13 Impressive Benefits of Mint

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The amazing health benefits of mint include improved digestion, weight loss, relief from nausea, depression, fatigue, and headache. It is also used in the treatment of asthma, memory loss, and skin care problems.

What is Mint?

Mint (Mentha) is a popular herb and a well-known mouth freshener. It has more than two dozen species and hundreds of varieties which also include peppermint and spearmint. It is an herb that has been used for hundreds of years for its remarkable medicinal properties.

It can be used in many culinary preparations in its fresh or dried form. Also, there are many products available in the market, with a distinct minty flavor. Things such as toothpaste, shaving gels, chewing gums, breath fresheners, candies, teas, balms, oils, and inhalers with a mint flavor are the most used. Due to its fresh taste, the mint extract is popularly paired with chocolates, cakes, cookies, ice creams, nutrition supplements, sugar-free products, and energy bars.

Health Benefits of Mint Leaves

Most of us are familiar with the refreshing application of mint, but it has far more to offer than that. The health benefits of mint include the following:

Aids in Digestion

Mint is a great appetizer or palate cleanser. The aroma of the herb activates the salivary glands in your mouth as well as the glands which secrete the digestive enzymes, thereby facilitating digestion. It also soothes the stomach in case of indigestion or inflammation. Mint is also a potent remedy for relieving the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

A study conducted in 2013 reveals that the menthol present in mint has the ability to relieve diarrhea. Also, if you are someone who travels long distances via plane or boat, menthol oil derived from mint candy can be very soothing for nausea and related motion sickness.

Treats Nausea & Headache

Mint leaves, especially freshly crushed ones, help you deal with nausea and headache. The strong and refreshing aroma of mint is a quick and effective remedy for nausea. Use mint oil or any other product having a mint flavor and your stomach issues will be alleviated. In fact, many people keep menthol oil or mint-flavored products with them at all times to avoid nausea.

An issue released by the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics mentions that using mint helps in relieving headaches. Balms with a mint base or basic mint oil, when rubbed on the forehead and nose, give quick relief in case of a headache. This herb is a naturally soothing substance, so it can alleviate the inflammation and temperature rise that is often associated with headaches and migraines.

Mint aids in digestion

Prevents Respiratory Disorders

Research conducted at the University of Wales, UK, states that menthol, present in mint, helps in relieving nasal congestion. The strong aroma of this herb is also very effective in clearing up congestion of the throat, bronchi, and lungs, which gives relief from respiratory disorders that often result from asthma and common colds.

As mint cools and soothes the throat, nose and other respiratory channels, it also relieves the irritation which causes chronic coughing. This is the main reason why so many balms are based on mint. Unlike the inhalers that are based on aerosols, those with mint as the fundamental component tend to be more effective and eco-friendly as well.

Treats Asthma

Regular use of mint is very beneficial for asthma patients, as it is a good relaxant and relieves congestion. That being said, using too much mint in this way can also irritate the nose and throat.

Aids in Breast Feeding

For many women, breastfeeding is a beautiful part of raising a child, but it can affect your breasts and nipples. Studies have shown that mint oil can reduce the nipple cracks and pain that often accompany breastfeeding.

Reduces Depression & Fatigue

Mint is a natural stimulant and the smell alone can be enough to charge your energy and get your brain functioning at a higher level again. A research done in 2014 states that including mint in your diet is a great option if you are feeling sluggish, anxious, depressed or simply exhausted, mint and its essential oil can help.

It can be ingested, applied topically in a salve form or inhaled as a vapor, and all of these techniques can give you a much-needed boost. A popular way to get good results in an easy manner is to put a few drops of mint essential oil or menthol oil on your pillow at night and let it work on your body and mind while you sleep. You can even experiment with using a eucalyptus mint body wash as it known to cool and invigorate the body.

Skin Care

While mint oil is a good antiseptic and antipruritic material, the juice obtained from mint is an excellent skin cleanser. It soothes the skin and helps cure infections and itchiness. In addition to being a good way to reduce pimples, it can even relieve some of the symptoms of acne. Its anti-pruritic properties can be used for treating insect bites like those of mosquitoes, honeybees, hornets, wasps, and gnats.

The cooling sensation will relieve you from irritation and the constant urge to scratch, and the anti-inflammatory nature of mint will bring down swelling. In that same vein, mint oil is often a basic component of bug repellent products like citronella candles, because the strong aroma is unappealing to most insects.

Prevents Memory Loss

A recent study explored the effects that mint has on alertness, retention and cognitive function. It found that people who frequently use chewing gum, in which the major active ingredient is mint, had higher levels of memory retention and mental alertness than those who did not. The stimulant qualities of mint, once again, have shown yet another reason to pop that stick of gum in your mouth or chew some leaves when you’re feeling less than brilliant.

Weight Loss

Apart from all the other health benefits of mint, it also can help in your efforts to lose weight in a healthy way. A study published in 2003 suggests that mint helps stimulate the digestive enzymes that absorb nutrients from food and consume fat and turn it into usable energy. Therefore, by adding mint to your diet, you are increasing the amount of fat that is being consumed and put to use, rather than being stored and contributing to weight gain.

Improves Sterility

There are mixed opinions regarding the role of mint in treating this condition. Some argue that prolonged use of menthol may cause sterility, reducing a woman’s ability to conceive by interfering with the production of ova and killing these gametes. This is due to the germicidal and insecticidal properties of the herb, which are beneficial for many health concerns.

Other research has claimed that men who smoke menthol cigarettes are more likely to suffer from impotence than those who smoke normal cigarettes. It is not certain whether this is due to the tobacco alone or if the mentholated aspect has anything to do with it. Another group of researchers suggests that mint may actually be used to treat sterility in females. Suffice to say, a great deal of research must be done on the effects of mint in both male impotency and female sterility.

Benefits of Mint

Oral Care

According to research studies mint has germicidal qualities and it quickly freshens breath. It also adds to oral health by inhibiting harmful bacterial growth inside the mouth and by cleaning the tongue and teeth. This is why the herb would often be rubbed directly on the teeth and gums to refresh the mouth and eliminate dangerous forms of growth. In modern times, for the same reason, it is one of the most common elements in toothpaste, mouthwashes, and other dental hygiene products. Of course, the easiest way to get these results is to simply chew on the leaves.

Cures Allergies & Hay Fever

Seasonal allergies and hay fever (also known as rhinitis) affect millions of people around the world. Extracts from mint leaves have been shown to inhibit the release of certain chemicals, which aggravate severe nasal symptoms associated with hay fever and seasonal allergies.

Prevents Cancer

Current research shows that certain enzymes that can be found in mint may help prevent and treat cancer.

Other Benefits

Mint fragrance oil is used ice-creams and chocolates. Mint syrup is used in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Drinks and foods containing this herb cool you off in the summer and it is often included in summer cocktails for a refreshing burst of flavor. It is also a good relaxant.

One peculiar property of the herb that seems quite contrary to its traditional cooling and soothing effects is that it induces sweating if consumed during fever, thereby breaking the fever and speeding the rate of recovery. Mint juice can also be applied to heal and soothe burns. It is also beneficial in the treatment of rheumatism. Furthermore, the herb is also said to improve the activity of the brain, although legitimate and consistent research on its neurological impact is incomplete.

Are you feeling tired or bored after reading all of the info on mint? Why don’t you have a stick of mint chewing gum? That may be the refreshing boost you need!

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