Updated: Sep 6, 2020
Mentha, more commonly known as mint, grows in hundreds of varieties, all of which have different essential properties. In general, mint is almost always a perennial plant and a quick growing plant, which makes it a great option for harvesting at home. As it is readily available, mint is a go-to ingredient for cooking, adding to drink recipes, and using for medicinal purposes.
What are the health benefits of mint?
Aside from the refreshing aroma and taste of mint, mint is an herbal remedy found within the healthcare sector due to its endless amounts of beneficial properties. When it comes to easing upset stomachs, managing gastrointestinal issues, or aiding in digestion, mint is often added to tea. Because mint leaves are filled with antioxidants, the plant is valuable in soothing one's stomach. Even just smelling mint helps to relax stomach muscles and decrease indigestion. Mint is an effective remedy for common illnesses like congestion, nausea, and headaches. Mint in tea is used as a decongestant due to its strong and soothing smell plus its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. In essential oil form, mint oil can be rubbed on one’s forehead to eliminate feelings of nausea or headaches in addition to causing feelings of relaxation.
Besides being a remedy for illnesses, mint is a natural ingredient commonly used in oral care and skin care products. Oral care products like toothpaste and mouthwash contain mint ingredients since the plant has several anti-bacterial properties which helps in preventing harmful bacteria from growing in the mouth. When it comes to skin care products, mint or menthe acts as an antipruritic agent. This means it is able to help reduce itchiness from bug bites, bee stings, or allergic reactions by soothing and calming the skin. Furthermore, mint is a natural astringent and since mint is able to decrease inflammation, it is an active ingredient in many skin care products used to decrease acne. Overall, mint is used as a major ingredient in several products within the health and personal care sectors.
Tips on using popular types of mint:
Spearmint (Mentha spicata) ~ Select mouthwash, toothpaste and cosmetic items with spearmint since the mint contains essential vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) ~ Add peppermint to tea to ease upset stomachs, calm the digestive tract, and alleviate gas and cramps.
Watermint (Mentha aquatica) ~ Topical creams and ointments which include watermint as a main ingredient are used for sore muscle relief.
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