8 Health Benefits of Peppermint You Should Know
Peppermint is much more than just a flavouring for your gums and candies. The therapeutic and herbal effects of peppermint tea and peppermint essential oils have been known since ages. Today, modern research continues to prove that peppermint is one of nature’s most valuable herbal remedies. Read on to know about the numerous health benefits of peppermint!
Peppermint is a natural hybrid cross between water mint and spearmint. Native to Europe and the Middle East, peppermint today is widely grown and cultivated across the world. You can use fresh or dried peppermint leaves are in peppermint tea or with other herbs in preparing herbal teas. Use peppermint for flavouring ice cream, candy, fruit preserves, chewing gum, toothpaste, and some shampoos, soaps and skin care products.
Did You Know?
– Ancient Greeks believed mint could cure hiccups
– Peppermint is the most extensively used volatile oil, both commercially and medicinally
– It is the number 1 selling flavour among non-chocolate, hard candies
Peppermint helps improve digestion, reduce pain, eliminate inflammation, aids weight loss and provides relief from nausea, headache, fatigue, and depression. Peppermint oil helps relieve pain and maintains hair and skin health.
This low-calorie herb is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, potassium and dietary fibers. Additionally, inhaling the peppermint aroma may enhance memory and relief stress.
Health benefits of Peppermint
Let’s have a deeper look into the health benefits of peppermint.
The anti-bacterial properties of mint prevent bacterial infections which are the root cause many illnesses. Trace quantities of potassium, calcium, vitamin B and antioxidants promote nutrient uptake and also fight off pathogens invading the body, thereby boosting the body’s immunity.
Studies have shown that phytonutrients present in peppermint help prevent the growth of cancerous tumours in the pancreas, liver and mammary glands. Additionally, the menthol present in peppermint inhibits prostate cancer growth.
Improves Liver Function
Fresh and dried peppermint leaves aids in liver functioning by increasing bile flow, breaking down fats and reducing bad cholesterol. It is also used in the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) as it calms and soothes the digestive system and cures a plethora of digestive ailments like indigestion, dyspepsia and colonial muscle spasms.
Relieves Nausea and Vomiting
In cases of motion sickness, peppermint reduces the chances of vomiting and nausea and hence acts as an antispasmodic. As an antispasmodic, it relieves you of the irritating sensation. Due to its cooling effect and anti-inflammatory properties, peppermint reduces inflammation stomach ache and queasiness.
Aids Weight loss
Mint is a natural stimulant that triggers the release of digestive enzymes and aids in digestion. This facilitates the efficient absorption of nutrients from food. In addition, the aroma from its leaves also helps in controlling appetite, thereby reducing overeating and preventing obesity.
Sniffing mint or drinking mint tea can make you feel happy and relieved all day, thanks to the natural sedative nature of menthol that provides relief from mental stress. Peppermint is widely used in aromatherapy because of its anti-inflammatory nature which helps in lowering blood pressure and body temperature. It also allows in unwinding and feeling relaxed by relieving all stress.
Treats Respiratory Disorders
Mint helps in providing relief from coughs by relaxing the muscles of the throat and chest. Mint leaves contain rosmarinic acid which can neutralize free radicals and block the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals such as leukotrienes due to its antioxidant properties. It also helps reduce the symptoms of asthma and sinusitis.
Kills Bad Breath
Ayurvedic medicibne involves using powdered peppermint leaves for treating bad breath and whitening teeth. The anti-bacterial property helps eliminate germs that can lead to halitosis (bad breath). Chewing mint gives a cool and refreshing aftertaste of a mouth freshener due to the presence of menthol which neutralizes the foul smell.
How to Have it?
For integrating peppermint in your daily routine, you can simply use the mint leaves for preparing peppermint tea, soups and sauces or for garnishing green salads.
Whether you want to add flavour to your dish or want to get rid of bad breath, peppermint is the solution. Peppermint is a powerful herb that can boost your immune system as well as help you get rid of a plethora of health ailments. So, adding a few leaves in your diet won’t just refresh your taste but will also cool your mind and senses.
Disclaimer: Menthol might act as an allergen in some and can cause heartburn in others.
100g of peppermint provides 70 Calories, Carbs – 15g (Dietary fiber – 8g), Protein – 3.8g, Fat – 0.9g, Sodium – 31mg
And a percentage daily value of Vitamin A – 85%, Vitamin C – 24%, Iron – 28%, Calcium – 24% (based on a 2000 Calorie diet).