Table of Contents
This popular herb is more than just refreshing!
Jun 4, 2023
Fresh, clean, and energizing, mint is a popular, well-loved herb. Aside from enjoying it in gum, or as a tea, mint may also offer healing relief in its leaf form and as an essential oil.
Mint has dozens of species including spearmint, peppermint, wild mint, and even pineapple mint, according to Healthline. Mint is often added as a culinary flavor and used in sauces, jellies, teas, and, of course, in candy and in ice cream.
Aside from the kitchen, these plants have a more serious side! As an outdoor plant, it helps attract beneficial insects, while repelling the pesky ones. Bring it indoors to heal body ailments. Here are five ways mint matters.
Could Help Respiratory Health
When it comes to breathing issues, reach for wild mint essential oil, according to UC Health. For congestion, breathe in steam made from hot water and a few drops of peppermint oil. The menthol in the mint acts as a decongestant and helps to open your nasal passages. A study in Natural Product Research found that mint could also help relieve bronchial asthma.
May Improve IBS
Peppermint oil may improve symptoms in those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to Healthline. This is because the menthol in the oil relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract.
In fact, a study in the Digestive and Liver Disease journal showed that 75 percent of patients with IBS who used peppermint oil had more than a 50 percent reduction in symptoms.
Helps You Stay Alert
Feeling groggy behind the wheel? Take a whiff of peppermint! Aside from keeping you alert, it does even more. According to a study in the North American Journal of Psychology, drivers who sniffed peppermint were also less frustrated and anxious
Excellent for Skincare
The juice in mint leaves acts as a cleanser, and may reduce pimples and could help to reduce acne, according to Organic Facts. But mint helps with other skin conditions too.
If you have an insect bite from a mosquito or a sting from a bee or hornet, reach for mint oil, as it may reduce itching and infections. With its anti-inflammatory properties, it may also reduce swelling. And as it is cooling, it may help you scratch less.
This is the classic use of mint, but not in chewing gum or breath mint form, explains Healthline. These mint-flavored candies will simply mask bad breath, but not eliminate it. Instead, drink peppermint tea or chew on mint leaves to help kill the bacteria and other compounds that cause bad breath.
NICOLE NATHAN BEM,
Nicole is an editor, blogger and author who has recently left her urban life in order to be more connected with nature. In her spare time, she’s outdoors hiking in the forest, mountain biking or tending to her new permaculture garden.