Mentha belongs to the flowering plant genus Lamiaceae or Labiatae (commonly known as the mint or deadnettle or sage family). It is estimated that the Lamiaceae plant family includes approximately 13 to 24 species of flowering plants, although the exact difference between species is not clear.
This plant species grows as a subcosmopolitan throughout Asia, Africa, Australia, North America, and Europe. According to biogeography, the cosmopolitan refers to the expansion of a species’ range into suitable habitats around the world or in most parts of the world.
Mentha plants all thrive in different environments, and they are pervasive. Plants that can grow very fertile and prosperous often grow in moist environments and moist soil.
These mint plants, which can grow up to 10-120 cm in height, are spread all over the place. That is why some mint varieties are considered invasive plants. These herbs, which are perennials for a very long time, are extremely fragrant and are very popular for their intense aroma.
These plants, which can grow very widely, have stolons above and below ground. That is, stolons are biological terms that refer to horizontal connections between organisms, also called runners. Stolons can also be part of an organism, such as the root, stem, and branches of plants, and the skeleton and muscle of animals.
The mint plant with erect and branched stems has dark green attractive leaves. The colors of these leaves are also found in gray-green, blue, purple, and pale yellow. The fragrant leaves are elliptical or lanceolate, arranged oppositely on long stalks.
In particular, these are often set downward and with a serrated edge. Its flowers bloom in white and purple color and produce false whorls called verticillasters. That is, its flowers appear as a transparent cluster of opposite axillary cymes.
The whole petals of the flower, called the corolla, are two-lipped with 4 sub-equilateral lobes, in which the upper lobe is the largest. Its fruit is called a nutlet because of its small size, of which 2 to 4 seeds are found.
Its cooling properties are unique to the mint family, including peppermint, orange mint, spearmint, pineapple mint, apple mint, and a variety of plants.
Yes! Obtained in fresh and dried forms, the leaves of the mint plant provide a unique coolness and aroma and are added to various dishes such as salads, sauces, and desserts. Besides, they are also used as a popular ingredient in tea, beverages, and alcoholic beverages due to their refreshing nature.
According to research, various health benefits can be gained by incorporating mint leaves into the daily diet. Researchers say that using these plants externally for skin problems or chewing on their leaves, or inhaling its pungent aroma can render dramatic benefits.
Table of Contents
Nutritional Breakdown of Mint
The nutritional value of 100 grams of mint is estimated here.NUTRIENTS
|Dietary Fiber||: 27%|
|Vitamin A||: 81%|
|Vitamin C||: 22%|
|Vitamin B6||: 8%|
Potential Health Benefits of Mint
Mint, which was used only as a medicinal herb in ancient times, is now used as the main ingredient in various products such as tea, soft drinks, chewing gum, candies, toothpaste, cosmetics. Due to the diversity of these plants, they are included in all types of food and help greatly in curing various diseases. Developing studies are officially demonstrating the medicinal properties and benefits of these plants, which include countless benefits. This segment will explain the medicinal properties and health benefits of “Mentha” to people who only know mint as a mere aromatic plant.
1. Contains High Nutrients
Although mint cannot be consumed in large quantities like other herbs, a low intake of these leaves provides a generous amount of nutrients to the body. The leaves of mint, which have a dynamic taste, are often added in small quantities in cooking.
Consuming half an ounce a day can be very difficult as its daily use is limited. However, some salad recipes can easily reach the level of 4 grams of mint when consumed. Apart from these reasons, you can feel dramatic changes in a short period of time if you include a very little amount of mint in your regular diet.
These plants are an excellent source of vitamin A, which supplies 81% of your daily vitamin A requirement. Regular intake of such fat-soluble vitamins improves night vision and overall eye health.
In particular, Mint leaves are rich in powerful antioxidants compared to other spices and herbs. Therefore, they play an important role in preventing cell damage caused by free radicals and protecting the body from oxidative stress.
