A recent study from Newcastle University in England suggests that Brazilian mint tea may have pain relieving properties. In fact, the tea may provide as much relief from pain as traditional drugs.
For centuries, the herb hyptis crenata has been ingested by people of South America to treat a variety of medical problems including pain relief. Anecdotal reports have circulated for many years that individuals who drink Brazilian mint tea feel relaxed and have a higher tolerance to pain.
Working on mice, researchers in Newcastle proved that this herb nay indeed have pain killing properties. The researchers first undertook a survey on Brazilians to determine the quantity and frequency of use of this herb for pain relief. The most common method of ingestion was to boil dried leaves in water for 30 minutes and allow the liquid to cool before drinking it as a beverage.
The researchers found that when the mint was consumed at doses similar to that prescribed by traditional healers, the beverage was as effective at relieving pain as the NSAID drug indomethacin.
Said lead researcher Garciela Rocha, "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. "Besides traditional use, more than half of all prescription drugs are based on a molecule that occurs naturally in a plant.”
She added, "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. Now the next step is to find out how and why the plant works."