Both peppermint and chamomile herbs may have medicinal properties and have long histories of human consumption. For instance, peppermint contains menthol, which can be found in products such as cough drops and candy canes. It is well known for providing a cooling sensation in the airways and digestive tract, and is also found in icy-hot type creams that can be rubbed on sore muscles and joints. Chamomile on the other hand, is well known for relieving stomach upset, calming your nerves, and aiding with sleep. Both plants are brewed to make delicious teas, and have endless lists of health benefits.

Researchers from Northumbria University in England, wanted to compare and contrast the effects of peppermint and chamomile on: mood, memory and cognitive functions. 180 volunteers filled out a mood questionnaire and were then randomly given peppermint tea, chamomile tea or hot water. Afterwards, the volunteers were given tests to analyze mood, memory and cognitive functions.

“Each of these herbs have been associated with varying effects on mood and cognitive abilities for centuries, and this study provides scientific backing to the folklore. In addition to improving memory and alertness, peppermint has also been associated with reducing headache pain, nausea, gas, indigestion, colds, diarrhea, and stomach pain. Some even suggest that sipping on peppermint tea can relieve your hangover.

Peppermint was correlated with a boost in mood and cognition. Working memory, long term memory and alertness were enhanced as well. In contrast, those given chamomile tea instead exhibited: a calming sedative effect, slower memory recall and slower attention speed (good if you are trying to fall asleep) . All in all, the study being talked about is correlational, and does not prove anything. However, it does back up overwhelming anecdotal reports which have been passed down through the centuries. These are fascinating beverages which disserve more research. To try these out yourself, I would suggest obtaining loose teas from your local high end coffee shop or online, as grocery store teas may not meet certain quality standards.

Source: Peppermint Tea May Improve Memory, Cognitive Function — Chamomile Tea, Not So Much