Mint Leaves: The Refreshing Greens With Healing Properties
Mint leaves have been ruling at the pedestal of taste and health for many a millennium now. From age-old texts and the secret kitchen recipes of grannies to the shimmery pages of health magazines, this refreshing foliage has always managed to steal the show. While some use it for garnishing or in a diced avatar, many prefer its blended juicy version. Whatever be the culinary pathway, these leaves bring with them loads of anti-oxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and even traces of proteins. From aiding digestion and respiratory relief to skincare and mental wellbeing, the health benefits of mint leaves are countless. Here are some of the expert-suggested ones that have been attracting the health buffs for quite some time now.
Health Benefits Of Mint Leaves
1. Improves Digestion
Mint is a time-tested refreshing anecdote for various digestive discomforts and even ailments. Often chewed after meals or consumed in the form of blended juices, this soothing herb cures indigestion almost magically. Rich in menthol, popular for its anti-bacterial anti-septic and anti-spasmodic properties, mint also serves as an excellent appetizer. It even stimulates the secretion and flow of bile juice, among other digestive enzymes.
2. Treats Common Cold
Common cold is the mosquito of flu kingdom~ seemingly harmless but furiously irritating! But did you know, you could combat this raging war of blocked nostrils and painful throat, with just a few leaves of zingy pudina (mint)? It helps in clearing the congestion of the nose, throat, bronchi, and lungs. Its anti-inflammatory properties bring to the plate additional relief. This is precisely why the market shelves are thronged with topical rubs, cough rubs, and inhalers of minty flavour.
3. Cures Headache
Headaches come with unwanted doses of irritation and discomfort. However, countless remedies claim that these can be fought off with mint. The methanol present in these leaves helps in relaxing the muscles and eases the pain. This adaptogenic herb is also used in the form of peppermint oil for migraine headaches.
4. Improves Oral Health
When it comes to oral care, the mention of mint is inevitable. This leafy wonder gives instant bouts of freshness and fights off the foul breath. Thanks to its germicidal properties, mint also fights bacterial growth in the mouth. This soothing herb also comes in handy in cleansing plaque deposition over teeth. Besides direct topical application or inclusions in diet, it also serves as a popular base in many toothpastes, mouthwash and breath refreshers.
5. Aids Weight Loss
Although mint is no magical pill for weight loss, it facilitates the process indirectly by the virtue of its digestive properties. It stimulates the release of digestive enzymes which, in turn, help in better absorption of food. As the body assimilates the nutrients in a better fashion, metabolism improves. It is the improved metabolism that actually helps in weight loss. Besides its natural avatar, some also prefer to go by the mint flavoured teas and concoctions for weight loss.
6. Helps In Skin Care
Mint has been long used as a remedy in treating skin problems of all sorts, especially acne. It brings to the table anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties and a rich dose of salicylic acid and Vitamin A. Mint prevents free radical activity, controls the secretion of sebum oil and cleanses the skin effectively. It also acts as a toner, astringent and moisturizer. One of the most popular minty face masks is the combination of crushed parts of mint and honey. You can even apply it for rashes and insect bites!
7. Alleviates Stress
Stress and anxiety are some of the most battled challenges in the modern era. While a lot of factors weigh in for combating these, one of the most popular stress releasing herb is mint. Breathing in its refreshing aroma instantly calms the mind. It also helps release some amounts of serotonin, the happiness hormone, as well as, regulates the cortisol level. Needless to say, it is widely popular in aromatherapy.
A multi-media journalist and writer, Vaibhavi views the world as one big piece of poetry. Time and again she tries to capture this poetry through words, as well as, the lens. She loves to explore the depth of human psyche, philosophy, cultures, and oceans! Carrying forward this quest for exploration she reports on various beats ranging from tourism, culture, art, social issues, business, market trends, science and environment to technology. For her, the life mantra can be summarised with the catchphrases, “Hakuna Matata” and “Carpe Diem”.