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Eating Mint Leaves May Keep You Healthy

By Madhusudhan Tammisetti

Mentha, also called mint leaves, belongs to the Lamiaceae family of plants. The mint is about 20 species, the most popular of which are spearmint and peppermint. Mint plants are herbs and may grow in a variety of environments, although they prefer damp environments. Because of its cooling effects, the mint is one of the world's most popular plants. 

Mints have a distinct aroma and a somewhat sweet flavor with a refreshing aftertaste. Mint has been used as a breath refresher for a long time. Menthol or essential oil is derived from mint leaves. Chewing gums, toothpaste, mouthwash, breath sprays, and other products include menthol and mint essential oil. L-carvone is the chemical that gives mints their distinctive scent and taste.

Mint leaves are a necessary ingredient in British, American, and Middle Eastern cuisines. Arab nations use mint in their meals and drinks. Food manufacturers use mint in chocolates, ice creams, and other products. The herb was traditionally used for therapeutic reasons. It was initially used as a room deodorizer, earning it the moniker herb of hospitality. The leaves were used in ancient medicine to cure a variety of diseases.

Some of the health benefits of mint leaves include aiding digestion, treating dizziness, nausea, headaches, nasal congestion, preventing head lice and dandruff, improving oral health, acting as colic in infants, improving blood flow, relieving muscular pain, improving the skin, supporting eye health, boosting immunity, and promoting weight loss.

Good for Eye Health

Mint contains Vitamin A, which is important for maintaining normal eye function. This vitamin is required for the production of the retina's photoreceptor pigment and the preservation of epithelial tissues. Xerophthalmia, night blindness, and other eye diseases such as early macular degeneration occur when this vitamin is deficient.

May Give Muscle Pain Relief

Because mint leaves contain antispasmodic chemicals, they may be used to treat muscular pain. These substances may help calm inflamed or tight muscles, and their cooling effects add to their effectiveness. Mint also helps alleviate intestinal muscular spasms, which is why it's useful for digestive problems.

Colic in Infants

Mint is just as good for babies as it is for their moms. Mint leaves contain simethicone, a calming agent that keeps the infant from sobbing uncontrollably for hours. Many newborn colic drops include the anti-gas agent simethicone.

Good for Digestion

Mint is a taste enhancer. Its pleasant scent enhances the appeal of food. Fresh mint leaves may help stir up the salivary glands in the mouth and stimulate glands responsible for increased secretion of bile, which improves digestion. Mint promotes better bile flow and relaxes the digestive system muscles.

Mint also possesses carminative effects, which means it aids in the expulsion of gas and the relief of its symptoms. Mint also has a modest anesthetic effect that may help reduce pain from small stomach irritation and other digestive issues.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Concord, Calif.

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