Here we listed the nutritional values that hidden in 4 grams (half an ounce) of mint;
- Vitamin A : 12% of the RDI
- Fiber : 1 gram
- Calories : 6
- Manganese : 8% of the RDI
- Iron : 9% of the RDI
- Folate : 4% of the RDI
2. Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Like plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, beans, and whole grains, mint plants have high antioxidant value. In addition, these herbs contain plant-based substances called phytonutrients that help protect the human body from various infections.
Antioxidants help prevent damage caused by free radicals and boost the body’s immune system. On the other hand, phytonutrients play an important role in controlling and reducing cellular damage caused by antioxidant pressure.
More so, they are known for their anti-inflammatory properties as they contain a certain amount of primary anti-inflammatory compounds. For these reasons, mint plants are effective in controlling the development of inflammation early on.
Mint leaves should not only be used as a flavoring agent in traditional foods but also for health benefits. Besides, due to their medicinal properties, it can be used extensively in the preparation of healthy snacks, veggie-heavy, plant-based meals.
3. Owns Anti-Microbial Properties
An interesting thing about mint is that the oil extracted from the leaves of this plant has the ability to kill bacteria. Mint oil is very useful to fight fungal and other bacterial diseases.
The anti-microbial properties of these herbs play a major role in protecting the body by effectively preventing the entry, growth, and spread of infectious bacteria. People with weak immune systems are more susceptible to infections caused by germs, which can lead to worsening over time.
Incorporating mint leaves, which are high in immunity, into the daily diet, or as an important ingredient can strengthen the immune system and protect the body from various infections.
Try to live a disease-free, natural, effective, and safe life by consuming naturally available herbs rather than spending money to consume medications that cause side effects.
4. Treats Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common digestive disorder that causes symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, and abdominal pain. Although prescribed medications, dietary changes, etc. can temporarily control IBS, natural herbs are of great help in their permanent solution.
The oil obtained from the leaves of peppermint contains an organic compound called menthol which can give a cooling sensation. The antispasmodic effects of this organic compound have a relaxing effect on the muscles in the digestive tract and the muscles surrounding the intestines.
Study results have shown that IBS symptoms such as abdominal pain, intestinal pain, flatulence, and muscle cramps are controlled by this process.
In a study conducted on IBS patients, they were divided into two groups then one group was given peppermint oil capsules and the other group was given placebo capsules. In conclusion, IPS symptoms were significantly lower in patients who ingested peppermint oil capsules.
A total of 9 such studies were conducted involving more than 700 patients, all of which revealed that 75% of patients had a positive effect on peppermint oil.
5. Helps in Indigestion
Peppermint oil helps in curing all digestive disorders like indigestion, stomach acid, bile irritation, acidity. Adding peppermint oil to the diet helps the food to be effectively digested and helps the discomfort.
Several studies have shown that peppermint oil is more effective than prescribed medications in relieving the symptoms of indigestion. In one study on peppermint oil, one group of participants was given indigestion medication and another group was given a mixture of caraway oil and peppermint oil.
Studies have shown that participants in both groups received similarly positive results within a few hours. According to the book ‘Healing Foods’ published by DK Publishing, the active organic compound called menthol in mint has antibacterial and antiseptic properties and works to regulate indigestion and soothe the stomach.
Fresh or dried mint leaves should be chewed well to relieve stomach related ailments like sudden abdominal pain and digestive disorder. By consuming these herbs in any form, the muscles around the intestines are easily relaxed, resulting in intensive treatment of muscle cramps.
6. Helps in Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding provides significant benefits to both the young mother and the baby, which plays an important role in the healthy development of the baby. But breastfeeding babies continuously for 6 to 9 months can cause cracks, sores, damage, and pain in the nipples of the mother’s breasts.
Such a condition makes breastfeeding difficult, complicated, and painful, affecting both the mother and the baby. A review published in the April 2007 issue of the International Breastfeeding Journal suggests that peppermint can effectively prevent nipple rupture and the pain it causes.
Young mothers with nipple problems can use mint in any form (distilled water, paste, oil, gel, powder) on a particular period of time. Research shows that it is safe for mothers to use some kind of mint on the nipple and the area around it after breastfeeding.
