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When you think of chocolate mint you make be seeing ice cream or even hot chocolate. But there is an actual chocolate mint plant that makes an excellent herbal tea loaded with benefits. Chocolate mint health benefits include boosting the immune system, treating digestive issues, skincare, helping reduce pain and inflammation, relief from respiratory problems, weight loss, better dental health, and even treatment for anxiety. Pretty impressive herb right?
Chocolate mint leaves are from the mint family and are pretty easy to grow in an herb garden. A perennial plant, chocolate mint doesn’t need much care and can even be grown in pots. The plant prefers moist, well-drained soils that are rich in organic matter. Chocolate mint benefits come from the leaves of the plant, so you will want to leave a few for harvesting before stems die back in fall.
If you examine these herbal plants closely they are pretty super individually. Cacao nibs contain antioxidant properties that are 4 times more powerful than blueberries. The chocolate flavor comes from the seeds that hold an estimated 300 flavor compounds. Mint is super healthy for you too. In fact, mint provides two times more antioxidants compared to broccoli and 4 times more nutrients than oranges1.
Related: We Found the Perfect Tea To Fight Inflammation
There are different types of mint or mint varieties that have different flavors and benefits. Chocolate mint is dark in color and has a very rich chocolate flavor with a hint of mint. Peppermint has a strong odor and more powerful menthol than most mints, and orange or bergamot mint smells like oranges or bergamot.
In ancient Egyptian times, mint was considered the herb of happiness. In Europe, mint tea is traditionally served after dinner. The chocolate mint plant has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat digestive problems such as diarrhea and stomach aches. A cultivar of peppermint has been found in a 3,000-year-old Chinese grave2.
Mint leaves have been found in the tombs of ancient Egyptian pharaohs and were also found next to two mummies in King Tut’s tomb. As far as medicinal uses go, the herb was thought to bring eternal youth to the pharaohs. From breath mints to nutrition bars, mint is everywhere.
Chocolate Mint Benefits
1. Treats digestive problems
Mint, like ginger and chamomile, is a carminative herb. This means it can help with bloating and intestinal gas. Chocolate mint benefits also include relieving symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn and upset stomach. Issues like gastroesophageal reflux disease and irritable bowel syndrome can be improved with the regular consumption of chocolate mint3.
2. Boosts immune system
Chocolate mint has antimicrobial properties that can help fight infections. Mint also contains antioxidants that are found in larger amounts than many other herbs, fruits, or vegetables. With more nutrients per calorie than any other food, mint is known to have anti-inflammatory benefits and is good for the immune system4.
3. Treats pain and inflammation
Mint has been used in ancient times to treat toothaches and reduce swelling from a sprained ankle. Chocolate mint leaves have a cooling sensation on the skin when applied topically, so they can be used to relieve symptoms of arthritis, gout, and other inflammatory conditions. Chocolate mint is also known to help with heartburn and indigestion. It can also reduce the risk of heart disease5.
4. Relieves respiratory problems
Chocolate mint benefits include relief from stuffy noses and coughing fits due to its antiseptic properties that fight against sinus infections and colds. Peppermint oil is great for clearing up congestion, and peppermint oil has been used to treat bronchitis. Chocolate mint oil has also been shown to help with asthma6.
5. Helps with weight loss
Chocolate mint is rich in dietary fiber and can help stabilize blood sugar levels by slowing the release of sugars into the bloodstream. Mint is a “top” or dominant flavor in various detox teas that can help cleanse the body and shed water weight quickly.
Chocolate mint is a popular flavor of many nutrition bars for this reason. Mint has been used to suppress the appetite and there are hints of mint in weight loss teas. Mint can also help beat cravings when added to detox teas and capsules with other herbs such as green tea, guarana, and kola nut7.
Related: This Herbal Tea is a Game-Changer for Weight Loss
6. Improves Skin
Chocolate mint is a great option for improving skin. Beauty products commonly use chocolate or mint extracts for skin-soothing and anti-inflammatory benefits. The vitamin A in mint can help reduce wrinkles and improve skin tone. Drinking tea is great for the skin, and the antioxidants in mint can help with inflammation8.
Related: DIY Chocolate Face Mask For Clear Skin
7. Can reduce cold symptoms
Mint is traditionally used to help reduce mucus production and alleviate cold symptoms. Drinking fresh mint tea or eating fresh mint leaves can make you feel better when suffering from a cold or flu. Chocolate mint tea is loaded with antioxidants and benefits and can also improve respiratory function. Drinking this tea has been shown to help protect the body from oxidative damage9.
Related: This Is the Very Best Tea To Brew If You Have a Sore Throat, According to an ENT Doctor
8. Boosts mood
Chocolate mint benefits include improved mental health, increased focus, and reduced stress levels. Mint contains phytochemicals that induce a calming sensation in the body. Mint can also provide a natural feeling of euphoria, so chocolate mint is sometimes used as an ingredient in some marijuana strains that are designed to provide both pain relief and feelings of relaxation.
9. Increases energy
Chocolate mint has been shown to improve stamina and endurance during exercise. Athletes have also used mint as a stimulant before exercising or participating in sports. Chocolate in general is great for energy due to its caffeine content, and this effect has been combined with the energy-boosting effects of mint in many pre-workout supplements.
10. Improve brain function
Chocolate mint can help with memory loss, fatigue, and age-related cognitive decline. Mint has been shown to improve circulation in the brain by dilating blood vessels in that area of the body. Higher levels of blood flow in the brain are also associated with preventing or slowing down Alzheimer’s disease10.
11. Relieves headaches
Mint is used to treat headaches that are caused by tension because it can reduce muscle pain. Chocolate mint is also used to lessen symptoms of migraines by eliminating the pain associated with them. This herb is also used to improve mood, which is often a key factor in migraines11.
Our favorite chocolate mint tea brands
Drinking chocolate mint tea is a delicious way to improve your overall health. If you are a lover of dark chocolate or mint leaves this herb is right up your alley. The health benefits of chocolate mint are wide-ranging, and this herb is worth adding to your daily regimen.
To enjoy the mint flavor with a hint of chocolate:
- tea strainer
- dried leaves
- hot water
- paper towel
- favorite mug
Brew the tea by pouring boiling water over the dried leaves, covering with a lid, and letting steep for 10 minutes. If you would like to add some cane sugar (or honey), this is the time to do it. Remove the tea leaves or bags, then enjoy! If you want more mint flavor in your cup of tea, you can always add more leaves or bags to your brew.
Peppermint leaves are easy to grow in your garden, but you can also grow them indoors in pots on a sunny windowsill. Check out your local nursery for starter herb plants or seeds, and enjoy the benefits of chocolate mint for yourself!