A total of 180 participants were randomly allocated to receive a drink of peppermint tea, chamomile tea or hot water. Before they consumed their drink they completed questionnaires relating to their mood.
After a twenty minute rest the participants completed tests that assessed their memory and a range of other cognitive functions. Following the tests participants completed another mood questionnaire.
Analysis of the results showed that peppermint tea significantly improved long term memory, working memory and alertness compared to both chamomile and hot water. Chamomile tea significantly slowed memory and attention speed compared to both peppermint and hot water.
Dr Moss said that it’s interesting to see the contrasting effects on mood and cognition of the two different herbal teas. The enhancing and arousing effects of peppermint and the calming/sedative effects of chamomile observed in this study are in keeping with the claimed properties of these herbs and suggest beneficial effects can be drawn from their use.