Also, ensure that you use mint after breastfeeding, this is because breastfeeding after using mint can give babies a different taste, which can be disgusting to babies. The gel and oil obtained from the mint leaves give a very quick effect and soothe the nipples.
One randomized study in mothers who used peppermint paste/peppermint water to prevent aurora and nipple cracking demonstrated that both pain and severity were simultaneously reduced.
In a study of mothers experiencing nipple rupture, they were divided into 3 groups, in which peppermint gel was given for the first group, lanolin for the second group, and placebo for the third group for external use.
The study concluded that 69.6% of those who used a placebo, 80.9% of the participants who used lanolin, and 96.2% of those who used peppermint gel get relief from nipple cracks and pain.
7. Cures Common Cold
All of the prescribed medications, vapor-rubs, and inhalers utilize menthol as the main ingredient, these medications are commonly used by people to treat the common cold caused by climate change and consuming cold foods.
However, the oil extracted from mint leaves naturally contains menthol substance, so peppermint oil is used as an excellent herbal remedy for fever and common colds.
Commonly known as an effective nasal decongestant, this natural herb treats congestion in the lungs, trachea, throat, and nose, thereby improving breathing and airflow.
Cold is also caused by excessive secretion of Kapha, mint oil can also be added to the diet to control colds. Also, it is good to drink mint tea daily as it has anti-inflammatory properties to relieve sore throat, chronic cough, cough irritation, etc.
These herbal leaves refresh the airways and help in balanced breathing. A study on mint has shown that the menthol in it can subjectively improve nasal breathing.
8. Alleviates Nausea & Headaches
The sweet and powerful aroma emanating from mint greatly helps to soothe nausea caused by psychological or physical ailment (taking pills on an empty stomach, motion such as from a plane & car & bus, drinking too much alcohol, eating too much, eating too little).
They are easily controlled by chewing mint leaves or inhaling its aroma when nausea or vomiting occurs. The quick action of mint controls the uncomfortable sensations and calms the stomach.
Pregnant women often experience nausea and/or vomiting, which can be relieved by chewing a few mint leaves on an empty stomach every morning. For those who do not like the taste of mint, it is enough to squeeze it well and inhale the aroma.
These herbal plants have been prescribed by traditional Ayurveda as a strong adaptogenic herb, so they can treat headaches naturally. The strong and refreshing aroma of its leaves is an excellent treatment for headaches, migraines, and stress.
An oil, lotion, or balm made from its leaves can be used on the forehead, nose, and face for immediate relief.
9. Improves Brain Function
All the functions including eating mint leaves raw and using the essential oil obtained from these plants, and inhaling its aroma by crushing the leaves well greatly support the function of the brain cells.
Various studies have shown that mint plays a classic role in improving the efficiency and function of the brain. A recent study on mint proved that mint can renew brainpower. The results of a study that tested the effects of mint consumption showed that this herb enhances awareness, memory retention, and cognitive function.
In a study conducted on 144 young people, it was recommended that they inhale the aroma of peppermint oil for five consecutive minutes daily. At the end of the experiment, peppermint made significant improvements in the participants’ memory.
In another study, participants were recommended to inhale the aroma of peppermint oil before driving and on traveling. Accordingly, the level of their awareness, frustration, nausea, fatigue, and anxiety was revealed to be minimal.
10. Relieves Asthma & Cough
A polyphenolic compound called rosmarinic acid is found naturally in various plants of the genus Lamiaceae. This compound has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, can be used to treat asthma, cough, allergic disorders, and reactive airway diseases.
Rosmarinic Acid helps to open the airways by controlling inflammation. Through this process, mint facilitates the process of breathing and provides consistent & moderate breathing continuously.
Mint consumption is very important to relieve airway relaxation and congestion that commonly occur in asthma patients. Some people are also prone to breathing difficulties due to allergies and they are recommended to use peppermint oil.
In a 2014 study on animals, researchers found that the menthol compound in the leaves of this herb protects and calms the airways. It has also been clarified that asthma patients can breathe easily as a result.
Experts believe that these can also provide relief for chronic asthma, temporary coughs, and chronic coughs.
