Mint, the well known mouth and breath freshener that is scientifically known as Mentha, has more than two dozen species and hundreds of varieties. It is an herb that has been used for hundreds of years for its remarkable medicinal properties.
Mint is one of the most refreshing and welcomed herbal flavors we all love. Types of mint herb include applemint, water mint, horsemint, pineapple mint, orange mint, spearment and peppermint. Peppermint and Spearming are probably the most widely used species. The herb is known to have originated in Asia and the Mediterranean region and the ancient Greeks named the plant after the mythical character Minthe.
The market is full of products like tooth paste, chewing gum, breath fresheners, candy and inhalers which have mint as their base element. Most of us are familiar with the refreshing application of mint, but it has far more to offer than that.
4 Health Benefits of Mint Leaves
Digestion: Mint is a great appetizer or palate cleanser, and it promotes digestion. It also soothes stomachs in cases of indigestion or inflammation. When you feel sick to your stomach, drinking a cup of mint tea can give you relief. Also, if you are someone who travels long distances via plane or boat, the menthol oil derived from mint can be very soothing for nausea and related motion sickness.
The aroma of mint activates the salivary glands in our mouth as well as glands which secrete digestive enzymes, thereby facilitating digestion. These attributes are why mint is extensively used in the culinary arts. Much of the western world includes mint as a part of appetizers or as an element of palate cleansers, to be eaten before the main course so the food will digest comfortably.
Nausea & Headache: Again, the strong and refreshing aroma of mint is a quick and effective remedy for nausea. Even just the smell of mint oil or freshly crushed mint leaves or the use of any product with mint flavor, and your stomach issues will be alleviated. In fact, many people keep menthol oil or mint-flavored products with them at all time to avoid nausea. Balms with a mint base or basic mint oil, when rubbed on the forehead and nose, gives quick relief in case of a headache. Mint is a naturally soothing substance, so it can alleviate the inflammation and temperature rise that is often associated with headaches and migraines.
Memory Loss: A recent study explored the effects that mint has on alertness, retention, and cognitive function. It found that people who frequently use chewing gum, whose major active ingredient is mint, had higher levels of memory retention and mental alertness than those who did not. The stimulant qualities of mint, once again, have shown yet another reason to pop that stick of gum in your mouth, or chew some leaves when you’re feeling less than brilliant!
Weight Loss: Aside from all the other health benefits of mint, it also can help in your efforts to lose weight in a healthy way! Mint is a stimulant, as we’ve already mentioned, but it also stimulates the digestive enzymes that absorb nutrients from food and consume fat and turn it into usable energy. Therefore, by adding mint to your diet, you are increasing the amount of fat that is being consumed and put to use, rather than being stored and contributing to your weight gain!
Juicing Mint Leaves
Using Mint in your juices is a good way to make your juices more refreshing and also have the added benefits that go along with it. Adding enough of it can really make a refreshing after taste that will stick with you for awhile.
Here are some delicious juice recipes that use mint:
Cucumber, Melon and Lime Juice
- 1 whole Cucumber
- 1 cup Honeydew Melon
- 1/4 cup fresh Mint Leaves
- 1/2 Lime
A Berry Minty Juice
- 2 cups Blueberry
- 1 Kiwi (2″ dia)
- 2 handfuls Mint Leaves
- 16 Strawberries
Cucumber, Mint and Pear Juice
- 2 whole Cucumbers
- 1/4 Lemon
- 1 Pear
- 1 handful fresh Mint Leaves
- 1 handful of Spinach
I’m always asked what type of juicer I use. While I would love to have a Breville Juicer or a Centrifugal Juicer as they yield more juice, I just don’t have that type of money to invest right now. I simply use the Hamilton Beach Pro Big Mouth Juicer. The Hamilton Beach website has it for $79.99 but I picked mine up at Walmart for $59.99 about 2 years ago and it is still working great. It yields a surprisingly good amount of juice and I never feel that I am wasting it. The key is to push the pump down slow and steady. This will give the extractor time to pump the juice through the strainer. I hope you have enjoyed this post. 🙂