Mint is very popular for its pleasant smell and flavor, but its medicinal uses are lesser-known. However, traditional medicine systems, like Ayurveda, have been using Mint for its amazing healing properties.
Many studies have proven Mint as an excellent anti-microbial, digestive stimulant, anti-inflammatory, anti-emetic, antispasmodic, analgesic, and radio-protective. Want to know the benefits and uses of Mint other than being a mouth freshener? Then keep scrolling down.
Mint – All you need to know
Putiha, the Sanskrit name of Mint, means that which alleviates puti-gandha (bad odor) of mouth. There are more than 25 species of Mint, but currently, Mentha piperata or peppermint is the most economically important variety of Mint.
Mint is a glabrous, strong-scented herb bearing numerous erect, square, reddish stems. These are much-branched at the top. Mint leaves are ovate to lanceolate, hairy, and dark-green.
Small reddish-violet flowers are arranged on the top of branches. Mint fruits are rarely produced and the plant normally spreads by means of underground stolons. All parts of the plant smell and tastes of peppermint. Mint leaves are the most used part of the plant in Ayurvedic medicine.
Properties of Mint
Mint leaves have pungent taste. It is dry, quick-acting, and is light to digest. Contrary to its cooling effect it is hot in potency. Mint alleviates kapha and vata dosha levels. Mint leaves contain 83% of moisture, 5% protein, 2% fibre, minerals like calcium phosphorus, iron, and traces of copper, Vitamin A, C, B2.
What are the benefits of Mint?
Mint has been used both in eastern and western medical sciences for its several healing properties. Mint is highly acclaimed for its analgesic, carminative, and mouth freshening attributes.
Cures stomach problems
Mint has been traditionally used as an appetiser and to treat a host of digestive complaints. It is very beneficial in heartburn, nausea, vomiting, bloating, indigestion, and as an antispasmodic to reduce flatulence and stomach cramps.
Relieves from muscle pain
You might have noticed Mint as an ingredient in herbal balms, and pain relief gels. It is because it shows excellent antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, painkilling effects.
Mint effectively relaxes muscle spasm, reduces pain and fatigue. In high doses, it also acts as local anaesthesia. It is especially used to relieve muscle sprains, headache, earache, sore throat, laryngitis, and abdominal spasm.
Improves lung function
Many studies have suggested that peppermint oil improves inspiratory muscle function, increases nasal air force, and supplies more air into lungs. Hence, Peppermint oil is extensively used to ease breathing in nasal congestion, flu, and common cold infections. That is why, every cough drops and steam inhaling pills essentially contain peppermint oil.
Relaxes mind and relieves stress
As per Ayurveda, Mint contains large amounts of ether (aakash mahabhuta). The ethereal nature of Mint expands, soothes, relaxes, and cools down your mind. This helps in relieving mental and emotional stress. It equally relieves physical stress as well.
The excellent anti-microbial and wound healing property of Mint makes it an essential content of antiseptic creams, mouthwash, toothpaste, cosmetics, etc.
How to use Mint?
Mint is one of the most loved flavours worldwide. It is widely used as flavouring agent in tea, sauce, confectioneries, and bubble gums. Nowadays, essential oil of Mint and extract are in vogue, but here are some Ayurvedic ways to use the medicinal values of Mint –
- If you have reduced appetite then you should take Pudina ark. It is a concentrated part of Mint prepared by the process of distillation. Taking 3-5 ml of ark alone or with cumin or cinnamon powder magically improves your appetite
- If your kid suffers from abdominal pain due to intestinal worms, then Mint can help you. Prepare juice of mint leaves. In 1 teaspoon mint juice add ¼ teaspoon ginger juice and rock salt. Give this twice in a day
- Mint cures itchy skin rashes due to food allergies. For this, crush few mint leaves with little black pepper and pinch of caraway seeds. Take it with lukewarm water to neutralise effect of food allergy
- Simply chewing mint leaves can help you with bad breath
- Mint tea is a good way to relax amid your work breaks. For this, add ¼ teaspoon of mint leaves in a cup of water and steep for 10 minutes. It will help you to relieve the irritation, work strain, & snack cravings
What is the recommended dose of Mint?
5-10ml of mint leaf juice is the prescribed dose to take in a day. If you are taking Pudina Ark (distilled part of Mint), then 3-5 ml will do.
Side effects of Mint
Some people tend to be allergic to Mint, so they should avoid taking Mint in any form. Also, peppermint oil contains few toxic compounds in smaller proportions. Therefore, avoid excessive direct inhalation of peppermint vapors.
Too much inhalation of peppermint oil vapors may cause nausea, anorexia, ataxia, & other nervous problems. However, coated peppermint oil capsules rarely cause any adverse reaction. People with obstruction in bile ducts, severe gall bladder & liver disorders should avoid using peppermint oil as there are chances of acute toxicity.
Now we know that Mint is very good for your digestion, lung health, wound healer, stress reliever and analgesic. You could grow this miraculous herb even at your home. It is very low maintenance, and spreads easily. You can enjoy its smell, flavor, and medicinal values by using it as a food-flavoring agent, chutney, tea to stay healthy and stress-free.