11 Most Surprising Benefits of Mint
These days, mint is everywhere. It’s in our chewing gum, tea, foods, and God knows our breath would be less than ideal if it wasn’t in our toothpastes. Because of this versatility, it should come as no surprise that mint is one of the most popular plants to have ever been discovered, and that peppermint is the most common cultivar that people grow.
The benefits of mint are extensive to say the least, so I’m sure that it has the ability to benefit you in at least one way. Studies are revealing new uses for this plant everyday, and you will be blown away when you learn what some of them are.
And, as if all of this isn’t great enough, mint has an awesome flavor! It wasn’t hard to convince me to start growing more of it when I realized how delicious it is.
Nutritional Breakdown of Mint
But, before I tell you all about the cool benefits of mint, I’m going to give you a nutritional breakdown of this plant so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.
For every two tablespoons of mint, there are:
- 0.12 grams of protein
- 2 calories
- 0.48 grams carbohydrates
- 0.03 grams of fat
- 0.30 grams of fiber.
Plus, mint also contains small amounts of potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and magnesium. Essentially, this plant is both healthy and powerful.
Now that we got that out of the way, here are the 11 main benefits of mint.
11 Benefits of Mint
Mint for Allergies
Mint is full of a compound known as rosmarinic acid, which scientists have found to be quite effective at helping people with their pesky seasonal allergies. Rosmarinic acid helps to reduce inflammation, and this is why it is so great at tackling congestion, sneezing, and all those other annoying allergy symptoms that none of us have time for.
Mint for the Common Cold
Feeling a bit under the weather? Incorporate some mint into your diet in order to help with decongestion and to break up phlegm. But, if this winds up not being enough to get you back into tip-top shape, put it in your tea to help get rid of your sore throat.
Mint for Indigestion
Indigestion is something that we all deal with but never want to talk about. Fortunately, mint can help with the discomfort and make it more manageable. Mint, and more specifically peppermint, relax the muscles around the intestines, which in turn makes it less likely that the muscles will then spasm and cause indigestion to occur.
Scientists are still trying to figure out the exact reasons behind this, but they have a hunch that it has to do with the menthol that’s in mint.
Either way, this life-hack is a good thing to keep mentally bookmarked.
Mint for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
The reasoning behind why mint helps to alleviate the side effects of irritable bowel syndrome is really similar to how it helps out those people with indigestion.
By relaxing the muscles around the intestines, gas, cramps, and other painful symptoms are significantly lessened. A lot of scientific studies have actually been completed regarding whether or not mint works to help with this medical condition, and it has been concluded that both mint and peppermint do increase the quality of life of those that are afflicted with IBS.
If you are one of those individuals, don’t lose hope just quite yet.
Mint for Skin Conditions
I personally am a huge fan of using mint to help with skin conditions. Creams, oils, and other topical solutions that contain mint are great for a variety of conditions, like acne, scars, rashes, bug bites, etc. Not only does it help to speed up the healing process, but it also is incredibly soothing.
Mint for Anti-Microbial Properties
A fun and not very well-known fact: mint has certain properties that help to kill bacteria and prevent it from growing in the first place. So, if you are constantly battling infections, fungus, or other bacteria-related issues, give peppermint oil a try.
It’s a natural, effective, and safe way to solve the problem without having to spend a ton of money.
Mint for Nausea and Headaches
One of the best things about mint is that it has a powerful and soothing aroma that helps to calm nausea. Whether you smell it or consume it, mint will help your upset stomach and will lessen your discomfort. I personally make a point of having mints and mint flavored gum around just in case.
Balms, lotions, and oils that have mint are also a great option too, as you can rub it on your forehead or face. Plus, if you’re like me and suffer from the occasional migraine, mint will help out with that as well.
Respiratory Disorders and Coughs
This is another situation where rosmarinic acid once again saves the day, as it helps to treat asthma. By limiting inflammation, mint leaves the body’s airways open and makes it easier for the average individual to breathe.
Or, if you have trouble breathing due to allergies, mint will also be able to help you out by treating allergy related symptoms, just like I mentioned earlier.
Mint for Breast Feeding
While many women love breastfeeding and find it to be very beautiful, it can be really hard on the body, especially on the nipples. Fortunately, mint oil can help to prevent nipples from cracking, drying, or chafing.
Mint for Potential Cancer Prevention
Many studies have been conducted that show that mint can actually help to prevent both prostrate and liver cancer. By limiting unhealthy cell reproduction, this plant has been proven to both slow down the spread of cancer and prevent it from beginning in the first place.
While it is by no means a cure for cancer, it may be helpful.
Mint for Candida
Finally, both mint and peppermint have been found to increase the efficacy of medicines that are used to treat yeast infections. If you’ve ever had to deal with yeast infections, you know firsthand just how great this discovery is.
But, it is important to note that mint has not been found to cure yeast infections all on its own. Instead, it just speeds the recovery process along and allows for any immediate discomfort to go away sooner than normal.
Spice Up Your Life with Mint
Now that you know about all of the health benefits that mint provides, it’s time to go over how you can easily incorporate mint into your current lifestyle.
First, you need to know how to properly prepare mint:
- Use a knife that is sharp, and make sure to be gentle.
- If you use a knife that is too dull, you’ll wind up bruising the plant
- This is something you definitely want to avoid, as it will compromise the potency and flavor
In regards to the types of recipes that you should make, try out some middle eastern dishes, as mint is a common ingredient in most of them. Salads, soups, lamb, and other assorted vegetable dishes go perfectly with this plant, and they’re fairly easy to prepare, too.
Or, if you would like something even easier and more refreshing, put together a quick limeade. Crush the mint, mix it in with the drink, and make sure to include enough ice cubes. I personally am addicted to this drink, and I know you’ll love it too.
You can spice things up even more by putting a spin on traditional salsa and instead making it out of fruit. Use pita chips instead of tortilla chips, and garnish it with mint in order to give it the extra bite and flavor that it needs.
Finally, if you want to keep things as simple as possible, mix mint into your water in order to make it extra refreshing. I know individuals that drink this beverage every day, and they’re obsessed with it to say the least.
The Possible Risks of Eating Mint
While I am a huge supporter of mint and believe that everyone should use it as a natural approach to treating medical issues, it’s important to keep in mind that there are potential negative health benefits involved with this plant.
- For instance, if you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease, otherwise known as GERD, do not use mint in order to treat your digestive issues, as it will only irritate your body and make the condition worse.
- Additionally, if you consume too much peppermint oil, it can wind up being toxic. Plus, pure menthol is actually highly poisonous, and should never be consumed under any circumstances.
- Avoid using mint essential oils on children, no matter how appealing it may be. Applying these topically to kids can actually cause them to stop breathing, or to have intense spasms.
- If you have gallstones and are using mint, proceed with caution. This plant may exacerbate your condition.
- Finally, if you are ever unsure about whether or not mint will harm you in the long run, talk to your health care provider. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and you don’t want this plant making your medical condition(s) worse.
Whether you have one of the specific medical conditions that I mentioned, or you just want to boost your overall health, consuming mint can definitely be worth looking into. I urge you to try out a few of the tricks that I mentioned, and I look forward to hearing whether or not they’re as successful for you as they have been for me.
I hope that you liked my list of the major benefits of mint and that you learned a new trick or two! As always, make sure to let me know which benefit you like most in the comments below. Or, if you have a personal favorite that didn’t make it onto my list, let me know about that as well!