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Mint Herb Health Benefits

Mints are aromatic, almost exclusively perennial, rarely annual, herbs. They have wide-spreading underground and over ground stolons and erect, square, branched stems. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs, from oblong to lanceolate, often downy, and with a serrated margin.

 

Leaf colours range from dark green and gray-green to purple, blue, and sometimes pale yellow.

 

Mint essential oil and menthol are extensively used as flavourings in breath fresheners, drinks, antiseptic mouth rinses, toothpaste, chewing gum, desserts, and candies, such as mint (candy) and mint chocolate.

 

Mint leaves are commonly steeped with water to make tea used as a home remedy to help alleviate stomach pain and as a sleeping aid.Mint tea is a diuretic.

 

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.

 

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! Current research shows that certain enzymes that can be found in mint may help prevent and treat cancer.

 

Menthol cools and refreshes the skin, making mint a handy herb to keep around in the summer. Use it to ease sunburn pain by making a strong peppermint tea and refrigerating the mixture for several hours.

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