It grows all over the world, but it’s native to the Mediterranean region. Best of all is that it has many benefits for health and we can consume it in different ways. In this article, discover the amazing properties of mint and make it a part of your diet!
Interesting facts about mint
- During the period of the Roman Empire it was widely used as a medicinal plant, and for this reason it was introduced to different countries and cities.
- It grows quickly on land and in humid places, it branches out and can form a bush half a meter wide.
- The flowers of mint can be violet or white. They appear as the growth of the plant progresses.
- There are about 25 subspecies of plants in the mint family such as rosemary, thyme and oregano. All known as aromatic herbs.
- Mint leaves are used to make infusions, but we can use their essential oils and apply them externally.
- This wonderful plant provides vitamins A and C, Omega 3 fatty acids and minerals of all kinds.
- Mint grows without problems in any climate, whether in a garden or in a pot at home. You have to be careful not to expose it too much to the sun and make sure it has plenty of water. You can pick the leaves throughout the year.
- Its scientific name is “Mentha”, which comes from the name of the Greek nymph and lover of Pluto, because he was so jealous, he turned her into a plant.
Health benefits of mint
Taking this plant internally is really beneficial for your health. The properties of mint are good to treat various ailments.
For the digestive system
It’s taken after meals so that the stomach “sits”. It also relieves flatulence and helps to digest food better. It’s recommended in cases of stomach pain because it is antispasmodic and prevents vomiting (especially after eating a lot).
It increases the secretion of gastric juices and helps to reduce nausea, although it’s best not to consume it for long periods, as it can cause gastritis or irritations to the walls of the stomach.
For the liver and intestines
Mint can be used to stimulate liver function and increase the secretion of bile. For example, it is used to treat abdominal cramps and improve indigestion if the liver is “a slow worker”.
It can treat diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn’s disease. It helps to expel gases from the intestine and prevents waste from rotting or accumulating.
For the respiratory system
Because it contains menthol, it provides anti-congestive properties. It also increases sweating and eliminates congestion in the nose. It’s used for the flu and colds, and also to reduce fever.
In addition, its antiviral properties help to overcome respiratory diseases of all kinds.
Some people use mint to treat bronchitis, pharyngitis and asthma. Those who have quit smoking or who cough a lot due to cigarettes can use it to soothe their throat.
For blood circulation
Peppermint has anticoagulant properties thanks to eugenol and rosmarinic acid. It improves blood circulation and treats certain related disorders such as, for example, headache.
It can also be used to reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness because it allows a greater oxygen supply to the cells and, at the same time, a greater cleaning of the toxins.
External uses of mint for health and beauty
For rheumatic pains
The essential oil in mint has the ability to reduce pain caused by rheumatism thanks to the analgesic properties of salicylic acid. It’s also used to combat migraines when it affects only one area of the head.
Compresses should be made with a cloth soaked in mint oil and applied to the temples. Back pain, muscle and neck pain, as well as muscle strains, can be alleviated using this home remedy.
For bad breath
If you suffer from halitosis mint is your friend. You can normally consume it in the form of sweets, pills, or chewing gum. However, you can take also chew some leaves of the plant as long as you wash them first.
It has aromatic properties that give it a strong flavour and not only is it useful to eliminate bad breath, but it also works in case of a dry mouth, cavities, and gingivitis.
For the skin
Peppermint has around 30 antiseptic components and about 40 antibacterials. It’s perfect for treating various skin abnormalities, such as wounds, itching, and insect bites.
It’s often used for eczema or for inflamed haemorrhoids. Women can wash with it or have a mint seat bath to treat common female genital diseases.
And to cook?
Mint also has many benefits when it comes to preparing food. Its peculiar pungent flavour and penetrating and refreshing aroma have meant that it’s been used in gastronomy since ancient times.
You can use it to season:
- Cooked vegetables