Research shows that a unique mint herb from Brazil can reduce pain as much as conventional painkillers, making a brew of mint tea an effective cure for stomach ache, headaches and period pains...
New research has shown that a unique mint herb from Brazil can reduce pain as much as conventional painkillers, making a brew of mint tea an effective cure for stomach ache, headaches and period pains.
The Hyptis crenata herb has long been used in Brazil to treat mild pain, but until now it had never been subjected to scientific testing.
To find out if the herb really works as a pain reliever, researchers at the University of Newcastle consulted Brazilian healers to find out how they prepare the tea. They then made up a solution for mice containing the equivalent dosage of what most healers use for patients.
They tested both asprin and mint tea on mice, and found that both treatments were equally effective.
'We were really surprised by how well it worked,' Graciela Rocha, who led the study, told The Times. Ms Rocha, who is Brazilian, was given the tea as a child.
'The taste isn't what most people in the UK would recognise as mint, it is more like sage,' she said. 'It's not that nice really, but then medicine isn't supposed to be nice, is it?'
However, experts warn shoppers not to get confused between Hyptis Crenata tea, and herbal mint teas such as those readily available in supermarkets.
'It should be noted that the study was on a Brazilian plant called Hyptis crenata and not a cup of normal mint tea, as some headlines have implied,' warns medical website netdoctor.co.uk.
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