What is Mint & How its uses
Mint leaves are popularly known as Pudhina. It is an aromatic herb that is known for its smell and various health benefits. Mint belongs to the Mentha genus and Lamiaceae family.
Mint has a sweet and cool sensation because of its menthol content. Mint, when added to foods and drinks, adds flavours, and when consumed, it makes the food palatable.
Mint is popularly added to chocolates, ice cream and many other Indian dishes. Mint is commonly added to mojitos and cocktails, which gives a cool sensation.
Mint usage is in various industries such as toothpaste, chewing gum, mouthwashes and breath mints. Some people add it to their morning tea as it is refreshing.
This blog will give you more information about mint and its benefits.
Health Benefits of Mint
Mint is packed with health benefits. It contains phytonutrients and antioxidants and also vitamins such as vitamin A, C, B-complex. Other nutrients include phosphorous and calcium and also contains anti-bacterial properties.
Mint is rich in iron, potassium and magnesium, which helps to increase haemoglobin levels. It is low in calories, so mint leaves can be added to your diet to promote weight loss.
Mint leaves consumption helps to promote brain health. It is considered as brain tonic. According to research conducted, mint leaves can increase your alertness and cognitive function.
Another study revealed that mint extracts can help to reduce Alzheimer’s symptoms. Though, an extensive study is required to confirm the facts.
Regular consumption of mint leaves helps to improve memory. Inhaling mint leaves help to refresh your mind
Mint is known for its digestive health benefits. Mint contains the enzyme limonene-3-hydroxylase, which belongs to the P450cytochrome family. This enzyme helps to promote metabolism and digestion.
Peppermint oil helps to reduce the pain in the abdomen and also treats irritable bowel syndrome without any side effects.
Studies that are conducted on animals suggest that mint has wider digestive and other properties than those we know currently. Although, human trials are needed to confirm such properties.
Medicinal Uses of mint
Mint was basically used as a medicinal herb to treat chest pain and digestive disorders. The other medicinal uses of mint include
- Decreases breastfeeding pain
- Relief from cold/flu
- Masks bad breath
- Pain relief
Improve respiratory complaints
When it comes to respiratory complaints, mint is the first thing that crosses our minds. People affected by asthma will suffer when there is a decrease in temperature.
Mint has a strong odour. When inhaled it helps to clear the airways and eases out breathing.
Oral hygiene is very important for a person to stay healthy. Mint is known for its refreshing nature. Mint is chewed to mask bad breath. Mint also helps to maintain healthy gums and teeth. It also contains anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that benefit oral hygiene.
Germs accumulate in our mouth and feed on the food particles that are stuck in the oral cavity. They produce acids that lead to tooth decay and other problems.
Mint helps to reduce germicidal activity as it has anti-bacterial activity. Chewing mint leaves help inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and gives you fresh breath.
Mint is enriched with antioxidants and vitamins. It is a plant-based vitamin that helps to protect your cells from damage.
Mint leaves have the property to kill cancer cells. According to research conducted by scientists at Lucknow, L-menthol, a compound present in the mint, inhibits colon cancer growth.
The therapeutic value of L-menthol helps to cure cancer, as per the scientist at CSIR.
Beats stress & Depression
Mint has the quality to calm down when inhaled. Research conducted revealed that mint aroma helps to reduce the feeling of frustration and anxiety.
Inhaling the scent of mint helps to calm down people and reduce anxiety for people who are hospitalised with heart attack and childbirth.
A study conducted on the combined effects of mint and cinnamon revealed that it decreased anxiety and fatigue while driving. It also increased the level of alertness and decreased frustration levels.
The mint scent proved to improve mood and reduces stress. Mint leaves increase cognitive functioning and pain tolerance.
Help to ease morning sickness
Morning sickness is common when you are pregnant during the first trimester. Mint can be your go-to food, if you have morning sickness.
Sniffing mint helps to control the feeling of nausea.
A study conducted revealed that mint administration relieves pregnant women from the feeling of nausea.
Mint uses in Cooking
Mint usage in cooking cannot be restricted to dishes, as its usage enhances any dish we add on. Add it to cocktails, it will give you a sweet and refreshing feel. Mint added to chocolates gives a sweet taste, which is good for children.
