15 Refreshing Mint Benefits That Will Make You Feel Invigorated
Your garden must have been occupied by mint at some point in time. Having a Mediterranean origin, mint has already spread to other parts of the world as it requires very little maintenance. These herbs have a typical minty aroma and impart a cooling sensation to the mouth.
We all know about peppermint but the mint family is not limited to it. A variety of mints are present under the mint genus Mentha such as spearmint, orange mint and apple mint. Except for its cooling sensation, these herbs are also known for a wide range of benefits that will be discussed in this article.
1. Reduces Bad Breath
Halitosis or bad health is a known widespread condition that affects one out of four people around the globe. Eating whole mint leaves or mint-based products can be a very good idea for treating this condition. The fresh minty scent replaces the bad odor of your mouth hence improving your breath smell.
Natural oils are the components of mint that take over the bad breath. Plaque, a sticky bacterial deposit on teeth, accounts for the major cause of bad breath. The antibacterial property related to the mint components helps to reduce plaque promising you a fresh breath. Mint-based mouth fresheners and chewing gums are popular choices among people suffering from halitosis.
2. Supports Digestion
Mint is known to stoke digestive fire in Ayurveda which makes it a digestive aid boosting metabolism. Not only a supporter of digestion, mint can also help to alleviate symptoms of upset stomach such as flatulence. So, mint makes a perfect herbal remedy to improve digestibility as well as to treat an upset stomach.
The ability of mint to stimulate the salivary gland and production of digestive enzymes makes its use perfect as an appetizer. Digestive herbal teas made out of mint are popular traditionally. Additionally, including mint water in your daily life can be one of the ways to get all the digestive benefits.
3. Perfect As A Detox
Modernization is one of the sole reasons our body gets exposed to unnecessary pollutants and heavy metals. The storage of these toxic components as residues in our body invites long-term diseases such as cancer. The use of natural detox cleanses our whole system and including mint in your detox can be a boon to flush out these residues.
The ability of mint to flush out toxins brings improvement in kidney function, improves digestion, removes constipation, improves mood and puts chronic diseases at bay. Added to the benefit of making the body toxin-free, removal of the unwanted residues also boosts the immune system. Adding mint water or tea to your morning routine can hence light up your whole system throughout the day.
4. For Cough And Cold
Mint is one of the advised herbs by Ayurveda to be used in treating cough and cold. The ability of these herbs to control throat irritation and clear the nasal passages reduces the severity and duration of cough and cold. A cup of mint tea is what it takes for you to get all these benefits.
The inherent component of mint, menthol, plays the main role in subsiding the cold and flu symptoms. Also, the volatile aromatic oils present in mint when inhaled clear the nasal passages and sinuses. The use of menthol ointments as a chest rub and mint-based aromatherapy are some other successive modes of using mint to ease the symptoms of cough and cold.
5. Reduce Respiratory Problems
The inability of the body to expel the mucus is related to respiratory ailments such as asthma. Mucus accumulation in turn can cause congestion and get even worse due time. The significant use of mint as a decongestant can help you relieve the after-effects of this ailment promising healthy lungs.
Menthol, the elixir component present in mint is an expectorant. It eases the expectoration of phlegm and mucus deposited in the nasal and respiratory passages by breaking down their structure. Preparing mint steam by mixing three to four drops of mint essential oil in hot water and inhaling it can do a wonder for people facing obstruction of the respiratory airway.
6. Soothes Toothache
The traditional use of mint leaves after having a meal comes along with a lot of oral health benefits. The anti-bacterial property stops the risk of infection of gums which later spreads to teeth and is a root cause of toothache. Along with gum health, mint also secures the health of teeth.
Menthol is the component of mint that owns the numbing property and ensures numbness of sensitive teeth. Moreover, the vitamins and minerals secure enamel against infection strengthening teeth. The throbbing pain caused by toothache hence gets reduced in an efficient manner. Consuming mint or applying peppermint oil directly to the pain site are effective ways of the mint herbal treatment.
7. Headache Reliever
Mint oil is effective in treating headaches due to its analgesic properties. The property of mint to relax muscles in the head and neck region keeps the pain away. Moreover, the increased blood flow is assured by the use of these herbs. The ability of peppermint oil to reduce migraine headaches has been demonstrated by many studies.
The local application of the mint oil imparts a long-lasting cooling effect on the skin. Inhaling the mint oil and adding it to your bath can also give a significant improvement in the relief. A study has shown that rubbing mint oil on the forehead is as effective as taking two acetaminophen capsules.
8. Anxiety Reliever
The side effects brought about by chemical treatment of anxiety can not be unseen. This is what makes herbal remedies the better way to treat. The reduction of brain messenger GABA and the increment in stress hormone cortisol are some of the reasons behind the development of anxiety.
