Before we discuss the health benefits of mint leaves, let’s find out about the mint leaves itself.
Mint is a popular and wildly beneficial herb with long history of use by mankind. The origin of word “mint” comes from Greek word “mintha” or also known as mentha. Etymologically speaking, mint is a personification of a Minthe, a mythical nymph who transform itself to a mint plant according to Greek mythology.
Mint comes from a genus of plant of Lamiaceae family and have up to 18 or 20 variations worldwide. Scientific name of mint is Mentha spicata and biology science categorize it as part of genus Mentha, tribe Mentheae, subfamily of Nepetoideae, Family of Lamiaceae, Order of Lamiales, and part of Kingdom Plantae. Some variation or cultivars of mints plants are as follows: mentha aquatica, mentha arvensis, mentha asiatica, mentha cervina, and mentha vagans.
One of the unique characteristic of mint is that it is considered as perennial plant – it means mint has lifespan of more than two years to differentiate itself with other shorter life-span categorized as either annual or biennials plants. Although, some rare variation of mint or its cultivars also categorized as annual plants.
Mints are also aromatic with wide-spreading root structure called stolons that spans undergrounds. Mints can grow over 1 meter tall and can spread around a very large area and because of this characteristic Mints is also considered as invasive plants.
Beside its long history mints also contain tremendous health benefits for the human body. In this article, we list out six ways mint leaves can be used to rejuvenate your body and soul and also help you maintain your healthiness by consuming mint leaves.
1. Mint Leaves to Help You Maintain Your Overall Personal Hygiene
Personal hygiene has many diverse effects on our lives – it can influence our social life and also our health. If one does not maintain good personal hygiene it will start influencing our lives for example our lack of personal hygiene may influence our work life and make our work colleague uncomfortable working with us. Interconnectedness between our personal hygiene and our health is also tremendous one. Lack of personal hygiene significantly increase risks of infections and pain. For example: athlete’s foot and mouth infection or ulcer can be caused by lack of personal hygiene.
Here are ways to use mint leaves to improve your personal hygiene:
Use of Mint Leaves to Maintain Hair Health
Mint has aromatherapy substance and also antiseptic property, using mint leaves water – that is water attained by boiling mint leaves for 10 minutes and cool the down afterward – can be a great way to treat many problems with our hair. For example: greasy hair and dandruffs. Mint leaves water could be the substitute from very expensive hair product used to improve hair healthiness. Mint leaves water will clean the scalp because it contains anti-microbial and anti-fungus property. On top of that, micro nutrients contain within the leaves extract would nourish the hair from its root and result into healthier hairs. Dandruff will be hard to stay because scalps is healthy and sterile. Whereas all the grease in our hair because of sweat glands will be washed away as we apply the mint leaves water on our head.
Use of Mint Leaves in Conjunction with Toothpaste to Help Oral Health
One of the most potent health benefits of mint leaves is in improving our oral health. Oral health is one of the most important element to our personal hygiene. A bad oral condition may result into halitosis or known simply as bad breath that would ruin our interaction with others. To improve and maintain healthy oral condition, we are taught to brush our teeth regularly and also to floss. Consuming and using mint leaves in addition to brushing and flossing will give several benefits: (i) it helps in whitening teeth and (ii) it washed away the bad breath
Teeth color will be enhanced because the substances that make our teeth looked yellow are basically the accumulation of bacteria and other fungus. Mint leaves extract contain strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungus property that will help enhance the healthy white smile you have been dreaming for.
Bad breath is caused by accumulation of bacteria in between our gums and in places that is difficult to be cleaned by brushing teeth. However, if we constantly wash our mouth with mint leaves or simply drinking tea fused with mint-leaves it will help sterilize our mouth all day long and reduces gas exerted by those bad bacteria that cause halitosis (bad breath).
Mint Leaves Help Solve Body Odor Issue
Body odor can be the issue that brings a lot of tension in our life – from our personal relationship to our productivity at work. To help soothe the pungent odor that persist, mint leaves can be used as ways to combat those strong odors. Simply, wash your body with water infused by mint leaves. The water must be infused by mint leaves over night or the alternative is to boil water with mint leaves for 10-15 minutes. The excess of mint leaves can be used directly as a scrub that we use to clean our skins. As a precaution, make sure that you are not having rare allergic reaction with mint leaves if you have a very sensitive skin condition. The regular wash and mint-leaves scrubbing will help combat your strong body odor and help you regain control in your life.
2. Treat Stomach Ache and Bad Bowel Movement.
Other unexpected health benefits of mint leaves is in soothing our digestive system. Bowel movement is very important health indicator that not only influences the overall health because digestion system comprises significant portion of our body but also influences our mood. Researches showed that what happens inside our stomach highly influences our temperament because bacterial composition help produce or inhibit certain hormone that regulates our mood. Stomach ache is one of the most common illness that is suffered by everyone. It can be caused due to infection such as what happen if we suffer from stomach ulcer. Stomach ulcer can be highly dangerous because if the gastric acid touches the ulcer it can worsen inflammation. The worst-case scenario from this can be deadly.
