Monday, February 19, 2018

Benefits Of Mint

Mints are aromatic, almost exclusively perennial, rarely annual herbs. They have wide-spreading underground and overground stolons and erect, square, branched stems. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs, from oblong to lanceolate, often downy, and with a serrated margin. Leaf colors range from dark green and gray-green to purple, blue, and sometimes pale yellow. 

This post is in honor of National Chocolate Mint Day celebrated every February 19 - National Herb Week / 1st week in May - 

In general use 
Mint / herbs are plants with savory or aromatic properties that are used for flavoring food, in medicine, or as fragrances. Culinary use typically distinguishes herbs from spices. Herbs refer to the leafy green or flowering parts of a plant (either fresh or dried), while spices are usually dried and produced from other parts of the plant, including seeds, berries, bark, roots and fruits.

Herbs have a variety of uses 
including culinary, medicinal, and, in some cases, spiritual. General usage of the term "herb" differs between culinary herbs and medicinal herbs; in medicinal or spiritual use, any parts of the plant might be considered as "herbs", including leaves, roots, flowers, seeds, root bark, inner bark (and cambium), resin and pericarp.
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Benefits Of Mint
  • Digestion: Mint is a good appetizer and promotes digestion, due to its typical aroma. It also soothes stomach in cases of indigestion, inflammation etc. This aroma of mint activates the saliva glands in our mouth as well as glands which secrete digestive enzymes, thereby facilitating digestion. Thus it is extensively used in culinary.
  • stomach disorders : repeated trials on the benefits of mint have established it to be very effective against stomach disorders ranging from irritable bowel to dyspepsia and cramps.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Instead of turning to dangerous Big Pharma solutions—like SSRIs—to fix the problem, try natural peppermint oil. One study found that peppermint oil eliminated pain completely in IBS patients. Another study revealed that it reduced IBS symptoms by at least 50% after only one month in 75% of subjects. You can find natural peppermint oil in capsules for daily use at your local health food store or online.
  • Nausea & Headache: Again, the strong and refreshing aroma of mint is an excellent and quick remedy for nausea. Whenever you feel it, just smell the oil of mint or crushed fresh mint leaves or use any product with mint flavor, whichever is available near you, and it will be gone. In fact, many people keep mentha oil or mint flavored products with them to avoid nausea, particularly when they are traveling. Balms based on mint or simply mint oil, when rubbed on forehead and nose, gives quick relief in headache.Respiratory Disorders, Cough etc.: The strong aroma of mint is very effective in opening up congestion of nose, throat, bronchi and lungs, giving relief in respiratory disorders resulting from asthma, cold etc. As it cools and soothes throat, nose and other respiratory channels, it gives relief in cough too. Many balms are based on this property of mint. Unlike other inhalers which are based on aerosols, those based on mint are more effective and eco-friendly too.
  • Asthma: Regular use of mint is very beneficial for asthma patients, as it is a good relaxant and gives relief in congestion. But, over dosage may irritate as well.
  • Skin Care, pimples etc.: While mint oil is a good anti septic and anti pruritic, mint juice is an excelle,nt skin cleanser. It soothes skin, cures infections, itching etc., and is also good for pimples. Its anti pruritic properties can be used for treating bites of insects like mosquitoes, honey-bees, hornets, wasps, gnats etc.
  • Female Sterility: Now, there is a mixed opinion about this. Some say that prolonged use of menthol may cause sterility and induce inability to conceive, by interfering with the production of ova and also killing these gametes, because of its germicidal and insecticidal properties. It is also heard that men who smoke menthol cigarettes are more likely to suffer from impotency than those who smoke normal cigarettes. It is not certain whether it is due the tobacco alone or mint has anything do with it. But menthol certainly has insecticidal properties. While another group suggests that mint may be used to treat sterility in females.
  • Oral Care: This is a well known property of mint. Being a germicidal and breathe freshener, it takes care of oral health by inhibiting harmful bacterial growth inside mouth and by cleaning tongue and teeth.
  • Cancer: Current researches show that certain enzymes present in mint may help cure cancer : Mint, specifically peppermint, contains a phytonutrient known as amonoterpene which has shown the capability to thwart the growth of tumors in the liver, breasts and pancreas in animals. It has also exhibited the capacity to protect the animals’ lungs, skin and colon against the formation of cancer.
  • Vasoconstrictor : Mint contains chemicals that can help reduce bleeding by causing a narrowing of the blood vessels.
  • Other Benefits: Besides its wide industrial use in food stuffs such as ice-creams, chocolates etc., alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, cosmetics, medicines, inhalers and mouth and breathe fresheners, it is used as a condiment and decorative item in culinary world-wide. Drinks and food-stuffs containing mint cools you off in summer. It is a good relaxant. One more peculiar property which is very much in contrary to its cooling and soothing effects is that it induces sweating if consumed in fever, thereby curing it. Mint juice can be applied on burns to heal and soothe them.
  • It is also beneficial in rheumatism.
  • It is also said to improve activity of the brain : Peppermint aroma improves memory and concentration.
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Special Precautions of Mint
  • Peppermint oil can cause heartburn and digestive upset, and should be used with caution by people with heartburn, hiatal hernia, severe liver damage, gallbladder inflammation, or bile duct obstruction.
  • Although rare, some people have experienced allergic reaction to topical application of peppermint.
  • People with gallstones should consult a physician before taking oral peppermint preparations.
  • The safety of peppermint oil in pregnant or nursing women isn't known.
  • Peppermint oil shouldn't be applied topically to broken skin. Large amounts shouldn't be applied to skin.
  • Peppermint tea can cause choking in children and infants due to the menthol.
  • Pure peppermint oil is toxic at small doses. The pure essential oil should not be taken orally.
  • Call your health practitioner if you experience headache, flushing, skin rash, muscle tremors, or other unusual symptoms.
  • See also precautions of Linalool
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Medical Disclaimer
This information is not meant to be substituted for medical advice. Always consult a medical professional regarding any medical problems and before undertaking any treatment or dietary changes.
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Pam here! I love herbs you guys, and all things related to herbs. Everything from growing them to cooking with them to healing with them... I just love everything about it. That's why I wanted to do this post on the "Benefits of Mint." -So now that I have finished this article and about to hit the publish button..... I'm going to go outside and start raking around my mint plants I have growing in the back yard. I have about 4 different varieties that made it through the winter. (Peppermint, Spearmint, Orange Mint and Chocolate Mint.) Time for me to give them some love and attention. Have a great day!
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Outside Links / Resources / References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mint

1 comment:

Reema dsouza said...

I think, and it feels through all the articles, that you have mastered your subject from end to end.

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