Read also: 10 Best Herbs for Asthma- An Overview
11. Strengthens the Immune System
Mentha plants are high in antioxidants that help prevent free radicals from infecting the immune system. In general, free radicals cause damage to DNA, proteins, and cells, and cause various disorders in the body.
The most important function of free radicals is to weaken the body’s immune system so that various pathogens can easily invade the body. Antioxidants help protect the body from such attacks by fighting free radicals and neutralizing their growth and spread.
As the antioxidant properties of mint protect the body from all kinds of infections, it is recommended to consume a maximum of 1/4 cup of mint daily in any form. Because this amount of mint helps to provide the body with the required amount of daily nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Their abundant plant-based vitamins protect cells from damage and help keep tissues enriched. Mint works as a natural tonic that boosts the growth and function of the immune system.
These herbs have the ability to strengthen the immune system and reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. The important compounds found in peppermint leaves have the potential to destroy enzymes that promote the growth of various tumors, including cancerous tumors.
Read also: 10 Best Herbs to Boost Immune System
12. Expels Harmful Bacterias
The oil extracted from spearmint contains ketones called carvone and limonene. These ketones greatly promote antibacterial compounds that help control the risks and effects of bacteria in the body.
Harmful bacteria are a major cause of damage to the gastrointestinal tract, which covers the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine, from the mouth to the anus. Most of the dangerous bacterias enter the body through infected food.
Research on spearmint has shown that these can help reduce the risk of diseases of the GI tract. In general, harmful bacteria are more likely to be harmful in the elderly and children, and regular use of mint oil in their diet is best to treat bacterial infections.
The reason for the rapid onset of bacteria in the body is the weakening of the immune system. Natural mint herbs help to boost the immune system and give strength to the body. The high nutritional value of these herbs boosts the body and its intense aroma gives a refreshing feeling.
13. Handles Skin Conditions
Mint leaves have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, making them a natural remedy for acne caused by bacteria and excessive sebum release. Ayurvedic medicine has been using mint as a traditional remedy for acne and blackheads for centuries.
Mint is an important ingredient in many skincare products, such as face wash, cream, oil, face pack, facemask, and sunscreen. Its refreshing aroma and cooling properties give the skin a unique feel.
The paste made by grinding mint leaves can be applied topically on the skin to treat various conditions like acne, scars, psoriasis, bug bites, white & red patches, scabies, rashes.
Mint leaves can be used for even the most frequent pimples, and the high content of salicylic acid in them has been shown to be effective in counteracting the effects of acne.
As already mentioned, the high levels of antioxidants in these products prevent premature aging and rejuvenate the skin. In addition, the extract of finely ground mint leaves acts as an excellent skin cleanser, giving the skin a clear and radiant appearance.
To maintain the skin, mix a little honey with mint leaf powder and apply it on the skin and let it dry. After exactly 20 minutes, wash your face with warm water. Performing this procedure 3 times a week cures all skin problems and brightens the skin.
The healing process is accelerated by mint leaves paste, which is famous for its aroma and applying them to wounds, ulcers, and cuts.
Read also: Best Herbs for Skin
14. Helps to Reduce Sodium
An unsalted diet or a diet with a pinch of salt is recommended for people with high blood pressure. This is because too much salt raises the level of sodium in the bloodstream, and impairs balance.
This condition severely reduces the ability of the kidneys to excrete wastewater. As a result of this process, the smooth blood vessels become more strained and more fluid accumulates, which leads to high blood pressure.
The mint herb is very helpful in enhancing the taste profile and at the same time cutting the salt.
Since this mint can be used as an herb, as well as a spice, using it with all ingredients such as vegetables, fruits, meat, poultry, fish, and salads will help reduce the amount of sodium without increasing the time of the recipe, increasing the cost and sacrificing the taste.
In particular, researchers have found that the rosemary acid found in mint leaves can be very effective in treating seasonal allergies. This chemical combination easily treats irritating inflammation, sneezing, runny nose, congestion, and other irritating allergy symptoms.