The essential oils present in mint reduce cortisol and increase GABA concentration in the brain by inhibiting the degrading enzymes. This anxiolytic property of mint can be obtained by the intake of mint tea and inhaling the scent of mint oil.
9. Alleviate IBS Symptoms
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a disorder affecting the stomach and intestine. For long-term treatment of this disorder you can adapt to a healthy lifestyle but for immediate relief, you can stick to mint herbal remedy. The antispasmodic property of mint herbs is what helps to relieve spasms, cramps, bloating and abdominal pain.
The painful and uncomfortable symptoms are eliminated by the relaxation of the abdominal muscles also improving the digestion. The abdominal discomforts can be swept away by the consumption of peppermint oil that comes in the form of capsules or simply by drinking mint tea.
10. For Healthy Hair
The mint herb is a natural hair growth product capable of promoting healthy hair growth. The aromatic oil present in these herbs can penetrate beyond the scalp and increase blood circulation in the scalp area. The hair follicles get stimulated resulting in healthy hair growth, especially in the thinner area.
The antiseptic and antimicrobial property of mint helps to get rid of dandruff and lice. Overall, making mint essential oil a part of natural hair routine can help with dry scalp, hair loss and any other concerns related to them. For stronger and healthier hair, massage with a diluted essential oil with other carrier oils such as castor oil and coconut oil is recommended since using it solely can be too strong for the hair.
11. Rejuvenates Skin
Mint has not only been used in culinary but is also found to be integrated with cosmetic products. The presence of menthol also provides a soothing and cooling effect freshening up the skin. The anti-aging, antimicrobial and nourishing properties of mint make its use remarkable in maintaining healthy skin.
Firstly, the anti-aging property is imparted by antioxidants which fight off free radicals that damage the skin. Secondly, the antimicrobial property fights acne and fungal infections. Last but not least, the volatile oils nourish the skin preventing skin from drying. Hence, mint can help brighten skin relieving all types of skin irritations.
12. Full of Antioxidants
A good amount of phenolic and flavonoid compounds impart antioxidant activity to mint. This activity helps the body in many ways such as protection from oxidative damage, preventing chronic disorders like cancer, helping the proper functioning of the brain, and reducing inflammation and aging.
Vitamin C-rich foods have antioxidants that also support digestive health by maintaining gut microbiota and promoting healthy weight loss. You can add mint to your daily diet in the form of dried spice, herbal tea, and in different dishes. The antioxidant property of mint has also been utilized in the food industry as a preservative.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death around the world. Multiple plant species have been screened for their anti-cancer properties as per increasing demand for effective treatment of cancer. Among many plants screened, the ability of mint extracts and their phytonutrients to inhibit cancer cell lines has been reported.
The anti-tumor activities have been reported by studies in various human cancer cell lines such as breast cancer cell lines. Mint extracts and essential oils have been shown to have significant anti-cancer properties. As mentioned above, the antiinflammatory processes that lead to cancer are also inhibited by antioxidants present in mint.
14. Minor Muscle And Joint Pain
Menthol, the component of mint has been used as a non-opioid pain reliever from traditional times. The cooling effect of menthol is supported by the analgesic and local anesthetic activity. This provides numbness to the pain area in your joints and muscles.
This property of mint has been utilized in an ointment formulation known as Mentholatum ointment for topical pain relief. Moreover, this ointment can also help to relieve pain associated with mild arthritic conditions. Mentholatum gels are also available for back pain, rheumatic pain, muscular aches and swellings such as strains, sprains and injuries.
15. To Repel Flies And Mosquitoes
Insect-borne diseases like dengue and malaria are of major health concern. The use of harsh chemicals for repelling insects is not preferable as they affect health by irritating eyes and skin, causing allergic reactions and even harming the brain. The use of eco-friendly insect repellants such as peppermint oil has unquestionable efficacy.
The natural pest control peppermint is available in the market easily and is safe to be used around your home. This bug control spray has menthol in it that repels pests such as flies, ants and mosquitoes. Also, simply rubbing mint leaves or mint oil preparation on your bare skin can act as an insect deterrent.
Nutritional Content Of Mint
According to USDA, two tablespoons (3.2g) of fresh peppermint leaves are composed of the following nutrients:
- Sodium: 0.992 mg
- Potassium: 18.2 mg
- Magnesium: 2.56 mg
- Phosphorus: 2.34 mg
- Calcium: 7.78 mg
- Vitamin C: 1.02 mg
- Folate/ Vitamin B9: 3.65 µg
- Vitamin A: 136 IU
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