Consuming extracted mint leaves or simply drinking tea infused with mint leaves can help improve our bowel condition. Chewing mint leaves directly can also help maintain stomach condition because rich fiber content will facilitate good bowel condition from time to time. The rich anti-oxidant content in mint leaves will help reduce inflammation and nourish good bacteria that improve our mood. Irritation due to infection and other external agent can be combatted because mint leaves possess strong antiseptic power. The aromatic property of mint leaves would also relax our mind and help reduce anxiety from stomach pain.
3. Treat Sore Bodies and Insomnia
Mint leaves offer effective alternative cost-effective way to treat your insomnia. In the modern way of life, maneuvering hectic schedule is a constant challenge. It is not rare, that we found ourselves work ourselves too much and result into strained muscle due to extreme fatigue. It is very difficult to achieve relaxation state during our rest period because of constant stress that bombard our mind. Consuming mint leaves can help us achieve relaxation state because mint leaves release aromatic fragrant that induces dopamine rush and make us happier and more relaxed. We can use mint leaves to induce good night sleep that will help us treat condition such as sore bodies or insomnia. Insomnia can be so acute to some patient that it triggers depression due to lack of sleep and disrupted resting pattern. Luckily mint leaves can also be extracted for its oil that can be applied to treat more severe insomniac case and achieve highly effective way to induce relaxation state to these insomniac patients. This health benefits of mint leaves gives you a smart way to treat your insomnia.
4. Mint leaves to Taper Down Post-surgery Nausea
After surgery, we often feel nauseating effect of anesthesia which can last from hours or even days. Health benefits of mint leaves here is can be used as therapeutic agent. Crushed mint leaves release strong therapeutic fragrance that help soothe our nerve system and help us relax hence soothing the nauseating effect of the leftover anesthetic drugs within our blood system. Rubbing mint leaves on our face and around neck could also help us soothe because those area is located near our olfactory system which facilitate quicker soothing effect. Mint leaves can also be crushed and mixed with balm which can be a great home-remedy alternative to soothe nausea whenever we need them.
5. Treat Allergic Reaction
Most people do not know that mint leaves posses strong health benefits in treating allergy. Allergic reaction can be very deadly at times. Some of the severe reactions that hint allergy are abdominal cramps, diarrhea, headaches, heartburn, burning sensation around mouth and face tissue, and inflammation on skins (skin rashes). Many of those allergic symptoms can be directly solved by mint leaves extra-ordinary properties. For example, symptoms that affect abdominal or gastric system such as diarrhea, heartburn, and stomach cramps will be soothed by mint leaves because of relaxing property. Consumption of mint leaves be it use it by infusing mint leaves into our drinks or put it on our food can help digestion system to sooth because of relaxing substances contained within mint leaves. Mint leaves help combat allergic reaction because it inhibits certain release of chemical that caused reactionary reaction that worsen allergies.
6. Mint Leaves as Antiseptics
Another health benefits application is by using them as antiseptics. Mints leaves has strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungus agent that if you extract large enough quantity of it can even be used as environmentally and safe insecticide. In short, mint leaves have a very potent antiseptic property. We live in situation where infection can occur from many sources. Our environment is filled with bad bacteria, bad fungus, and even virus. If we cut ourselves open and got wounded due to some unexpected circumstances and needed ways to sterilize the wound, mint leaves extract is a great alternative. We often carry mint leaves infused tea to accompany us, so for many of mint leaves fans – it is more accessible than looking for alcohol. Pouring the mint leaves extract to the wound area will help prevent likelihood of infection. Infections are very dangerous and can result into severe fever or even amputations. So, always make sure you carry your mint leaves tea around before you leave home!
Mint leaves are extraordinary herbs with long history of use in mankind history. People of ancient Greek had known about mint leaves from thousands of years ago. The Greek considered mint leaves as the herb for hospitality. Even further, ancient Egyptian used mint as supported by evidences found in Egyptian tomb dating back as far as 1000 BCE. With such long history, it is of no surprised that mint leaves had very wide range of application from maintaining oral health to treating allergic reactions.
Serving Method of Mint Leaves
It is also surprisingly simple to incorporate the consumption of mint leaves into our daily life. We also list the simple ways you can incorporate mint leaves so that you will reap all those benefits we have been explaining so far.
1. Boil it in Water
The simplest way to consume mint leaves is by boiling it into water for 5 to 10 minutes. Simply add 5 big leaves or more depending on how strong the concentration you want to be into 2-3 cups of water. You can drain the water later and let it cool down before directly consuming it by drinking or applying it on your skins. You can also use the left-over leaves by rubbing it onto your skins to help sterilize and maintain your skin health.
2. Infused it with Tea
The most popular way of using mint leaves is by infusing into tea because it adds the refreshing taste to your favorite tea taste. It can be consumed in the morning to help energize your day or at night to help you calm down and treat insomnia after a hectic day.
3. Eat it Fresh or Incorporate it with Your Favorite Meal or Beverages
One of the alternative to consume mint leaves is none other than by consuming it directly. Because mint leaves is a natural ingredient you do not need to worry that it will cause side effect. Simply grab 2-3 leaves and chew it while you enjoy your salad or add it into your smoothies. That way you can enjoy the health benefits while consuming your favorite food or beverages like ginger beer during your day.