Spearmint tea is a popular herbal tea that is often consumed for its refreshing taste and potential health benefits. Evidence suggests that spearmint tea can help to reduce acne, a common skin condition characterized by the appearance of red or inflamed pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads.
One study conducted in Iran in 2010 found that spearmint tea may have a mild anti-androgenic effect in women with hirsutism, a condition characterized by excess facial and body hair. This study involved 60 women who were given either spearmint tea or a placebo for five days. The researchers found that the group who consumed the spearmint tea had a significant reduction in free testosterone levels compared to the placebo group. Testosterone is a hormone that is linked to the development of acne.
Another study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment in 2002 found that topical application of a spearmint extract improved acne symptoms in a group of 40 patients. However, this study did not involve the consumption of spearmint tea, and it is not clear if the benefits observed in this study would also be seen with oral consumption of spearmint tea.
While these findings suggest that spearmint tea may have some potential benefits for acne, more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind these effects and to determine the optimal dosage and duration of treatment. It is also important to note that spearmint tea is not a replacement for established acne treatments, such as topical retinoids or benzoyl peroxide, and should not be used as a sole treatment for acne.
Given it's low likelihood of harm and potential benefit I see a role for this therapy as a part of an overall acne treatment plan.
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Kargar, M., et al. (2010). The effect of spearmint (Mentha spicata Labiatae) tea on hirsutism in women. Phytotherapy Research, 24(2), 186-188.
Akhondzadeh, S., et al. (2002). A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of topical spearmint oil in the treatment of mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris. Journal of Dermatological Treatment, 13(2), 87-91.