15. Prevents Cancer Symptoms
Mint herbs contribute to preventing prostate cancer caused by the abnormal activity of prostate cells in men. Besides, various global studies have shown that mint leaves can actually help prevent the growth and spread of liver cancer cells caused by chronic hepatitis infections.
The mint plant effectively controls the proliferation of such harmful cells, which significantly prevents the spread of cancer. Some studies on mint have also demonstrated that they prevent the spread of unhealthy cells at an early stage.
Although mint leaves are not known to cure the final stage of cancer they are ideal for controlling the early stage of cancer.
Read also: 10 Best Herbs to Treat Cancer
16. Mint for Candida & Oral Care
Candida or Candidiasis is an infection caused by a type of fungus called yeast. Comparatively, both peppermint and mint are similar in effectiveness to prescribed drugs to control Candida fungal infections.
Therefore, current studies have found that these increase the therapeutic efficacy for yeast infections. Although mint does not cure yeast infections automatically, it does speed up the healing process and recovery process naturally. Through this process, the infection is controlled and the discomfort heals quickly.
Mint leaves contain natural antiseptics that, when chewed, immediately refresh the breath. Besides, they help in overall oral health by cleaning the plaque deposits on the teeth and preventing the growth of bacteria in the mouth.
Also, chewing fresh mint leaves, or mint-flavored breath mints and chewing gum can help reduce bad breath. Its unique aroma helps to get rid of bad breath and cools the airways.
This aside, test-tube studies showed that peppermint oil has antibacterial properties. So drinking tea made using peppermint leaves every morning will kill bacteria and cover up bad breath.
17. Aids Weight Loss Process
Mint supports the weight loss activities of obese bodybuilders and overweight people, yes! mint is the best choice for you if you want to lose your excess fat, cholesterol, triglyceride. Mint has been linked to weight loss activities by boosting metabolism and promoting digestive properties.
Digestive enzymes are immediately stimulated by the intake of mint, which then better absorbs the nutrients in the diet. Proper absorption of nutrients received by the digestive organs improves the body’s metabolism.
Mint also handles the synthesis of nutrients effectively causing rapid metabolism, which stimulates weight loss. On the other hand, the compounds in mint leaves help to expel excess bile that has accumulated in the gallbladder.
Proper release of bile accelerates the fat burning process and gives the body the energy to digest a large volume of food. So those who want to lose their weight can drink mint tea in the morning, or chew a few mint leaves.
Read also: 10 Best Herbs for Weight Loss – Best Guide
18. Handles Stress & Depression
Stress, frustration, fear, and tension can be caused by a variety of factors, including workload, depression, anxiety, and sadness. But the refreshing and very intense aroma emanating from the mint plant has a rejuvenating effect on the mind and has calming effects on the nerves of the brain.
For these reasons, these plants have a very important position in aromatherapy. Mint leaf oil has adaptogenic properties that make it very easy to control cortisol levels, thereby enhancing the body’s natural regression against stress.
The adaptogens in these plants help to deal with stress in any way, be it physical, chemical, or biological. This herb has been used in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for over centuries as an excellent healing tradition.
The mind is immediately calmed by crushing the leaves of mint and inhaling the aroma emanating from it. This is because its pungent odor stimulates the brain to release small amounts of serotonin.
Studies show that this serotonin may help you to overcome depression. For immediate relief, you can pour mint leaf extract over the evaporator, or take a mint bath, or drink mint tea.
Read also: An Ayurvedic Guide to Stress Management
What are Menthol Crystals?
An organic compound called Menthol is found naturally in all sorts of mint plants. Solid menthol crystals are obtained by subjecting mint oil extracted from Mentha Arvensis plants to a gentle freezing process, which shares a variety of medicinal properties, including the signature scent of mint.
These crystals contain maximum chemical properties so they can have very powerful beneficial effects on the body. They should be frozen at a temperature of -22°C to crystallize the essential mint oil obtained from the mint leaves.
The unlimited forms of these, which are initially menthol flakes, are graded and shaped for commercial purposes at 4oz., 8oz., 1lb, and 2lb. These menthol crystals, which are solid at room temperature, melt even when the temperature rises slightly.
