In the modern day world, an increased people have shifted from using antibiotics and other medicines to opting for natural treatments. The use of many herbs including mint has particularly become popular.
The name mint is associated with more than a dozen plants. You may have heard the word mint leaves, peppermint, spearmint and other similar names. All of them are species of one same genus that is Mentha.
All species that belong to Mentha are famous for the cool, soothing sensation. They induce freshness. All these products are available in dried or fresh form.
Talking about mint, mint is an ingredient in various recipes. Whether it comes to food or beverage, mint adds its cooling effect to everything.
In addition, mint has some incredible health benefits. It is even proven by research that mint has so many effects on your body. You can try it in multiple forms such as mixture on the skin, aromatherapy, fresh mint leaves on dressing, or brewing a tea of mint leaves.
What Are The Benefits Of Mint?
Following are some of the best and useful benefits of mint:
High Nutritional Value
Mint leaves are only used in small quantities. But even in that low count, it has a fair amount of nutrients in it. If you only take half an ounce of mint leaves it will only have 6 calories in it. Additionally, it will have fiber, vitamin A, iron, manganese, and folate. Only a few leaves of mint will give your recipe a new flavor.
Mint leaves have vitamin A in it. This vitamin is fat-soluble and has an important role in eye health and vision.
It also has antioxidants in it. These antioxidants prevent you from free radical damage and are essential for the healthy functioning of the body.
Digestion is disturbed by a number of factors. For example, irritable bowel syndrome is a common disease of the digestive tract. It shows up like gas, bloating, constipation and other similar signs and often represents changes in bowel habits.
Some habits and lifestyle changes such, as dietary preference along with prescribed medicines is a typical treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. But it is evident through research that peppermint oil as an effective herbal remedy, which helps for irritable bowel syndrome case.
Methanol is the active ingredient in peppermint oil. It helps to reduce the symptoms and relaxes the muscles of the digestive system.
One particular study on IBS patients showed that 75% of patients with four weeks long ingestion of peppermint oil experienced a reduction in IBS symptoms.
Remedy for Indigestion
Indigestion is not a disease but a common condition that can affect anyone. Indigestion occurs when the stomach is full of food for too long and then it is passed on to intestines.
If your food is loaded with mint in any form, the stomach processes the food quickly. It means there will be the least risk of indigestion to hit you.
So not just IBS, mint leaves also eases indigestion symptoms. This effect is higher when you use fresh or oil form of mint. Dry mint doesn’t have the same effect.
There are studies that tell about the soothing effect of mint on the brain. It says that inhaling the mint aroma has certain health benefits including cognitive boost.
A research study investigates the mint essential oil and found that it increases mental alertness and reduces stress.
But there is less evidence that it will work in all cases and for everyone. Another study found that mint oil relaxes the mind but has no exceptional benefit to boost cognition.
There is a requirement of more research to understand how mint works for brain and if it boosts cognition, what is the pattern for it.
Common Cold and Congestion
The role of mint in cold is more than just a herbal remedy. As already written, mint is loaded with methanol which gives it a refreshing and cooling sensation.
Methanol is one of the best decongestants that work best for a stuffy nose. It helps to get rid of the common cold; it improves breathing and makes you feel better.
Some research findings are opposite to this. They show that menthol has no decongestant function. However it subjectively improves nasal breathing, that’s why most of the herbal decongestants have methanol in them.
On a brighter side, you can say that methanol may not help to decongest the nose like medicines but it certainly has a good effect on breathing through the nose. It is likely that it improves the condition of common cold or flu.
A solution for Bad Breath
Mint flavored chewing gums, mint flavored mouth sprays, mint-flavored mouthwash, what do they all have in common? The role of mint in refreshing the breath and making the bad breath go way is not hidden.
Most of the scientists agree that anything with mint has an effect to overcome the foul smell of the breath. But this effect lasts for only a few hours. You can always use the mint product again for a longer foul smell control.
The effect of mint on leaves is only confined to the smell. It has no role to reduce or kill the bacteria causing bad breath. So it is more or a temporary relief.
Also, if you add mint leaves in tea or chew the fresh leaves, it will kill bad breath as well as bacteria causing it. It is a proven benefit of mint but this is only confined to the fresh leaves.
Mint is Easy to Use in Recipes
If you are worried about adding exotic herbs and their combination of different food recipes, it doesn’t apply on mint. Amazingly, the flavor of mint leaves is so diverse that you can add them to so many recipes.
Mint leaves are added in different recipes of salads, desserts, smoothies, main course, tea and what not? You can replace your regular tea or coffee with peppermint tea for the extra benefits.
One thing that you must know that eating mint leaves directly has a great impact on health instead of using them in recipes.
When you add them to recipes, they will make your food taste and smell good. They may help to maintain a good health but the remedial effect of mint leaves only shows up when you take individual dosing of mint.
You can take mint capsules, chew mint leaves, apply it to the skin or inhale it. Before you use mint for any remedial cause, it is important to a background check, if mint leaves have a role in that particular problem or not.
What Else Do You Need To Keep In Mind?
Mint is a delicious and refreshing herb that is added to a number of recipes worldwide. The medicinal impact of mint makes it one of the leading ingredients in many herbal products.
It is very easy to start using mint in routine. There are lots of health benefits of mint. Mainly these remedial effects show up when you take a proper dosing of mint. Adding to food has health effects but it cannot treat a problem this way.
However, if you are suffering from specific health conditions, are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is better to consult a doctor before using any kind of medicinal herb to avoid any unwanted side effects.