Health Benefits of Mint
Health Benefits of Mint
Fresh mint leaves add flavor and nutrition to many different recipes, and chewing on whole leaves may have certain health benefits and ward off some medical conditions. With its distinctively spicy taste and invigorating scent, mint is often an ingredient in gum, candy or tea, but people also eat it fresh.
One of the primary benefits of fresh mint is that it contains potent antioxidants. Peppermint, for example, has perillyl alcohol, which might stop the formation or spread of cancer. Peppermint also contains another antioxidant called rosmarinic acid, which can help prevent and treat certain allergies.
Beats morning sickness in pregnant women: Due to the effects it has on one’s stomach, it is a great remedy for expected mothers. It helps relieve the nausea related to morning sickness by activating the enzymes necessary for digestion. Eating a few leaves or smelling the crushed leaves of mint every morning is a great way for mothers-to-be to overcome this difficult period. A warning though, mothers should be careful not to have this after the baby is born as it is known to affect lactation.
Vitamins and Minerals
Fresh mint, including spearmint and peppermint, contains several key vitamins and minerals you need for good health, though they're not present in huge amounts. For example, fresh mint contains trace amounts of iron, a mineral you need to make red blood cells. Mint also has small amounts of fibre, vitamin A and potassium.
Helps Relieve Cough and Cold
Mint has a very strong smell that open up nasal passages and airways to allow relaxed breathing. It is also an expectorant and helps the expulsion of phlegm, when you’re suffering from productive cough. Its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help relieve inflammation along the respiratory tract. If you are suffering from cough, add a drop of mint extract to warm water and inhale its fumes through the mouth and push out the steam through your nose. This way mint extract passes through your throat and nose relieving both the areas.
Mint is packed with antioxidants and phytonurients that can work wonders for your stomach. The menthol present in mint helps the enzymes necessary for digestion. They relax the smooth muscles of the stomach, reducing the chances of indigestion and spasms. They can also act on these muscles to activate them and help work more efficiently to carry out digestion.
Mint is also known to calm stomach cramps and help beat acidity and flatulence. It is also very beneficial for patients suffering from bowel problems. In fact, mint extracts have been used to coat tablets meant to relieve symptoms of IBS. It helps muscles in the stomach relax and promotes overall digestion. Drink a cup of mint tea after every meal by either boiling the leaves along with a few green tea leaves or on their own for maximum benefits.
A number of pain balms use mint extracts as the main ingredient in their products. That is because when mint extract is used on an area that is hurting, it immediately provides a cooling effect, causing the area to partially become numb. This helps in lessening the pain. Another method is to inhale the fumes of mint extract. This soothes the nerves and gives a calming feeling to the entire body. It indirectly soothes aches and pains as well as nausea associated with a headache.
Mint has a unique property that soothes and calms itchy and infected skin. It has potent anti- inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which work wonders on acne prone skin, and is often used in a number of cleansers, toners and in some lip balms as well. The strong antioxidants present in mint leaves leaves the skin with a natural glow and rehydrate dull and dry skin. Mint has a high content of salicylic acid which helps prevent pimples, blemishes and even helps get rid of blackheads. The compounds present in mint helps in faster shedding of dull and dry skin which in turn helps avoid clogging of pores resulting in pimple free skin.
Fights Oral Infections
Mint leaves are packed with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. That is why they are so great to for your oral health. It kills bacteria in the mouth preventing tooth decay, beats bad breath and keeps your tongue and teeth clean naturally. Just chew on a few leaves on mint regularly to keep dental diseases at bay.