Mint added to any dish gives a bright flavour and usage of mint is common in middle eastern countries.
Mint is also used in baked dishes such as cakes and croissants. It is also added to drinks such as tea, which gives an infused taste and refreshes you when you consume it.
In Indian cuisine, mint plays a major role. Mint chutney is famous, as it is easy to prepare. Mint mixed with ginger, coconut, green chillies and salt grind together makes a chutney. This chutney goes well with pani puri, a very famous Indian street food.
Mint is also added to curd during the summer season to reduce the heat. It is also used in salads and sauces. Mint is also added to biryani, a Mughal dish, inhabited by Indians.
How to Cook mint Recipes
Mint can be added to tea and also when added to green tea makes it more palatable. Mint leaves are added to vegetable stews in Indian dishes. In Indian cuisine, mint is added to give a finishing touch to the dishes because of its refreshing smell.
Green juice is a Mediterranean dish, that is healthy and low in calories. It is prepared with mint, cucumber, lettuce, spinach and ginger. Apple is optional. These ingredients are ground together with water and the dish is ready to consume.
To make it fully healthy, you can add almond milk, banana, and dates to give it a sweet taste instead of adding sugar. Mint chutney is also another famous Indian dish.
Mint salad is also healthy and does not add calories to your diet. This can be taken as a mid-day snack or an evening snack.
To prepare this all you need is mint leaves, cucumber and onion. Cut a cucumber and scrape the flesh with a spoon. This helps to avoid sogginess and keeps the dish crunchy.
Now add the mint leaves and onions together and give it a good mix. If you want, you can add some curd and seasoning. This dish is healthy and also satisfies your taste buds.
How to use mint leaves in tea
Mint leaves added to tea give an alluring aroma and flavour. To make this tea all you need is a cup of water, a half bunch of mint leaves, sugar (optional) can be substituted with honey and some lemon juice.
Boil the water and remove it from direct heat. Add the mint leaves and wait for a few minutes depending on the desired strength or flavour.
You can add few drops of lemon juice and sweetener, which is optional. Now you can enjoy your tea. You can have it hot or even as a cold drink according to your desire.
Mint flavour can be infused with tea. This tea can be consumed during any part of the day to make you feel refreshed. Boil some mint leaves, add some tea powder and add some cinnamon.
Let it sit for a few seconds and then enjoy your tea. If you want, you can have a piece of ginger and a few drops of lemon. This procedure can also be followed to make green tea.
You can have mint tea before sleeping, without the guilt of it keeping you up for long. It is refreshing and helps to sleep well.
Could improve brain function
Chewing mint helps to improve brain function and alertness and also boosts memory. A study conducted with 144 youngsters found that smelling mint for 5 minutes before an exam significantly increased the results.
Other studies revealed that mint smell helped people feel energetic and feel less tired. Adding mint to your daily routine helps to improve brain function and also improves mood.
May mask bad breath
Mint leaves when chewed give you a refreshing feel and also mask bad breath. The menthol compound in mint gives you a refreshing feel and keeps you energetic throughout the day.
Chewing mint helps you to produce extra saliva, which helps to digest your food easily. It also naturally cleanses your mouth and teeth and kills any bacterial growth.
Rich in Nutrients
Mint is known for its flavour and refreshing smell. It also contains many health benefits. It is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, which make you feel healthy.
Mint contains fibre, vitamin A, iron, manganese and folate. The menthol in mint helps to soothe cold symptoms. Mint ointments are good for children when they develop any infection or common cold. They are safe and side effect free.
Easy to add to your Diet
Mint is one such food that can be added to your diet easily. You can add it to your morning tea, salads, mint chutney goes well with your dosa and idlis.
Mint leaves can be added to your biryani to garnish it. The aroma of mint enhances the dish and also makes the biryani more palatable.
When you have food cravings and still don’t want to go for any high-calorie foods, mint can do the job for you. Curd with mint and onions together is rich in nutrients and also makes you full.
Mint leaves have antibacterial properties that help to kill the bacterial growth on skin. It also kills the acne-causing bacteria and leaves your skin acne-free.
Grind the mint leaves with water and make a paste. Apply the mint paste on your skin, where you have acne.
