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Peppermint Tea & Acid Reflux

by
author image May Fredenburg
May Fredenburg has been writing for publication for more than 30 years. She has covered topics ranging from education, health and nutrition to business and politics. She holds a Bachelor of Science in education and has taken classes in audio engineering and video and film directing and producing.
Peppermint Tea & Acid Reflux
A cup of peppermint. Photo Credit YelenaYemchuk/iStock/Getty Images

Peppermint tea can serve as a natural digestive aid and as a remedy for a variety of ills, from sinus congestion to irritable bowel syndrome. Despite the prevalence of peppermint flavor in after-dinner mints and over-the-counter antacids, however, peppermint tea is not the best choice to treat acid reflux, or heartburn. In fact, peppermint can make the problem worse, especially for people who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Too Much Relaxation

The esophagus is connected directly to the stomach but is separated by a sphincter muscle that allows flow in only one direction. When the sphincter muscle is closed, food goes into the stomach but doesn’t go back out. Peppermint tea can relax the stomach muscles, which can aid in digestion, but this also relaxes the sphincter so that stomach acid can back up into the esophagus -- hence the term “acid reflux” -- and burn the lining of the esophagus. So if you have heartburn, don't reach for that cup of peppermint tea.

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