Vegetables and Vegetables

Health Benefits of Mint

The mint , whose scientific name is Mentha spicata, is also known as green mint, the-kitchens, mint-of-spices, mint vulgar, mint-of-gardens, spearmint, is a Lamiaceae family plan. Originating in Asia, it is cultivated and consumed all over the world due to its medicinal properties, essence and flavor.

The most common types of mint are green mint, which has thicker, rounder leaves, and peppermint ( Mentha piperita ), which has long, thin leaves, being found from the cross between Mentha aquatica and Mentha spicata .

There are, however, several types of mint and all have the same properties as mint: digestive, stomach tonic, antiseptic and against colds and flu. Other types are: White Mint ( Mentha rotundifolia), Northern Mint ( Plectranthus amboinicus ), Portuguese Mint  (Mentha ssp),  Poejo Mint ( Mentha pulegium ) and Gross Mint.

Mint leaf is popularly used as a nasal decongestant, anti-flu, vermifuge, digestive and analgesic. Mint tea is also known for its calming effect. In cooking, it is used as a seasoning, combined with vegetables, greens, in fruit juice, in preparing salads, smoothies and as a flavoring in certain food products.

The properties of mint are also used in aromatherapy, which has a relaxing physical and mental action. From the extraction of its essential oil, we have menthol, a substance of the terpene class, whose main use is in the manufacture of ointments, creams, toothpaste, gels and anti-inflammatory creams. Mint is sometimes grown as an ornamental plant.

MINT BENEFITS

Mint is a stimulant of the digestive system, being great for treating various problems such as poor digestion, nausea, vomiting and flatulence. Also widely used to treat colds and flu, as it helps to decongest the nose and clear the lungs, facilitating expectoration.

As it is rich in vitamins A and C and a source of iron, it is good for the blood. In addition to containing calcium, an important mineral for the formation of bones and teeth, it also has antioxidant and calming properties, being used in palpitations and nervous tremors.

The benefits of mint can be enjoyed in the form of tea, as a spice in cooking, in capsules and in the extraction of its essential oil.

1.Improves digestion

Mint leaves have antioxidants and phytonutrients that contribute to better digestion and reduce discomfort related to the entire digestive process. Mint acts positively on digestive enzymes, activates the action of salivary glands and the production of bile, improving the function of the digestive system as a whole.

Due to its anti-emetic effect, it relieves nausea and vomiting. As it also has an anti-spasmodic effect, it is able to reduce intestinal cramps, flatulence, diarrhea or constipation and can help with irritable bowel syndrome.

2.Helps to fight headaches

The menthol present in mint is a vasodilator, able to activate circulation and reduce inflammation, thus helping to fight headaches and migraines. When combined with ginger, it enhances its action and helps relieve feverish conditions.

3.Helps to treat colds and flu and other respiratory illnesses

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), menthol and tinol present in mint have an expectorant and decongestant action, and can be allies in relieving the discomfort caused by colds and flu, and which act not only on the airways, but also help to reduce pain of head and body.

For those who suffer from rhinitis, asthma and specific allergies, mint can be useful for the treatment of congestion, as it acts on histamines, reducing irritation and other symptoms.

4.Reduces nipple pain in pregnant women

Unlike other plants, mint is beneficial for the health of pregnant women and during the breastfeeding period, as it reduces discomfort and pain in the nipples.

5. Fight against fatigue

The scent of mint works as a brain stimulant, giving more energy to activities and helping to fight depression. The consumption of mint leaves renews energy, reducing fatigue and stimulating the body for daily activities.

6. Help against acne

The antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antipruritic action of mint is an ally to clean the skin and reduce blemishes and acne, improving the appearance of the skin and reducing oiliness.

7. Insect repellent action

Menthol, an oil extracted from mint, when applied to the skin, acts as a repellent for mosquito and insect bites.

8. Helps prevent Alzheimer’s

Studies show that peppermint contributes to better cognitive functioning, acting as a brain stimulant, favoring the ability to concentrate and mental alertness and may delay the negative effects of Alzheimer’s.

9.Helps to lose weight

Mint slims down by stimulating digestive enzymes that ensure better digestion, better absorption of vitamins and minerals, and better elimination of toxins. Mint does not harm the diet and induces the body to use fat as an energy source, reducing measurements.

The consumption of mint tea with ginger enhances weight loss, the ginger speeds up the metabolism and stimulates the body to warm up, making you burn more calories even at rest.

10.Helps to reduce bad breath

The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial action is important in preventing mouth infections, cavities and bad breath. Drinking peppermint tea helps keep your breath fresh. Other ways to benefit from this quality is to use peppermint-based products, including mints, mouthwashes, toothpaste, and more.

11.Reduces colic

Both intestinal cramps, very common in children, and menstrual cramps can be reduced by drinking peppermint tea, which relaxes the muscles, reducing tension and consequently pain.

12. Strengthens the immune system

Because it has vitamins such as complex B, C, and E, in addition to minerals, the consumption of mint strengthens the immune system, leaving it better prepared to fight possible inflammation, infections and other external interferences. For this reason, mint tea is indicated in the treatment of flu and colds, asthma, and in the prevention of various diseases.

13.Helps to prevent some types of cancer

Peryl alcohol, a phytochemical present in mint, is indicated as an aid in the prevention of some types of cancer such as breast, prostate, liver, colon, lung and skin cancer.

14. Improves cholesterol

Mint stimulates the production of bile, responsible for breaking down and eliminating ingested fat. This factor is important for controlling the cholesterol level and also reducing the liver’s overload.

15. Hair Tonic

The use of peppermint oil, associated with other vitamins, can act as a hair straightener. Sprinkling the natural mint tea also results in positive effects, leaving the shins more hydrated and shiny.

16. Helps to combat stress

The taste and smell of mint is known to provide well-being and help relieve stress. Mint tea is also commonly used for its calming properties, and drinking it at night helps relieve stress and help you sleep better.

MINT TEA BENEFITS AND CONTRAINDICATIONS

The consumption of peppermint tea is well known for alleviating stomach problems such as nausea and vomiting. Its carminative property helps digestion, relieves stomach pain, stimulates digestive enzymes and improves intestinal transit, being beneficial in cases of diarrhea or constipation.

By boosting the immune system, mint tea is beneficial in cases of flu, colds and mild asthma as it helps to relieve the symptoms of the disease and has an expectorant and decongestant action. Its consumption is also beneficial to relieve stress and reduce bad breath.

The contraindications of mint are its excessive use. As with any medicinal plant, to obtain its benefits, it must be used in adequate amounts. People with severe reflux or hiatus hernia should avoid its excessive consumption, as mint stimulates digestive enzymes. Some possible side effects are changes in bowel rhythm, such as diarrhea or constipation and skin urticaria.

HOW TO MAKE MINT TEA

To benefit from the Mint properties such as improving digestion, reduce sickness and reduce the symptoms of colds and flu, they can be used different kinds of mint, the most frequent and commonly used are the common mint or Mint spicata and peppermint or Mint piperite.

To make tea, place the mint leaves in a kettle or pan and let them heat up for five to ten minutes. Do not overheat so as not to lose the properties of the leaves.

 

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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