Mint Benefits and Uses
Mint or Pudina, is a very commonly heard name in the herb category. It comes from the same family as peppermint and spearmint and has a distinct taste and smell and is used very often in cold and hot beverages, to garnish and flavor food items and is often used as culinary additions to not only enhance its flavor but also because it has a lot of beneficial properties.
Here are the benefits of mint:
1. Breath freshening effects:
Mint has anti-bacterial properties and therefore it can help kill the germs produced in your mouth, which can reduce bad breath and give you fresher breath. Mint contains the compound ‘menthol’ which gives it its cooling properties and minty scent and flavour.
2. Can help relieve indigestion and other stomach issues:
Mint can help relieve stomach problems and keep heartburn and indigestion at bay as it has antispasmodic effects on the body. Therefore, you could sip on a cup of mint tea (recipe below) after your meal, for the best effects. Consuming mint tea or chewing on some mint leaves can also help relieve gas, bloating and other digestive symptoms like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), stomach pain and cramping, constipation or diarrhea etc., as it can relax your digestive system muscles and provide relief.
3. For relief from cold, cough, allergies and blocked sinuses:
Drinking a cup of mint tea, when you have a cold or cough can help soothe your throat and help ease breathing by providing smooth airflow through the nasal passageway, because of the active compound menthol in mint and anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Headache reliever:
Sipping on mint tea can be had to provide relief to headaches. A soothing cup of mint tea can help the person relax and ease the pain. It is just a pain reliever and may not be a permanent solution.
5. Relieves stress and reduces anxiety: Mint tea is known to act as a natural stress reliever and also helps reduce anxiety. Its properties are soothing and help to relax the body and mind. READ MORE – TURMERIC WATER benefits – for weight loss, clear skin, and more
6. Other benefits:
- Can aid sleep: Sipping on mint tea is a non-caffeinated option that can help aid sleep and improve sleep quality.
- Energy boosting properties: Those who experience fatigue and reduced energy levels on a regular basis, sipping on mint tea will be the right option for you. Mint has natural active compounds that can boost energy levels and even reduce daytime fatigue and daytime sleepiness. It could help you focus better, increase your concentration and increase the oxygen flow to your brain.
- Can provide relief from menstrual cramps: That time of the month is possibly the most annoying for women. Well, mint is known to have muscle relaxing properties and therefore, a cup of mint tea has shown to have soothing effects and improves menstrual symptoms.
Uses of mint:
- Mint essential oil can act as a natural decongestant, because of its component menthol. Inhaling mint decongestants or using mint topical rubs can help soothe the nasal passage.
- Add it to your cooking preparations and salads.
- Add crushed mint leaves to your cold drinks.
- Can help relieve nausea.
- For breath freshening, chew on some mint flavoured breath mints.
- Keep mint plants in your garden to repel insects.
Here’s how you can make mint tea at home:
1 cup water
2 tsp tea leaves/tea powder of your choice
8 – 10 mint leaves
1 tsp lemon juice (optional)
1 tsp honey
Into a pot adds in the water, tea leaves/tea powder, and mint leaves (wash it properly before using it). Let it come to a boil and then cover it with a lid and let it simmer for 5 to 6 minutes on low flame. Turn off the flame, strain into a cup, add in the honey and lemon juice (optional), stir well and it is ready to consume.
Tip: Drink this after your meal and do not drink or eat anything else after this for 15 minutes to 30 minutes for the best effect, especially for those people having this to keep indigestion at bay.
Caution: If you already have acid reflux, then do not drink mint tea. You can drink this only to keep indigestion at bay and not once you already have it.