Popular as a garden herb,
mint is a remedy to calm and
relax the stomach, and can
relieve travel sickness and the
congestion of colds.
For thousands of years, mint has been used for its flavor as well as its medicinal purposes. The three main types of mint commonly used are peppermint, spearmint, and apple mint. The menthol oils that they contain, particularly peppermint, are a natural remedy for indigestion, which is why mint tea is traditionally consumed after a rich meal. Menthol can also clear head and chest congestion during colds and flu, and for people who suffer from allergic rhinitis. The oils are antibacterial and may help prevent H.pylori, which causes stomach ulcers, and food poisoning bugs salmonella and E.coli, from multiplying. Mint contains plant chemicals, which have been shown to block the growth of certain cancers in animals.
- Relieves indigestion and calms the stomach.
- Relieves nasal and chest congestion.
- Contains antibacterial properties.
- May have anticancer action.
Mint is best enjoyed fresh as the dried leaves lose much of their potency. A simple way to enjoy fresh mint is to chop it finely and mix with plain yogurt to serve with lamb or eggplant. Make an easy mint sauce by combining fresh chopped mint with balsamic vinegar. You can also steep a handful of fresh leaves in boiling water for 5 minutes to make a mint tea—strain before drinking.
DID YOU KNOW?
If you put a few stalks of freshly picked mint in a jar of water, within a few days they will grow roots, which can be planted indoors for a year-round supply.