http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8373791.stm Cup of mint tea is an effective painkiller I am a big fan of tea, especially Indian tea, which is prepared with lot of cream. Chinese tea, especially green and white has various beneficial effects on health as it is rich in anti-oxidants. I read about Brazilian mint tea, scientific name Hyptis crenata that has pain relieving qualities which are equivalent to the commercially available analgesics. Brazilian tea has been used as pain reliever from ancient times, which is now backed up by a scientific study, which was reported in Acta Horticulture. Frankly speaking I had not heard about the Brazilian mint tea before this and thought would be good information to share with my readers.
A team of researchers from Newcastle University experimented on mice to provide scientific evidence for the Brazilian mint tea. It was interesting to read that the Newcastle team conducted a survey to gain insights about the proper method of preparation of tea for medicinal purpose, which also helped them to determine the amount the tea (dose) required to relieve pain. They found that the most common method was to boil the tea leaves in water for 30 min and let it cool before drinking it. I was bit surprised at this fact, as in most cases, it is recommended to drink tea in heated form.
Lead researcher Graciela Rocha said: "Since humans first walked the Earth we have looked to plants to provide a cure for our ailments - in fact it is estimated more than 50,000 plants are used worldwide for medicinal purposes.” He further stated "besides traditional use, more than half of all prescription drugs are based on a molecule that occurs naturally in a plant.” The research is being presented at the International Symposium on Medicinal and Nutraceutical Plants in New Delhi, India. Now the team wants to conduct a clinical trial to analyze effectiveness of the Brazilian tea in human beings.
The researchers at Newcastle University have taken the first step of scientifically proving effectiveness of the mint tea. The next step involves deeper understanding of the molecule responsible for this pain relieving effect. Dr Beverly Collett, chair of the Chronic Pain Policy Coalition, said: "Obviously further work needs to be done to identify the molecule involved, but this is interesting research into what may be a new analgesic for the future.”
Dr Collett also revealed that aspirin like substances can be found in other ancient cultures such as Greeks used willow bark to treat fever. The leaves and bark of the willow tree contains a substance called as Salicin, a natural occurring substance similar to acetylsalicylic acid, the chemical name for aspirin.
I am sure if you dig through ancient Chinese and Indian cultures, you will find many more natural analgesics. Ayurveda is a bible of such natural remedies. Nature has played key role in uncovering basic ingredients not only for medicine but for engineering as well. As more such molecules are unfolded by scientist, hopefully, we can be treated by natural substances than current drugs, which have tendency for side effects.