Normal menthol crystals are usually colorless, small, brittle, and sticky. These menthol crystals, which can easily promote breathing, are widely used in aromatherapy around the world.
Menthol crystals with astonishing appearance and fragrance are an important ingredient in the manufacture of balms, salves, creams, gels, lip glosses, soaps, cosmetics, beverages, gum, shampoos, conditioners, mouthwash, toothpaste, pain relievers, linemen, compressors, foot sprays, throat sprays, nasal sprays, medicinal oils, shaving creams, and more.
Why Menthol Crystals Are Good For You?
The transparent pure menthol crystals contribute to the body’s immune system by preventing damage caused by free radicals.
These crystals greatly support the stabilization of emotions, through which it is believed that lost emotions can be gradually brought back.
For Common Symptoms
- Menthol crystals are widely used to treat sore throat, nasal congestion, fever, cough, headache, sinus disorders, etc.
- A very small amount of menthol crystals should be kept on the soles of the feet for a while to reduce fever and high body temperature.
- These crystals should be slightly warmed and applied to the lower part of the nose, collarbone, cheekbones, and temples before going to bed to control the discomfort caused by tension and headaches.
- Menthol crystals are recommended to treat hair related problems and improve hair and scalp care.
- By eliminating lice infestations and dandruff infestations, these crystals lead to fertile hair growth.
- Menthol crystals should be added to the oil normally used for hair and stored in an airtight container. Rub this oil on the scalp twice a week, massage well, and then take a bath. This process surely stimulates hair growth.
- Menthol crystals are used in most cosmetic products as they give the skin a soothing and cool feeling.
- These help to remove irritation, whiteheads, blackheads, patches, premature aging appearance, and so on.
- These crystals are effective in cleansing the skin, keeping it moisturized, improving clear skin, and maintaining skin tone.
- External and internal application of menthol crystals helps to alleviate inflammation and irritation.
- Mix pure menthol crystals with carrier oil or gel extracted from the thick leaves of aloe vera. Then utilize it to treat itching and sunburn.
- Soap made using these crystals helps to reduce skin irritation. And these control the high secretion of sebum oil in the skin and prevent acne.
- Menthol crystals should be mixed well with witch hazel to cure irritation and cuts that occur after every shave of men.
For Physical Ailments
- The popular cooling property of menthol crystals is the best remedy for muscle cramps, sprains, pain, and irritation.
- The crystals obtained from the mint plant effectively manage nausea, headaches, and dizziness by relaxing the muscles.
- Slightly warm these crystals and apply around the neck to soothe a sore throat and the resulting swelling.
- This mentha product can swiftly accelerate the healing process, so apply them directly to wounds, scrapes, swelling, cuts, and chronic ulcers.
- Ayurveda refers to peppermint as a natural carminative herb widely used in the preparation of menthol crystals. These are used to treat digestive disorders.
For Respiratory Issues
- It is recommended to use menthol crystals as a suitable alternative to vapor rub alternative inhalers commonly used for respiratory problems including asthma.
- These act as decongestant agents and promote the feeling of opening the airways. So effectively treats common cold and asthma.
- People with sinus deficiency will experience sinus congestion, for such people, this natural herb will give the best benefit. They help to open the sinuses by inhaling the exposed vapor by lowering the menthol crystals slightly in warm water.
- It is enough to inhale the scent emanating from these crystals to relieve stress, anxiety, fatigue, etc. Such treatment is called aromatherapy.
For General Uses
- Air fresheners are currently made at home using menthol crystals. These non-toxic natural air purifiers spread the wonderful scent and germs in the air.
- If your house is in the garden or if there are trees around your house there is a hassle by moths, tracheal mites, and many other pests. Experts recommend that menthol crystals act as a natural pesticide.
- To kill mosquitoes and insects, burn the menthol crystals at night and spread the smoke throughout the house. This herbal smoke helps to repel all kinds of harmful insects.
- Using raw menthol crystals can create an effective and safe DIY vapor scrub at home, that makes quality material available and cost effective.