We all have heard of mint or pudina, as an ingredient in chutney or as a garnish in a subzi. It adds that special zing to almost all foods it is added to. But it is much more than just a garnish, the humble mint leaves have a number of health benefits that you probably didn’t know about. Here are some of them:
1. Relieves indigestion
Pudina is packed with antioxidants and phytonurients that do wonders for your stomach. The menthol present in pudina helps the enzymes necessary for digestion and helps the process along, by acting on the smooth muscles of the stomach. These muscles when activated work more efficiently relieving indigestion.
It is also known to calm stomach cramps, help beat acidity and gets rid of flatulence. According to Ayurveda practitioners, it is also very beneficial for patients suffering from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). It helps the muscles in the stomach relax and promotes overall digestion. Drink a cup of pudina tea after every meal by either boiling the leaves along with a few green tea leaves or on their own for maximum benefits. Read about home remedies to treat acidity.
2. Fights aches and pains
A number of pain balms use mint extracts as the main ingredient in their products. That is because when the mint extract is used on an area that is hurting, it immediately provides a cooling effect that partially numbs the area. This helps in lessening the pain. Another method is to inhale the fumes of mint extract. This soothes the nerves and gives a calming feeling to the entire body. It indirectly soothes aches and pains as well as nausea associated with a headache. Find out why you shouldn’t ignore constant body aches.
3. Gives you glowing and acne free skin
Mint has a unique property that soothes and calms itchy and infected skin. It has potent anti- inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which work wonders on acne prone skin, and is often used in a number of cleansers, toners and in some lip balms as well. The strong antioxidants present in mint leaves leaves the skin with a natural glow and rehydrate dull and dry skin. Mint has a high content of salicylic acid which helps prevent pimples, blemishes and even helps get rid of blackheads. The compounds present in mint helps in faster shedding of dull and dry skin which in turn helps avoid clogging of pores resulting in pimple free skin. Read about other natural remedies for acne free skin.
4. Helps fight oral infections
Mint leaves are packed with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. That is why they are so great to for your oral health. It kills bacteria in the mouth preventing tooth decay, beats bad breath and keeps your tongue and teeth clean naturally. Just chew on a few leaves on mint regularly to keep dental diseases at bay.
5. Helps relieve cough and asthma
Mint has a very strong odour which helps open up the airways and allows relaxed breathing. It is also an expectorant and helps the expulsion of phlegm, allowing the patient recover faster. Its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help relieve inflammation along the respiratory tract. If you are suffering from a cough, drop one drop of mint extract in warm water and inhale the fumes through the mouth and push out the steam through your nose. This way mint extract passes through your throat and nose relieving both the areas. In the case of asthmatic patients the same principle can be followed. According to Ayurvedic doctors, simply planting a mint plant outside the window of an asthma patient will help keep the diseases at bay. Read more about asthma.
6. Helps relieve the pain associated with menstrual cramps
Since mint leaves purify the blood and have an anti-spasmodic effect on the soothe muscles of our body, it is a great remedy to relieve the pain of menstrual cramps. It also relieves nausea associated with the condition. Just brew a hot cup of mint tea and sip it several times through the day. It will make you feel calmer and soother your uterus too. read about the tried ans tested tips to beat menstrual cramps.
7. Beats morning sickness in pregnant women
Due to the effects it has on one’s stomach, it is a great remedy for expectant mothers. It helps relieve the nausea related to morning sickness by activating the enzymes necessary for digestion. Eating a few leaves or smelling the crushed leaves of mint every morning is a great way for mothers-to-be to overcome this difficult period. A warning though, mothers should be careful not to have this after the baby is born as it is known to affect lactation. Read about how you can deal with morning sickness.
8. Boosts immunity
Mint leaves are packed with nutrients such as calcium, phosphorous, vitamin C, D, E and small amounts of vitamin B complex. All these compounds put together improves the body’s immune system, keeping it safe from infections and inflammation. Read about natural remedies to boost your immunity.
9. Beats stress and depression
In aromatherapy mint extract is used to beat stress and rejuvenate the mind. Breathing in the fumes of mint helps relax the body and calm the mind, freeing it of stress. It releases a small amount of serotonin in the brain that also helps beat depression. If you are feeling low, add a little mint leaves or mint extract to your bath water, or use mint extract on a vaporizer to get some relief. Read more about stress.
10. Helps fight cancer
Mint has a potent phytochemical that can prevent various types of cancers. Called perillyl alcohol, the phytonutrient has shown the capability of preventing skin cancer, colon cancer and lung cancer in animal studies. Its benefits in this particular area are still under the scanner when it comes to humans. Read more about cancer.