Acute consumption of Peppermint and Chamomile teas produce contrasting effects on cognition and mood in healthy young adults

Mark Moss, Robert Jones, Lucy Moss, Richard Cutter, Keith Wesnes

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Abstract

This study aimed to assess the acute effects of Peppermint and Chamomile herbal teas on cognitive performance and mood in healthy young adults. A single factor independent groups design was employed. One hundred and eighty undergraduate students volunteered to take part in the study for which they received course credit. Participants were randomly allocated to one of three treatments: Peppermint tea, Chamomile tea or hot water (Control). Mood scales were completed and participants then consumed their drink over a ten minute period and rested for twenty minutes. Cognitive performance was assessed using a tailored version of The Cognitive Drug Research (CDR) computerised assessment system. Post testing mood scales were then completed. Data were analysed using independent groups ANOVAs followed by Tukey post hoc comparisons. The analysis revealed that Peppermint tea significantly improved long term memory and speed of memory compared to both Chamomile and control treatments. Chamomile tea significantly slowed speed of attention and impaired working memory compared to the Peppermint treatment. Peppermint tea significantly increased subjective alertness compared to the Chamomile and control conditions. Chamomile significantly increased subjective calmness compared to the Peppermint treatment. The data show that acute consumption of Peppermint and Chamomile teas can impact on cognition and mood in healthy adults in contrasting directions. The enhancing and arousing effects of Peppermint and calming/sedative effects of Chamomile observed are in keeping with the purported properties of these herbs and suggest beneficial effects can be drawn from their use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-336
Number of pages10
JournalPlant Science Today
Volume3
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2016

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