September 3, 2013

Drinking Spearmint Tea … For Science!


So for shits and giggles, I went out and bought some spearmint tea after posting that last article about alternative anti-androgens. Not because I think it will help, but because it can’t hurt, can it? 

Besides, there’s at least a little evidence that it has a biological effect, at least in a certain use case. The most prominent study that looked at the effect of spearmint on androgen levels, Spearmint herbal tea has significant anti-androgen effects in polycystic ovarian syndrome” by Grant,was not looking at men, or transwomen, but ciswomen afflicted with hirsutism. The women in the study drank 250ml (aproximately 8oz) of tea twice daily, for thirty days. They were compared to a control group who did not drink the tea. 

The results, while statistically significant, were not exactly earth-shattering. Specifically, the study traced the Free and Total Testosterone levels in women with hirsutism. They did find that ” Free and total testosterone levels were significantly reduced over the 30 day period in the spearmint tea group,” and concluded that ” It was demonstrated and confirmed that spearmint has antiandrogen properties.” Keep in mind, however, that this is a statistically significant effect on a group of ciswomen. Even though they’re ciswomen with heightened androgen levels, they’re still starting out with very different hormone balances than pre-HRT transwomen, 

But hey, for science, I’ll give it a try. So I’ve found some dried spearmint perfect for loading into a tea ball [Pro tip: Try your local bulk food store] , and I’ve started treating myself to a cup each day and night. And for good measure, I’m using soy milk as a creamer (soy supposedly having phytoestrogenic effects).Honestly, it tastes pretty good. It also replaces a couple of the cups of coffee I’d normally be drinking, which is healthy in and of itself. I could stand to drink less coffee. 

I’ll be sure to report out anything I notice. Not that you should hold your breath! 

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