Mint is one of the oldest and most popular herbs that is grown around the world. Native to Western Asia and the Mediterranean region, there are over 30 species of mint, with spearmint and peppermint being the most common. Ancient Greeks believed mint could cure hiccups, Romans believed it could relieve pain, and Indians believed it could soothe stomach aches.
Modern scientific studies have discovered that mint contains vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, iron, vitamin B2, potassium, copper, calcium, and phosphorous. Mint is most commonly associated with oral hygiene products, but it has many other uses in foods, drinks, and skin care products. Read on to learn about some of the potential health benefits of this powerful and delicious herb.
In research studies, the menthol oil derived from mint has shown to soothe the stomach in cases of indigestion and inflammation. The smell of mint has a way of activating the salivary glands, which secrete digestive enzymes and aid the digestive process. A double-blind study published in the May 2010 issue of the journal, Digestive Diseases and Sciences, found that peppermint oil significantly reduced abdominal pain and improved the quality of life for patients with irritable bowel syndrome when taken times daily for eight weeks. Try sipping mint tea when you feel symptoms of nausea or motion sickness.
Many people find that the aroma of mint can provide relief for minor headaches, especially when rubbed onto the forehead in the form of an oil or balm. The naturally-soothing herb may even reduce inflammation and raised temperatures associated with headache pain.
If you’re suffering from congestion or cough from an asthma condition or the common cold, try incorporating more mint into your diet. The herb has shown to provide temporary relief for common respiratory disorders, as it soothes the respiratory channels and relieves respiratory irritation. A 2004 medical study published in Biofactors found that rosmarinic acid (which is prominent in mint) significantly reduced allergy symptoms as well. As you’ve probably noticed, many cold remedies and respiratory inhalers have a mint base…and for good reason!
Mint juice is an effective skin cleanser, and mint oil is a great antiseptic. For many people, mint helps to soothe the skin and cure itchiness. Mint is frequently used in pimple treatment ointments and insect repellent products. Mint oil is also often used to treat insect bites from mosquitoes, bees, and wasps.
How to Incorporate More Mint Into Your Diet
- Add mint garnish on top of a spicy soup
- Blend with fruit and coconut milk smoothies
- Sip Seagate’s 100% Natural Olive Leaf Mint Tea
- Sprinkle onto spinach and mixed vegetable salads
- Add to homemade sherbet and ice cream recipes