Mint suppresses acne as it has antimicrobial activity. It also helps to clear the scar, the acne has left behind.
Mint is rich in anti-inflammatory properties. This helps to heal wounds and cuts. It also treats mosquito bites and dry and itchy skin.
Mint with olive oil helps to treat wounds. Grind the mint and make it a paste. To the paste add olive oil and apply it to the damaged skin. Give it a good massage and leave it for 5-10 minutes.
Mint helps to heal the damaged skin and olive oil soothes the wound.
Hydrates and Tones the skin
Mint leaves have a mild astringent property that helps to tone your skin. It can clear the dead skin cells and removes dirt from the pores. This helps to avoid any infection.
It also moisturises your skin and tightens your pore. It hydrates your skin well leaving it soft.
Reduces Dark Circles
Mint has the potential to treat dark circles. It is rich in vitamin C. Apply some crushed mint near your eyes. Leave it for a few minutes and then wash it.
Mint gives a cooling effect because of the presence of menthol and also treats dark circles. Mint cools down your eyes if you have too much exposure to screens.
Mint is known for its anti-bacterial and -inflammatory properties. The unknown fact about mint leaves is that it is rich in antiseptic properties. It protects the skin from sun damage and pollution.
Apply mint leaf extracts to your skin. This helps to prevent skin rashes and reduces spots. To get bright and radiant skin, repeat this procedure once a month.
Mint can be added to your hair growth regime. It nourishes your scalp and prevents hair fall. Take three spoons of mint essential oil and mix it with five spoons of virgin coconut oil. Give it a good mix and apply it to your hair.
Give it a good massage for 5-10 minutes till your scalp absorbs the oil. Let it sit overnight and wash your hair with a mild shampoo.
Mint oil helps to reduce the heat and gives you silky hair. Follow this procedure twice a week to get good results.
If you suffer from oily scalp, mint leaves can help you with the problem. Grind mint leaves and camphor together and add a few drops of lemon juice. Apply it to your scalp.
Leave for 10-15 minutes and then wash. This treatment helps you during the summer season, as the scalp produces more oil than usual.
Mint has anti-fungal properties. Dandruff is a fungus that grows on your scalp and feeds on the oil. Mint helps to prevent the growth of dandruff.
Apply some mint leaves paste to your scalp. And then wash your hair with lukewarm water. Mint leaves reduce the dandruff and help your hair to grow. It also controls the oil secretion on your scalp.
Advantages & Disadvantages of mint
Mint has been termed as herb of hospitality in Greek. One of the uses of mint leaves was, that was used as a room freshener.
Mint is rich in vitamins and nutrients that help to treat the common cold. It can also benefit people with digestive disorders.
Mint when chewed, helps to clear the congestion in your throat. It also masks your bad breath and kills the bacteria that cause cavities.
Mint leaves vapour can be inhaled to clear nose blocks and also improves memory. It can also be added to your tea.
Mint intake should be limited, as mint contains menthol. Too much menthol is not good for health.
People with gallstone disorder history should be careful when consuming mint. Always consult a doctor before consuming.
Mint is added to our daily routine and provide us with various health benefits. It depends on the quantity we take in. Not too little can benefit our health and too much can be a ban on our health.
1.What are the most common uses for mint?
Mint is popularly chewed to mask bad breath. It is also used as a room freshener. Mint tea is also very common.
2.What can mint be used for?
Mint can be used across various industries. It is also used in the chocolate industry and the tea industry, and the menthol in mint is used to make vaporisers. It is also used to garnish salads.
3.Can I drink mint water every day?
Yes, you can drink mint water daily. Regular consumption of mint water improves your digestive system.
4.Can we eat mint leaves daily?
Yes, mint leaves can be consumed daily. Chewing mint leaves gives a soothing effect and masks bad breath.
5.Is mint harmful for health?
No, mint is not harmful to health.
6.What are the benefits of mint?
Mint benefits your digestive system and enhances your sleep cycle. When the mint aroma is inhaled, it unblocks the nasal passage. It also helps to relieve stress and keeps you healthy.
7.What happens if we drink mint water daily?
Drinking mint water daily enhances your digestive system.