With at least a few dozens of under the name, like spearmint, peppermint. This perennial herb, native to the Mediterranean, that belongs to the genus Mentha, has been used for many thousands of years. With uses ranging from culinary, medicinal to perfumery.
First introduced to Britain, then later in America, this plant originated in the Mediterranean. With a history dating back to ancient Rome and Greece. Mint can be eaten, but some research shows that applying it topically or inhaling it may be the most effective method of taking advantage of its benefits.
Here are some health benefits you may get from Mint:
1. Good for runny nose & Common cold relief - There is nothing more annoying than having a cold, allergies, or a sinus infection, where you can’t breathe properly because of the blocked airway. Menthol, a compound found in mint (peppermint, eucalyptus, and spearmint, etc. ) can be an effective short-term solution for relieving nasal decongestion. Either administered topically or inhalers that are flavored with menthol. But be aware, some people are sensitive to topical application of essential oils, so make sure to do a patch test on the skin.
2. Rich in Vitamins & antioxidants - Mint is a great source of vitamins like vitamin A and antioxidants that protect the body from oxidative stress, stabilize free radicals in the body. Try adding freshly picked mint leaves to your morning tea.
3. Good breath - Why do you think, mint is added to toothpaste or mints? All because of its ability to mask bad breath, or get rid of bad breath. To get that anti-bacterial and masking bad breath, opt for drinking tea flavored with mint or peppermint.
4. May help bowel-related problems & Pain relief - Again, compounds found in mint are not just great for relieving nasal congestion but also the cooling effect can also help ease pain and offer temporary relief. In addition, it's also great in reducing discomforts from indigestion, which is caused by food staying too long in the stomach, before being passed along the intestines. Some studies suggest that oils in the plant help food pass down quicker.
McKay, D. L., & Blumberg, J. B. (2006). A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.). Phytotherapy research: PTR, 20(8), 619–633. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.1936
Madisch, A., Heydenreich, C. J., Wieland, V., Hufnagel, R., & Hotz, J. (1999). Treatment of functional dyspepsia with a fixed peppermint oil and caraway oil combination preparation as compared to cisapride. A multicenter, reference-controlled double-blind equivalence study. Arzneimittel-Forschung, 49(11), 925–932. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0031-1300528
Dalvi, S. S., Nadkarni, P. M., Pardesi, R., & Gupta, K. C. (1991). Effect of peppermint oil on gastric emptying in man: a preliminary study using a radiolabelled solid test meal. Indian journal of physiology and pharmacology, 35(3), 212–214.