers for millennia to treat multiple ailments.

In the study, published in the journal Acta Horticulturae, the scientists conducted research throughout Brazil into the most popular way of preparation and consumption of the herb. The favored method was to boil the dried leaves for 30 minutes, allow the liquid to cool, and the drink it as a tea. They then mimicked this traditional treatment in their tests.

Having seen successful results in mice the team now intends to launch clinical trails to see how effective the pain relief is in people.

Lead researcher Graciela Rocha said: "Since humans first walked the Earth we have looked to plants to provide a cure for our ailments - in fact it is estimated more than 50,000 plants are used worldwide for medicinal purposes. What we have done is to take a plant that is widely used to safely treat pain and scientifically proven that it works as well as some synthetic drugs.” She states that “the next step is to find out how and why the plant works.”

The research will be presented at the International Symposium on Medicinal and Nutraceutical Plants in New Delhi, India.

: Herbal Medicine

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