We all discuss about health and try to incorporate the best eating habits which defiantly include a lot of fruits and vegetables. But most of us while discussing healthy food forget to mention herbs which are extremely rich in the vitamins and minerals highly essential for the body. There is abevy of health benefits that are associated with herbs and the most important herb is Mint.
Mint is known to have one of the highest antioxidant capacities than any other fruits and vegetables. In fact, a proper usage of mint and other fresh herbs or spices can reduce the intake of sodium in the food, making herbs highly essential.
Pepper mint, Spear mint and Mint also known as ‘Mentha’are a collective family of about 15-20 types of herbs. Mint oils have found extensive use in toothpastes, gum, candy and beauty products.
Benefits of Mint Leaves are:
- Anti-allergic: Seasonal allergies can be reduced using the mint leaves either by consuming them or by applying a paste superficially. Mint leaves contain Rosmarinic acid which is anti-inflammatory in nature and shows quick and effective results when consumed or applied.
- Common cold: Menthol in mint is a natural decongestant which breaks down phlegm and mucus. Add a few leaves of mint while making tea or just boil them in water. Drinking it can immediately help relive a sore throat.
- Indigestion and Acidity: Mint has calming and soothing properties and has been used for many ages to treat upset stomachs and acidity. This is the safestway of reducing acid burps and pain in the duodenal area.
- Skin and face: Applying mint gel on the face can reverse the effects of aging making the skin seem former and healthier. Similarly applying mint oil or any lotions of ointments having mint in them can be used to improve the overall texture of the skin.
- Better Oral Care – Mint is the most precious natural ingredient you will find in almost all homemade toothpastes. It has anti-bacterial properties that helps you to get rid of bacteria and bad breath in mouth.
Adding it to the Diet
- If you prefer fragrant and nutritious food, then mint should be a common ingredient in your household. Mint leaves can easily bleed. This is why using a sharp knife to cut the leaves is important.
- Use mint in tea, Soups, salads and curries that are made .Apart from lending a signature touch to the preparation, it also adds heaps of benefits to it.
- Thirsty and tired? Add a couple of mint leaves to a normal glass of water with some slices of cucumbers and feel the magic of this refreshing drink.
- Even better is the mint lemonade with chunks of lemons in a glass of water and sugar, topped with mint leaves and left in the refrigerator, nothing can cool you better than this in summers!
Potential Risks and Hazards
While mint can alleviate all stomach disorders do not use mint actively to ease your condition if you suffer from GERD. Plain peppermint oil if consumed in large quantities can be hazardous to the health. Also make a note that pure menthol is poisonous and should never be consumed just like that.
Do not use Mint oil for the babies, because the strong smell may cause spasm and shortage of breath. With a history of gallstones, do not use mint at all. Also it is always advisable to check with your medial practitioner before you consume mint if you are on chronic medication.
Growing a Mint Garden
Mint is relatively easier to grow and you can even have your own little mint garden right at a window sill which has enough sunshine.