Mint tea can soothe the stomach, as well as cleanse the palate but what other uses does this fresh herb have? I have long been a fan of mint and have used mint in many ice tea recipes, garnishing a drink and to soothe an upset stomach. But what other uses besides a garnish on a plate and alleviating tummy troubles does this herb have? I am discovering its uses are far more reaching than just curing belly ache.
Mint contains essential oils that are highly viable and provide distinct flavors and fragrances when incorporated with different foods. This herb is very versatile in the culinary world since it comes in a wide range of types, including pineapple mint, apple mint, and even chocolate mint. Therefore, it can be utilized in a variety of ways. Two of the more common types of mint, peppermint and spearmint, make for excellent hot and iced teas. Fresh or dried mint is a great garnish for iced drinks, desserts, beef, veal, lamb, both vegetable and fruit salads. Cooking mint will weaken its flavor, so the herb should be added to a dish right before cooking or serving food. It is also suggested to crush the leaves directly prior to cooking to best obtain the essential oils. In cuisine, mint is typically present in appetizers or as a palate cleanser before the main course to stimulate appetite and allow food to be digested comfortably.
Mint is capable of aiding multiple medical ailments, including digestive problems, nausea and headache, respiratory disorders and coughs, asthma, breastfeeding, depression and fatigue, skin care, memory loss, weight loss, allergies and hay fever, and cancer. Mint is used to promote digestion and soothes the stomach in the event of inflammation or indigestion. A minty aroma onsets digestion via the stimulation of the salivary glands and the glands responsible for secreting digestive enzymes. The menthol oil present in mint aids in eliminating nausea, even if one just smells the herb. Since mint is a naturally soothing substance, the inflammation and temperature rise usually present in the case of a headache or migraine can be alleviated with one’s exposure to this herb. Mint’s strong scent effectively clears up congestion in the nose, throat, bronchi, and lungs, providing relief to respiratory disorders that frequently result from the common cold and asthma. In regards to asthma, mint serves as an efficient relaxant and fights off congestion. The amount of mint should be limited though to avoid irritation of the nose and throat. Mint oil can be applied to cracked nipples damaged by breastfeeding to decrease the severity of the cracks and pain. Since it is a natural stimulant, mint may help in fighting off the blues and putting a pep in your step. Any form of the herb can help with depression and fatigue, whether it be ingested, topical, or inhaled. Mint juice is a great skin cleanser, capable of reducing pimples along with alleviating infections and itchiness. Its anti-inflammatory properties also bring down swelling. It has been found that those who frequently chew mint gum are more prone to having higher levels of memory retention and mental alertness in comparison to those who do not chew mint gum. As previously mentioned, mint is a stimulant, capable of activating the digestive enzymes that uptake the nutrients from food and consume fat to be used as energy. Adding mint to one’s diet may aid in using fat for energy more efficiently, thus contributing to less weight gain. Mint leaf extracts have been found to suppress the release of histamines, which usually arise as a result of the severe nasal symptoms typical of hay fever and seasonal allergies. Ongoing research has shown that certain enzymes present in mint may contribute to the prevention of some cancers. Mint is also beneficial in that it has the capability to induce sweating when ingested with a fever, thus breaking the fever and quickening the recovery rate.
The form of mint best suited for someone depends on what he or she is hoping to treat. Different forms of mint include oil and whole leaves.
Peppermint oil is beneficial for multiple reasons. It can help reduce stomach aches, alleviate digestive issues, freshen up bad breath, lessen headaches, improve mental focus, clear up the respiratory tract, provide a boost of energy, and release tight muscles. It also contains antimicrobial properties and is a cheaper, natural replacement compared to pharmaceutical drugs.
Mint leaves aid the body in a lot of different ways. Consuming mint in its natural leaf form may boost digestion, strengthen your liver, reduce flatulence, cool the body down, relieve asthma, promote oral health, eliminate mucous, combat cancer, soothe the skin, and add flavor to food.
Here is a delicious Mint Salad recipe. The weather has been so warm I was able to pick the last mint from my garden.
Barley Garlic Mint Salad
1 cup Barley
3 Cups water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 half pepper (i used orange), diced
1 stalk celery, in slices
1 half onion, diced
2 Tbsp mint
Juice of 2 limes
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Boil Barley and water. While Barley is cooking cut up vegetables place in bowl. Next Mix olive oil, garlic and lime juice mix well. When barley is cooked place all in bowl and mix. Salt and pepper to taste.