Mint is very popular for use in the preparation of mint and coriander chutney. It is also used in flavouring meat, fish, sauces, soups, stews, tea, tobacco and cordials. The fresh leaf tops are used in beverages, apple sauces, ice creams, jelly, salads. Mint oil is used in chewing gum, tooth paste and in confectionery and pharmaceutical preparations.
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Nutritional Value of Mint
Mint contains plenty of vitamins and is rich in minerals. Mint contains calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene or vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B3, vitamin B12. It also contains vitamin D and vitamin E.
A golden yellow volatile oil is obtained on steamed distillation of mint leaves and flowering tops. About 50% of menthol can be separated out in crystalline form on cooling this oil. The remaining oil is used as peppermint oil. Dementholised mint oil is used in confectionery and medicine in place of peppermint oil.
Health benefits of Mint
Mint is much valued as a stimulant and as a drug, which relieves flatulence. Mint is useful in strengthening the stomach and promoting its action and also counteractin spasmodic disorders. It forms an ingredient of most drugs prescribed for stomach ailments because of its digestive properties. It is good for liver and helps dissolve gravel in kidneys and bladder.
Mint oil is official in the Indian pharmacopoeia as a carminative. It is official in Chinese pharmacopeia as an aromatic flavouring agent, carminative, for application to the skin and to relive pain or discomfort. In Germany, it is taken as carminative, inhaled as a secretolytic and applied externally for cooling effect.
Use of Mint on Digestive disorders
Mint is an excellent appetizer. Fresh min leaf juice is has health benefits in treatment of indigestion, biliousness, flatulent colic, thread worms and morning sickness. Taking mint juice along with lime and honey is beneficial on digestive disorders. A mint tea in morning assists in digestion and gives a fresh and healthy appearance. The seeds of mint are beneficial in relieving abdominal gripe due to indigestion in older children. The child may be give quarter teaspoon of seeds to chew and swallow with water for relieving abdominal gripe. Mint possess anti gas properties. Mint juice is also an appetizer. Mixture of Mint with lime and honey is effective remedy for indigestion and gaseous distension of stomach.
Mint and Diarrhoea
Mint is an anti diarrhoeal food. The extracted mint juice has health benefits in treatment of diarrhea.
Mint as a remedy for Sore throat and Cough
Menthol is commonly added to cough drops and cough medicines to help relieve sore throats, coughs and mouth and throat irritation. Gargling fresh min decoction with salt has been found beneficial in treatment of hoarseness caused by shouting or talking loud. It is boon for singers and orators as it clears voice.
Mint as remedy on respiratory disorder
Mint is valuable in respiratory disorders like tuberculosis, asthma and bronchitis. A teaspoon of fresh mint juice, mixed with two teaspoons of vinegar and equal quantities of honey stirred in 100 ml of carrot juice acts as tonic and has good effects in treatment of these respiratory disorders. Mint liquefies the sputum, nourishes lungs, increases body resistance against infection and prevents harmful effects of anti tubercular drugs. Mint prevents asthma attacks and reduces congestion of air passages.
Mint and oral disorders
Fresh mint leaves, chewed daily, is an effective antiseptic dentrifice. The chlorophyll combined with other antiseptic chemicals of mint kills harmful odour causing germs. Mint strengthens gums, by providing required nutrients and prevents tooth decay, pyorrhea and premature tooth fall. Mint also keeps mouth fresh and improves the sense of taste in the tongue.
Skin benefits of mint
The use of fresh mint juice has been found beneficial in treatment of pimples and in prevention of dryness of skin. This juice can be applied externally over affected area. Mint juice can also be applied over insect stings, eczema, scabies and contact dermatitis with beneficial results. Mint is used in various skin creams and ointment.
Benefits of mint for women
Mint has been considered valuable in spasmodic dysmenorrhoea or painful menstruation, especially in young girls. Tea made from mint when given four days earlier to expected menstruation period helps treating pain during menstruation.
Mint as an Analgesic
Many menthol creams exist that are popular among athletes.
Mint as a topical pain reliever for Arthritis
Menthol is used as a topical reliever to a specific arthritic joint.
With these health benefits of Mint thus proves to be a ‘wonder‘ herb.
Side effects of mint
For chronic heartburn, Mint is not recommended. Similarly in case of Liver damage, Gall bladder inflammation, Bile duct obstruction and pregnancy Mint is not recommended.