Mint (menthe) is a popular Mediterranean herb that is known for its cool, breath freshening properties. As such, it is a favourite flavour found in toothpastes, chewing gums, mouthwashes, breath sprays, candies and even inhalers.
Mint is also widely used in cooking where its cooling properties are used to temper hot dishes and perk up soups. Mint is widely known to have great therapeutic properties that can be used to treat a number of ailments.
Mint is a rich source of:
Mint provides relief from flatulence, helps prevent food poisoning, and treats indigestion. Mint leaves have a strong and pleasant aroma which activate the saliva glands and the digestive glands to secret enzymes that promote digestion. It is also anti-spasmodic and relieves stomach discomfort coming from indigestion and inflammation.
If you suffer from asthma, cold, flu or cough, the strong aroma of mint can be used to decongest your nose, throat, bronchi and lungs. Mint is also used to provide relief from sore throat and cough and is the main ingredient in inhalants, rubs, cough medicine, and throat lozenges.
As an antiseptic, mint juice is often used in skin cleansers to help fight skin infections and pimples. It is also effective in treating insect bites by mosquitoes, honey-bees, hornets, wasps, gnats and others as it soothes and cools the affected areas.
Mint contains powerful antioxidants that are believed to prevent certain cancers such as lung and colon cancer.
Mint is a good source of folic acid which helps regulate hormonal balance in women. It is also used to treat mood swings that are viewed as symptoms of folic acid deficiency.
The strong scent of mint is a proven remedy for nausea and headaches. Mint also has strong antimicrobial and antibacterial qualities that its vapours are believed to help purify the air to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
Mint is thought to remove excess body heat by inducing sweating in a person suffering from high fever. It also heals and soothes burns, cleans the mouth, prevents tooth decay, boosts libido and stamina, and relaxes the body.
Mint can be taken in a variety of ways, the most popular and easiest way is to add mint leaves to your cooking. Mint tea made from fresh or dried mint leaves that are steeped in hot water is hugely popular. If you suffer from stomach aches and indigestion, try chewing on mint leaves that have been bruised by a mortar and pestle which release its juices.
While mint is said to boost the libido and therefore improve sexual health, there are some studies that link high intake of mint in food products and even in cigarettes, to infertility. Some theorise that this preliminary finding may be due to mint’s strong antimicrobial and antifungal properties which attack the ova.