Mint or mentha is an aromatic plant. It belongs to the genus Mentha and more commonly known as “pudina”. It has been used in traditional medicines, cosmetics and in culinary uses. It has an invigorating and spicy taste. Various candies, gums and teas are available in market with mint as their key active ingredient.
The nutritional profile of mint is made up of dietary fiber, proteins, fats, vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, choline, betaine, C, D, E and K), electrolytes (sodium and potassium) and minerals (calcium, manganese, selenium, zinc, iron magnesium and phosphorus).
Mint has been found to fight actively against various diseases. Some health benefits are listed below.
- Boosts immunity – mint leaves are rich in vitamins, especially vitamin B. vitamins are a great source of keeping immune system healthy and active to fight against foreign pathogens.
- Cures headaches – fresh mint leaves help in headaches when crushed and rubbed on the forehead. This will give a quick relief. Being a natural soothing herb, it helps alleviating inflammation and rise in temperature, which are associated with headaches and migraines.
- Remedy for nausea and vomiting – mint bears a strong aroma and is refreshing to smell and taste. Smelling freshly plucked mint leaves can alleviate nausea and vomiting symptoms in seconds. Chewing any mint product or using its oil can also relieve nausea. Balms having mint, as one of the main ingredient, are very helpful in quick relief.
- Treats asthma – nose congestion can be easily cleared by aroma of the mint. Asthma, common cold and respiratory disorders can all be relieved by having its leaves. Mint inhalers are best to clear common cold. For asthma patients, regular consumption of mint leaves is very beneficial, as it is a good relaxant.
- Beats depression and fatigue – being a natural stimulant, smelling mint alone is enough as a cure. Mint and its derivates oils are helpful to overcome stress, anxiety and depression. For a much-needed boost, keep a leaf of mint inside mouth, inhale the vapor of mint-soaked water or its oil applied topically. The best results will be obtained if few drops of menthol oil or mint essential oil are dropped on your pillow at night. This will work full night on your mind and body while you sleep.
- Skin lover – mint is a good antipruritic and antiseptic. Its juice works as an excellent skin cleanser. It stops itchiness, soothes skin, reduce pimples, alleviates acne symptoms and treats insect bites. To bring down and remove swelling, mint is helpful because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Its cooling effect relieves from irritation, which leads to scratching sensation.
- Helps in weight loss – mint helps in losing weight in a healthy way. Because it is a stimulant, it stimulates digestive enzymes to consume fat and turns it into usable energy. Add mint to your food, this will put the fat in the food to use and not stored, thus contributing towards weight loss.
- Helps in memory loss – mint-contained chewing gums are very helpful in memory retention, cognitive function and alertness, in contrast to people who do not consume mint at all.
- Relieves breast feeding pain – many women have complaints of cracks in nipples and pain after breast-feeding. These problems can be overcome by applying topically mint oil.
- Improves oral health – mint inhibits harmful bacterial infections and other germicidal growth inside the mouth by cleaning the teeth and tongue. It helps in freshening breath. Rubbing it directly on the gums and teeth for mouth freshening and elimination of harmful growths. This is because why today toothpastes, mouthwashes and other dental hygiene products are being introduced with mint as main ingredient.
- Combats cancer – studies suggest that mint contains certain enzymes that actively treat and prevent cancer.
- Helps in digestion – mint promotes digestion because of its palate cleanser property. It helps in relieving inflammation and thus prevents bloating in stomach. It stimulates saliva production in mouth because of its rich aroma, which also stimulates digestive enzymes production and thus digestion process is facilitated. A cup of mint tea on an upset stomach is the best remedy. If you feel sick when travelling, try using mint oil for relief from sickness like vomiting and soothes nausea.
One peculiar quality of mint is that it induces sweating. Thus, it can be used when suffering from fever to speed the recovery rate, thereby breaking the fever. For rheumatism patients, mint juice is useful in relieving from joint pains. Studies have suggested the use of mint for improving brain activity. Other benefits of it are include strengthening liver, stops farting, mucus elimination, reduces irritated bowel syndrome, toxin elimination form the body, blood cleanser, relieves menstrual cramps and pain, etc.
Apart from imparting health benefits, culinary uses of mint have made it more popular. It brings a zing to your dish and your glass. Adding a mint leave to your lemon water will change its boring white color and give you a soothing flavor. Chew it if you are bored and stressed. Find out how amazing it can be for yourself!