You likely know about some of the great culinary benefits of mint and how it’s a great breath freshener, but did you know it also has many health benefits? Mint has been used for centuries for its incredible medicinal benefits.
Digestion and Nausea
The reason mint works so well as a digestive aid is that it stimulates the salivary glands, which in turn release the digestive the enzymes which aid the digestive process.
That is why you can drink mint tea to soothe your upset stomach and you can use a sprig of mint for nausea. If you are prone to motion sickness, mint can help you dispel the queasiness. Pregnant women have found great relief from morning sickness by sipping mint tea, or sprinkling mint oil on a handkerchief if travelling.
Mint in various forms makes a great palate cleanser between courses and is often offered after a meal to aid in digestion.
If you ever have a chronic cough or respiratory problem, the aroma of mint can soothe the bronchial tubes and lungs. Asthma is particularly helped by mint and it also relieves the irritation caused by nasal drainage and constant coughing.
If you have ever chewed on a piece of peppermint, you will have noticed the immediate opening of the airways. The mint clears the sinus quickly and easily.
Many people have found that rubbing menthol oil derived from mint on their forehead and nose helps to quickly alleviate the annoying symptoms of a headache. There are many pain-relief products on the market today which contain a mint base or mint-oil. The mint oil helps relieve the inflammation that causes headache pain.
Depression and Fatigue
Depression and chronic tiredness may be alleviated with the natural stimulant contained in the mint herb. Simply inhaling mint can jump start your brain function and give you that much needed boost to your mood. Diffusing mint oil in an oil-burner while at your desk will help you to maintain focus, and it is caffeine-free.
However, avoid mint in the evening to avoid sleep disruption due to being over-alert. To help regulate your sleep cycle, use lavender in the evenings and peppermint in the morning. This will relax and stimulate your mind at the times you need it, helping you function better all day.
Skin Irritations and Cleanser
Along with all the other benefits of mint, it also works as a great skin cleanser. Your skin will feel fresh and tingly after using mint oil – and its antiseptic qualities will help cure any itchiness, infections or pimples on your skin.
One recent study indicated that mint may have an effect on memory retention and cognitive function. The study showed that those who frequently use ‘mint-flavored chewing gum’ had higher levels of mental alertness than those who didn’t.
Much of the mint in manufactured “mint-flavored” products are synthesized esters and not real mint. To gain the best results, get some mint essential oil, or use fresh mint.
Mint is easily grown at home or available in the supermarket. Start thinking about the mint herb as a healing herb and find ways to use it in your daily routine.