Mint

Mint is an easily available herb and has many internal and topical benefits. Mint has various vitamins and minerals such as copper, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Due to the presence Of calcium and potassium, mint is great for healthy bones and teeth.

Health benefits

To improve digestion

Mint has been used in various cuisines in soups, salads, and juices. The strong flavor of mint makes it a great choice for dishes. The oil of mint has the property that provides soothing relief and relaxes the muscular lining of the digestive tract. Peppermint also stimulates the secretion of gastric juices and this resolves indigestion and upset stomach.

Peppermint candy is available in many stores and just sucking on candy can give you some relief although the effect may not be as good as chewing fresh mint leaves or drinking mint tea.

To reduce nausea

For nausea, mint is a great remedy. But mint leaves are a bit too strong for those who want to reduce nausea and hence mint tea is the best option.

Method:

  1. Boil water in a vessel. (two cups of water would be ideal)
  2. Add a handful of mint leaves to the boiling water.
  3. Allow it to boil for around 7 – 10 minutes.
  4. Switch off.
  5. Allow it to cool down a bit.
  6. Strain the leaves and get the mint leaves to extract.
  7. Add some lemon juice to the mint tea and stir well.

Both lemon and mint have the tendency to reduce nausea. This tea can reduce both morning sickness during pregnancy and motion sickness.

mint tea

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Cure for Asthma

Mint is good for treating various respiratory disorders including asthma.

Make a strong decoction by following the below steps:

  1. Take 8 – 10 leaves of mint, 5 leaves of Tulasi (Holy basil), a teaspoon of ground pepper, and half an amla fruit (Indian gooseberry).
  2. Crush the leaves and Amla in a mortar.
  3. Boil water in a vessel.
  4. Add all the above ingredients to the boiling water and leave it for 5 – 10 minutes.
  5. Switch off.
  6. Strain well and drink this decoction.

This isn’t that strong and adults can have this without honey or palm sugar. But if you find it difficult, then add a little honey and drink once a day.

To lose weight

Drinking peppermint tea (warm) along with lemon juice in the morning (on an empty stomach) has been found to be a great way to lose weight. And work out if you want any remedy to work.

Lemon mint tea
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To get rid of bad breath

Add two drops of peppermint oil to half a cup of water and mix well. Rinse your mouth with this mouth freshener to get rid of bad breath and the happy side effect is stronger gums. Chewing gum may also do the trick, but then you will be sending a few more calories into your body in the form of sugar.

To treat cancer

It has been said that peppermint has beneficial effects to fight cancer. But as far as cancer goes, I try to refrain from saying much without proper research and consultation with experts. So please do your own research and I shall get back with mine soon.

To alleviate headache and to unclog sinuses

Peppermint oil’s aroma has the power to reduce stress and also relieve headaches. Use an aroma diffuser and let the fragrance of the peppermint oil to spread. Inhale this aroma and you can see that in a few minutes, you can find the headache reducing.

To unclog the sinuses, boil water in a vessel and add a few drops of peppermint oil to the boiling water. Inhale this steam for about 5 to 10 minutes. This is an excellent remedy to unclog sinuses and can be used when one is affected by the common cold as well.

To boost immunity

Peppermint or mint leaves have excellent anti-oxidant properties. These fight free radicals and can prevent various diseases. A leaf or two of mint can be given to kids on a daily basis to chew and consume. This can help to build good immunity over the years. And with greater exposure to pollution, mint becomes more crucial since it has the ability to fight respiratory disorders.

Mintgrind
Photo by Serge Bertasius Photography – Freedigitalphotos.net

Topical benefits of mint

To clear acne

Mint leaves can clear up acne very well and can even reduce dark spots caused by acne.

Method 1:

  1. Dab peppermint oil (very little) using a cotton swab.
  2. Leave it on overnight and wash off the next morning.

Peppermint oil is strong and can dry out pimples and acne quicker.

Method 2:

  1. Grind fresh mint leaves and add little water to make it into a thick paste.
  2. Add a pinch of turmeric to the ground paste.
  3. Apply this like any other face mask on your face and neck.
  4. Leave it on for 30 minutes and then wash off.

This face mask can both dry out acne as well as remove acne scars gradually. You can apply this face mask twice or thrice a week and can also make your skin glow.

You can see more remedies with mint for clearing up acne here.

To treat sore nipples due to breastfeeding

Regular breastfeeding especially in the early months post-delivery and when your little one is teething can cause sore nipples for many women. This is very painful and as much as a mother wants to give her nourishing milk to her baby, sore nipples make it extremely difficult.

Method:

  1. Mix two drops of peppermint oil with a few drops of coconut oil.
  2. After every feed, apply a little of this oil mixture generously on the nipples.
  3. Leave it on till before you feed the next time.
  4. Before feeding, wipe with cotton and wash off with besan or very mild soap and ensure there isn’t a residue left.

This treatment can even be done as prevention when you think there is the slightest symptom of your nipple getting sore. During the initial weeks, every mother is so focused on her baby that she leaves this unnoticed and it ends up getting worse. Please spend a few minutes for yourself and have a happy breastfeeding experience.

Don’t forget to make mint a part of your kitchen garden!

Sources

Babu, A. S., Veluswamy, S. K., R. A. & M. G., 2015. Virgin Coconut Oil and Its Potential Cardioprotective Effects. Postgraduate Medicine, 126(7), pp. 76-83.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3810/pgm.2014.11.2835

Brent, N. & Rudy, S. J., 1998. Sore Nipples in Breast-feeding Women. JAMA Pediatrics, November.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/190061

Haber, S. L. & EL-Ibiary, S. Y., 2016. Peppermint oil for treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. American Journal of Health – System Pharmacy, 73(2), pp. 22-31.

https://academic.oup.com/ajhp/article/73/2/22/5101848

Huntley, A. & Ernst, E., n.d. Herbal medicines for asthma: a systematic review. BMJ Journals, 55(11).

https://thorax.bmj.com/content/55/11/925.abstract

Koivuranta, M., Laara, E., Snare, L. & Alahuhta, S., 1997. A survey of postoperative nausea and vomiting. s.l.:Anesthesia.

https://associationofanaesthetists-publications.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2044.1997.117-az0113.x

Kripa Sivasubramanian, MBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. After a long stint in the Technology sector, she took up courses in natural medicine and yoga. Ms. Kripa is certified in Ayurvedic yoga for Dosha. She is also certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.