Acute-pointed, lance-shaped, wrinkled, bright green leaves, with finely toothed edges and smooth surfaces, the ribs very prominent beneath. Different varieties will have slightly different characteristics that you can view on our site by photos or when you receive them in your boxed shares. Apple mint, for instance, is fuzzy! Orange mint will have a more rounded leaf shape.
Digestion: Mint is a good appetizer and promotes digestion, due to its typical aroma. It also soothes stomach in cases of indigestion, inflammation etc. This aroma of mint activates the saliva glands in our mouth as well as glands which secrete digestive enzymes, thereby facilitating digestion. Thus it is extensively used in culinary.
Nausea & Headache: Again, the strong and refreshing aroma of mint is an excellent and quick remedy for nausea. Whenever you feel it, just smell the oil of mint or crushed fresh mint leaves or use any product with mint flavor, whichever is available near you, and it will be gone. In fact, many people keep mentha oil or mint flavored products with them to avoid nausea, particularly when they are traveling. Balms based on mint or simply mint oil, when rubbed on forehead and nose, gives quick relief in headache.
Respiratory Disorders, Cough etc.: The strong aroma of mint is very effective in opening up congestion of nose, throat, bronchi and lungs, giving relief in respiratory disorders resulting from asthma, cold etc. As it cools and soothes throat, nose and other respiratory channels, it gives relief in cough too. Many balms are based on this property of mint. Unlike other inhalers which are based on aerosols, those based on mint are more effective and eco-friendly too.
Asthma: Regular use of mint is very beneficial for asthma patients, as it is a good relaxant and gives relief in congestion. But, over dosage may irritate as well.
Skin Care, pimples etc.: While mint oil is a good anti septic and anti pruritic, mint juice is an excelle,nt skin cleanser. It soothes skin, cures infections, itching etc., and is also good for pimples. Its anti pruritic properties can be used for treating bites of insects like mosquitoes, honey-bees, hornets, wasps, gnats etc.
Female Sterility: Now, there is a mixed opinion about this. Some say that prolonged use of menthol may cause sterility and induce inability to conceive, by interfering with the production of ova and also killing these gametes, because of its germicidal and insecticidal properties. It is also heard that men who smoke menthol cigarettes are more likely to suffer from impotency than those who smoke normal cigarettes. It is not certain whether it is due the tobacco alone or mint has anything do with it. But menthol certainly has insecticidal properties. While another group suggests that mint may be used to treat sterility in females.
Oral Care: This is a well known property of mint. Being a germicidal and breathe freshener, it takes care of oral health by inhibiting harmful bacterial growth inside mouth and by cleaning tongue and teeth.
Cancer: Current researches show that certain enzymes present in mint may help cure cancer.
Other Benefits: Besides its wide industrial use in food stuffs such as ice-creams, chocolates etc., alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, cosmetics, medicines, inhalers and mouth and breathe fresheners, it is used as a condiment and decorative item in culinary world-wide. Drinks and food-stuffs containing mint cools you off in summer. It is a good relaxant. One more peculiar property which is very much in contrary to its cooling and soothing effects is that it induces sweating if consumed in fever, thereby curing it. Mint juice can be applied on burns to heal and soothe them. It is also beneficial in rheumatism. It is also said to improve activity of the brain, although there are no sufficient proofs.
As with most herbs, mint is a low calorie, low-fat food, providing 48 calories and 0.6 grams of fat per 100 grams. Most of the calories are from carbohydrate sources, but mint does contain a small amount of protein as well. Mint also contributes 2 grams of dietary fiber, which is important for both intestinal and cardiovascular health. Nutrition experts recommend a daily intake of at least 25 grams of fiber per day.
Mint is especially rich in carotenes and vitamin C. Carotenes are nutrients that give plants their characteristic colors and are antioxidant precursors to vitamin A. The best known carotene for human health is beta-carotene, which has been shown to be beneficial in certain conditions such as eye health and cardiovascular disease. Mint provides 1620 micrograms of carotenes.
Twenty-seven milligrams of vitamin C are in each standard portion of mint. Vitamin C is best known for its benefits to the immune system and in the growth and repair of tissue. Some studies indicate that it may also provide protection against some forms of cancer, such as colon and rectal cancer. The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine recommends 75-90 milligrams per day for adults age 19 and older.
Mint is also a good source of several essential minerals, including magnesium, copper, iron, potassium, and calcium.
Magnesium and calcium are both important minerals for bone health. Mint provides 60 milligrams of magnesium and 200 milligrams of calcium in each 100 gram serving. Phosphorus, another mineral that maintains strong bones, is also present in the herb.
Iron is a very important mineral for healthy blood. One hundred grams of mint contains 15.6 milligrams of iron, almost meeting your daily need for the mineral. Iron absorption from mint is enhanced by its vitamin C content, making it a very good addition to a healthy diet.