Refreshing, zingy and delightful, a dash of mint can make almost anything right, don't you agree. We love mint to this extent, that a lot of us have our own little mint plant in our kitchen garden. Mint is one of the oldest culinary herbs known to mankind. Its remarkable medicinal properties have made it one of the most commonly known and used herbs ever. Indians, especially are no stranger when it comes to mint. We use it in our chutneys,raita, and even garnish ourbiryaniswith the cooling herb. According to Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Health Practitioner Shilpa Arora ND, "Mint has very powerful antioxidant properties. The leaves can be juiced or made into a raita. Mint is excellent to manage blood sugar levels and treat skin conditions. In summers, one should particularly add mint to their diet. Mint is very cooling and aids in digestion and breathing disorders too."
From boosting digestion to keeping your breath fresh for long, mint is packed with a number of benefits that make its more than just a mocktail, chutney or raita ingredient.
Here are some mint benefits you may not have known:
1. Aids Digestion
Mint can work wonders for almost all your digestive problems. According to the book 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing, menthol, which is the active oil in the mint, has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that help relieve indigestion and also soothe an upset stomach.
(Also Read: Unable To Lose Weight? Your Poor Digestion May Be At Fault)
2. Treats Asthma
Consumption of mint has also been linked with bringing in soothing effect for asthmatic patients. Mint is loaded with anti-inflammatory properties. It is a good relaxant and relieves congestion. However, make sure you don't overdo your mint dosage, else it may irritate your air passages.
3. Treats Common Cold
Struggling with nasty cold and finding it difficult to focus and breathe? Try mint. Yes, there is a reason why your vapo-rubs and inhalers are often available in mint. Mint is known to clear congestion of the nose, throat, bronchi, and lungs. In addition to the respiratory channels, mint's anti-inflammatory properties also relieve the irritation caused by chronic coughing.
(Also Read:Toss Them Away: 6 Foods That Aggravate Cold And Cough In Winters)
4. Cures Headache
As mentioned earlier, mint is a decently strong adaptogenic herb. According to the book 'Healing Foods', mint may help cure headaches too. The strong and refreshing aroma of mint could help ease headaches. Balms with a mint base or basic mint oil, when rubbed on the forehead and nose, are effective in curing headaches and nausea.
(Also Read: 10 Natural Home Remedies for Headaches That Actually Work)
5. Oral Care
Picture this, you have a presentation to make and you have just tucked in a gobhi paratha and garlic chutney. You cannot be entering the presentation room with a tainted breath now, can you? Chewing on mint tablets or mint leaves could help freshen your breath instantly due to the presence of germicidal properties. It also does wonders for our overall oral health. It inhibits bacterial growth inside the mouth, and cleanses the plaque deposition on teeth. This is the very reason why so many of the toothpastes in the market also come in mint base.
6. Aids Weight Loss
Mint could also play its own sweet role in weight loss, and the reason is tied with its much famed digestive properties. Mint stimulates digestive enzymes, which help facilitate better absorption of nutrients from food. When the body is able to assimilate and absorb nutrients properly, there is better metabolism. A faster metabolism aids weight loss.
(Also Read: Low Fat Food: What to Eat and What to Avoid for Weight Loss)
7. Improves Brain Power
Mint could also rev up your brain power. According to various studies, consuming mint may up alertness, retention, and cognitive functions. One of the studies also tied effects of mint consumption with better memory retention.
8. Skin Care
Mint is a traditional remedy for treating acne and pimples. It has potent anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which work wonders on acne prone skin. Mint leaves contain a high content of salicylic acid, which is excellent in combating acne action too. The juice obtained from mint works as an effective skin cleanser. The high quantum of antioxidants also help prevent free radical activity, giving you clearers and youthful skin. You can use mint in the form of face masks as well. Combine crushed mint leaves and honey. Apply on your skin and leave for 20 minutes. Wash off with warm water.
9. Help Ease Symptoms Of Morning sickness or Nausea
Mint is an excellent remedy to treat nausea. It is also effective for treating nausea that happens in morning sickness. According to Shilpa Arora, "Eating a few leaves or smelling some leaves of mint every morning, could help expecting mothers to get past the nauseous feeling and cope better."
10. Beats stress and depression
Mint is an essential part of aromatherapy. It's strong and refreshing smell could help beat stress and rejuvenate mind. Mint has adaptogenic properties that regulate cortisol levels and boost the body's natural resilience to stress. Adaptogens help balance the body in whatever way is needed. By breathing in the aroma of mint, your mind is instantly calmed. According to studies, it also helps release small amount of serotonin in the brain that may help beat depression. You can add mint to your tea, use mint extract on a vapouriser or draw yourself a mint bath for immediate relief.
Blend them in smoothies or add them to chutneys; this summer make sure you don't miss out on the refreshing herb.
(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)
About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.