Mint leaves: Health benefits, nutrients & uses

mint leaves health benefits

Last Updated on May 11, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Mint (pudina) is the common name for plant species in the genus Mentha, including peppermint and spearmint. They are a popular herb that have been used for centuries for their medicinal and culinary purposes. This versatile herb has a refreshing, cool taste and is commonly used in teas, candies, and desserts. These plants are well-known for providing a cooling effect. They can be used in both fresh and dry foods. Mint is widely used in a variety of dishes and beverages, including teas and alcoholic beverages, as well as sauces, salads, and desserts. While eating the plant has certain health benefits, study suggests that applying mint to the skin, inhaling its aroma, or taking it as a capsule has several more. This article examines scientifically proven health advantages of mint.

May aid in Digestion 

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic digestive tract illness. It is identified as stomach pain, gas, bloating, and bowel disturbances. Although dietary changes and medication are frequently used to treat IBS, research suggests that consuming peppermint oil as a herbal cure may also be beneficial.

Peppermint oil contains  menthol, which is thought to help relieve IBS symptoms by relaxing the muscles of the digestive tract.

Research studies of nine subjects involving over 700 IBS patients discovered that ingesting peppermint oil capsules significantly alleviated IBS symptoms compared to placebo capsules.

According to one study, 75% of patients who took peppermint oil for four weeks improved their IBS symptoms, compared to 38% of patients in the placebo group.

Importantly, almost all studies that demonstrated IBS symptom improvement used oil capsules rather than raw mint leaves.

May have fever reducing activities 

Mint, when consumed as an herbal tea, can help relieve dengue fever. This could be due to the presence of menthol, which naturally has a cooling impact on the body. Excess fluids are also detoxified so that the body gets relief from cough, cold, flu, and fever. At the same time, the menthol works inside to reduce fever. Furthermore, because menthol is a natural muscle relaxant, it can reduce the aches and pains associated with high temperatures.

May treat Acne

Mint contains salicylic acid and has significant antibacterial qualities, both of which successfully prevent acne. It also contains vitamin A, which regulates oil secretion in persons with oily or acne-prone skin. Vitamin A  helps treat acne while also helping cleanse your pores.

May support Brain Health 

In addition to consuming mint, some suggest that inhaling mint oil improves cognitive  function. One study with 144 participants found that inhaling  peppermint oil for five minutes before cognitive testing generated significant gains in memory.

Another study discovered that inhaling  mint oils while driving boosted alertness, improves memory, attention span and focus while decreasing anxiety, tiredness and exhaustion

May help Lower Diabetes

Researchers described diabetes as a metabolic disorder, in which serum glucose level is high due to inactivation of insulin which imbalances the homeostasis and leads to a rise in various physiological problems . Researchers examined, in-vivo, that with oral administration of 2 mM  of peppermint – salicylic  oil extract on diabetic rats for 4 weeks there was a significant decrease in the blood and urine glucose level as well as the albumin, urea and uric acid levels in urine .

But in addition research had confirmed  that at a dosage of 100 and 250 mg/kg per day of peppermint oil,  it successfully reduce serum glucose levels, along with triglyceride, very low density lipoprotein(VLDL), low density lipoprotein (LDL) and cholesterol levels in blood

May help decrease breastfeeding pain

Sore and cracked nipples are common among breastfeeding women, making breastfeeding uncomfortable and challenging.

Applying mint oil to the skin has been demonstrated in studies to help reduce pain associated with breastfeeding.

Research was conducted where Breastfeeding mothers applied  mint oil surrounding the nipple after each feeding. They typically applied essential oils . According to one study, using peppermint water after nursing prevented nipple and areola cracks, resulting in reduced nipple soreness.

May support Oral Health

Mint leaves contain menthol  and they have antiseptic, antiplaque and anti-gingivitis properties, which  help reduce the risk of oral infections and promote healthy oral hygiene. In a study it was demonstrated that the use of menthol mouthwash significantly reduces plaque, gingival inflammation, and bleeding.

In addition to its health benefits, mint leaves are also a versatile ingredient in the kitchen and can be used in a variety of dishes, from sweet to savoury. It’s refreshing flavour and bright colour make it a great addition to drinks, marinades, and sauces, and its versatility in the kitchen means that it can be used in a wide range of recipes.

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