Mint is a family of plants whose prominent members include spearmint and peppermint. Known for its unique aromatic qualities and taste, it is widely used in culinary dishes and in aromatherapy. Mint is a popular herb that can be used fresh or dried in many dishes and infusions. Mint oil is often used in toothpaste, gum, candy, and beauty products. Mint has one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any food.
Mint is believed have a number of health benefits.
Allergies: Mint plants contain an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent called rosmarinic acid. This has been studied for its effectiveness in relieving seasonal allergy symptoms, revealing a promising natural treatment.4
Common cold: Mint contains menthol, a natural aromatic decongestant that helps to break up phlegm and mucus, making it easier to expel. Menthol also has a cooling effect and can help relieve a sore throat, especially when combined with tea.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): The use of peppermint oil has been found to be an effective and safe treatment for those suffering from abdominal pain or discomfort associated with IBS.
Gastric ulcers: In a study in animals, menthol was found to help protect the lining of the stomach from the negative effects of indomethacin and ethanol, giving it a potential role in preventing gastric ulcers associated with alcohol consumption and regular use of painkillers.
Skin: When applied topically in oil, ointment or lotion, mint has the effect of calming and cooling skin affected by insect bites, rash or other reactions.
Oral health: Mint is a natural anti-microbial agent and breath freshener.