Mint, known as podina locally, has several uses from being used in the kitchen to various cosmetic products to flavoring. It has remarkable medicinal properties which were discovered 100 years ago. All of us have used mint at some point in life either in our tea, chewing gum or mouth freshener. However, mint has more important benefits than just being used for flavoring and mouth fresheners commercially and domestically.
Health benefits of mint include:
Mint has served to be a great appetizer and used in lots of side lines with food. Using mint with food helps clean the palate (roof of the mouth) where food gets stuck. Once in the gut, it helps with digestion of the food. Green tea is also recommended in case of inflammation and indigestion. This is because aroma in mint stimulates glands of the gut to secrete enzymes that break down and start absorption of the broken food into the blood stream. In eastern world mint is used in chatnis, raita and salads.
Nausea and Head Ache
The strong aroma of mint also helps with nausea and headache. Nausea due to motion sickness, pregnancy and altitude sickness is what mint helps with. Freshly crushed mint leaves or mint flavored chewing gum are used to help with nausea and stomach ailments. Mint based balms are pharmaceutically used topically on forehead and nose for headache. It can also help in temperature rise and inflammation associated with headaches and migraines as it Is a naturally soothing substance.
Cough and Respiratory Tract Disorders
Asthma and common cold often cause respiratory congestion. Aroma of mint helps clear congestion due to its cooling and soothing effects. It also gives relief from irritation which causes chronic coughing. Aerosol inhalers are said to be less potent for asthma, as well as less environmental friendly than mint based inhalers.
Lactating females often face problems as suckling by the baby causes severe damage to the nipples and breast. Studies prove that mint oil can be really helpful for cracked and painful nipples that occur due to breast feeding.
Depression and Fatigue
Mint acts as a stimulant through your olfactory senses. Simply smelling mint can help elevate your mood and restart your brain to make it function at a higher level. Mint oils are helpful if you are feeling depressed, tired, sluggish or just not willing to continue with your work. A popular way of using mint oils as a soothing agent is putting a few drops onto the pillow and allowing it to work overnight.
Not only mint oil is a good antiseptic and anti pruritic, mint juice is equally useful as a great skin cleanser. Mint juice from fresh mints can be applied directly on the skin as a mask as a cure for acne and pimples. It has soothing effects on skin that helps with irritation, itchiness and pruritic properties of pimples from mosquito and other insect bites such as bee sting, wasps and hornets. Anti inflammatory effects of mint help bring down swelling. Another benefit of mint aroma is that it is unappealing to insects that can prevent further bites.
A recent study found that mint is associated with alertness, cognition and retention of memory. According to the study people who chewed mint gum more frequently had higher levels of memory retention than those who did not. This finding has given us yet another reason to pop a mint gum or fresh mint leaves in.
Mint also helps lose weight without disturbing nutrient balance of your body which is one of the healthiest ways of losing weight. Mint basically helps utilize fats in the body which prevents fats from your diet to be stored in your body and contribute to weight gain.
Oral cavity houses lots of bacteria that are closely associated with the stomach and food that we eat. Therefore, it is important to maintain pH balance and good bacteria culture in your mouth. Mint helps freshen breath and inhibits growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth that can cause bad breath and cavities. Pakistanis in rural area use mint leaves as teeth cleaner. It is rubbed directly on gums and teeth. In modern times, mint is used in mouth wash, tooth paste and chewing gum for oral health and fresh breath.
Apart from being used in mouth washes, tooth pastes and inhalers, mint is used worldwide in culinary art. Drinks and foods having mint as an ingredient such as mint cooler and mint lemonades are enjoyed in summers as they cool you down. They are full of relaxing flavors.
It is also used as first aid for burns traditionally and used as treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. If you feel saturated and tired by all this information, just pop a mint gum in your mouth to improve the activity of your brain and get the burst of refreshment that you need.