Mint is aromatic, mainly perennial, sometimes annual herb. This plant belongs to the family Lamiaceae. It has erect, branched stems and wide-spreading overground and underground stolons. The arrangement of leaves is in opposite pairs, from oblong to lanceolate, with a serrate margin. The leaves may vary in color, ranging from dark green and gray-green to blue, purple and sometimes pale yellow. Belonging to Mentha genus, this plant grows in a variety of environments, particularly in moist soils and wet environments.
Mint leaves are specifically used for culinary and medicinal purposes. Both fresh and dried forms of mint leaves are used in teas, syrups, beverages, jellies and ice-creams to add flavor. Mint is an essential ingredient in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Fresh chopped mint leaves can be used for garnishing the dishes, salads and drinks.
Mint leaves are richly loaded with vitamins like folate and vitamin A, vitamin C and minerals such as calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese and zinc. It also consists of high amounts of fibers, carbohydrates and proteins. Essential amino acids like riboflavin, niacin and thiamine are also important constituents of mint leaves.
Health Benefits of Mint Leaves
Due to abundance of essential nutrients, mint leaves are known to offer a number of health benefits. This herb can be used to treat different health conditions like stomach disorders, respiratory disorders, skin problems and oral health issues.
Digestive System: Mint leaves are found to be quite beneficial to improve digestive health. They impart calming effect on the stomach. The aromatic mint leaves act as an appetizer and activate salivary glands as well as the glands producing digestive enzyme. Intake of fresh mint tea gives instant relief from indigestion and stomach pain. Aroma mint is helpful to treat nausea and headache. Consumption of mint leaves extract mixed in warm water is effective remedy to prevent gas trouble, abdominal pain and vomiting sensation. An herbal mint tea decreases the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and cleanses the stomach.
Respiratory Disorders: The fresh aromatic mint leaves can be effectively used to relieve respiratory congestion by clearing nose, throat and lungs. It helps to reduce congestion of nose, throat, lungs and bronchi and cures various respiratory disorders like cough and asthma. In people with asthma, regular use of mint provides relaxation and reduces breathing problems.
Skin Care: A juice prepared from fresh mint leaves can be used as a face mask. It can be helpful to treat various skin infections, acne, burns, insect bites and rashes. Mint gives a cooling sensation to the skin and reduces skin irritation.
Oral Health: Mint leaves are widely known for improving oral health. Due to its antimicrobial effects, it fights harmful bacteria in the mouth and eliminates bad breath. It also helps in teeth whitening.
Some other health benefits of mint leaves are as follows:
– Help to relieve muscle pain.
– Eliminate toxins from the body.
– Relieves headache and migraines.
– Reduces stress, mental fatigue and depression.
– Helps to get rid of anemia and low blood pressure.
Mint leaves can be considered as an effective herbal remedy to treat various ailments. The important thing about the usage of mint is that it doesn’t cause any side-effects. Include mint leaves in your daily diet and stay healthy and fit.