Spearmint as a Brain-Boosting Beverage (Caffeine-Free)

Holli Ryan RD, LD/N and Life Extension Staff

What do you turn to when you need to focus? Many people turn to caffeine, especially from coffee.

While coffee (and caffeine) have been shown to be beneficial to our health, there are some caveats and therefore it may not be the best option for everyone across the board.

One issue with stimulants such as caffeinated coffee is that it may interfere with sleep, especially if consumed later in the afternoon and evening. So what else is out there for those who need a boost?

Spearmint Tea

Scientists have developed a stimulant-free instant spearmint tea supplement that has been shown in human clinical studies to support aspects of mental focus such as attention and concentration.

Now, when we say spearmint, we’re not talking about those commercially available flavorings. Sorry, chewing on gum all day won’t have the same effect!

The spearmint used in the instant tea supplement from the research studies contains an array of beneficial phytochemicals, one of which is rosmarinic acid. Phytochemicals are compounds found in plants that have biological activity in the human body.

The spearmint drink is an herbal beverage, which, technically, is not a true tea as it is not derived from Camellia sinensis. Rather, it is a spearmint extract in a powdered form that has been standardized to ensure a beneficial amount of one of the active compounds found in spearmint, the aforementioned rosmarinic acid. As you can tell from the name, rosmarinic acid is also found in rosemary, but it also naturally occurs in several plants within the same family.

How It Works

The clinically studied spearmint supports working memory and spatial working memory.

Working memory is a part of your short-term memory that allows you to store information and manipulate it while working on another mental task. Controlled by the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus, working memory helps maintain attention, focus, and concentration and may enhance movement and reaction times.

Also important for cognitive function is spatial working memory. This is the ability to know where items are arranged in space, such as the layout of your house or how to get around town. Both working memory and spatial working memory are necessary for fully functioning cognitive ability.

Human Studies Show Spearmint Supports Mental Focus

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the spearmint extract was shown to improve both working and spatial memory. These were statistically significant improvements that indicated enhanced alertness of brain function. Additionally, this study even found benefits to mood and sleep!

Bonus: Long-Term Brain Health Benefits

Medical science once believed that humans stop growing new brain cells after adolescence. However, modern research has shown this to be untrue. Yup — it IS possible to generate new brain cells, a process called neurogenesis.

As scientists look into the effects of spearmint, early lab and animal data suggest that it delivers significant support for neurogenesis.

Also, the compounds in spearmintprotect existing brain cells and positively impact the blood vessels that support and nourish them.

Last, but certainly not least, the phytochemicals present in spearmint inhibit acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme that breaks down the vital memory-associated neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

The Bottom Line

Spearmint tea has been shown to be a great option to support mental focus and offers benefits beyond the immediate boost.

What goes hand in hand with a need for quick results? Convenience. You can take these packets with you on the go. These aren’t tea bags but rather a powder that dissolves best in hot water. For more information, call a Life Extension Wellness Specialist at 1-800-226-2370.

About the author: Holli (Lapes) Ryan RD, LD/N is a Social Media Content Specialist at Life Extension. She is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist residing in the South Florida area. Holli believes that quality dietary supplements are an essential tool that have a variety of applications from maintaining good health to managing chronic disease. 








References:

  1. Herrlinger KA, Nieman KM, Sanoshy KD, et al. Spearmint Extract Improves Working Memory in Men and Women with Age-Associated Memory Impairment. J Altern Complement Med. 2018;24(1):37-47.
  2. Fonseca BA, Herrlinger KA. The effects of a proprietary spearmint extract on neurogenesis rates in rat hippocampal neurons. Paper presented at: Neuroscience2016; San Diego, CA.
  3. Farr SA, Niehoff ML, Ceddia MA, et al. Effect of botanical extracts containing carnosic acid or rosmarinic acid on learning and memory in SAMP8 mice. Physiol Behav. 2016;165:328-38.
  4. Nieman KM, Sanoshy KD, Bresciani L, et al. Tolerance, bioavailability, and potential cognitive health implications of a distinct aqueous spearmint extract. Functional Foods in Health and Disease. 2015;5(5):165 of 87.
  5. Boldrini M, Fulmore CA, Tartt AN, et al. Human Hippocampal Neurogenesis Persists throughout Aging. Cell Stem Cell. 2018;22(4):589-99.e5.

1 comments :

HOW TO MAKE SMILE said...

Great post! I didn’t know about several of these resources and I’m going to go check them out now! hole io

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