Don’t underestimate the power of common herbs like pudina (mint). Do you think that it is good only for garnishing? Pudina is more than that. Let’s check out the health benefits of this wonder herb.
By Monali Bordoloi
We always associate mint (pudina) with freshness. From cooling drinks to biriyani, we add pudina to a dish to bring in that extra flavour.
For hundreds of years, mint (pudina) has been used in garnishing and seasoning various dishes. Dhania-pudina (coriander-mint) chutney is common in many households across India.
Due to its many benefits and inviting aroma, mint or its extracts and oils are used in products like pain-balms, toothpaste, chewing gums, breath fresheners, candies, and inhalers. It is also widely used as a garnish for bakery products. Mint oils are used in aromatherapy treatment. It is also used as a breath freshener.
Health benefits of mint leaves:
Mint or pudina could be effectively used to treat digestive problems like indigestion, inflammation, and stomach upset. The menthol present in pudina activates the stomach enzymes for better digestion. A cup of warm mint tea could be a great appetiser as it soothes the stomach muscles.
Mint is also known to treat acidity and flatulence. According to Ayurveda, pudina is a great cure for patients suffering from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
Those who suffer from motion sickness and nausea, menthol oil extracted from mint could help them relax.
Mint oil also helps pregnant women to deal with symptoms of morning sickness. Inhaling this oil is said to prevent vomiting. The refreshing aroma of mint is an effective remedy for nausea.
Mint is widely used in chewing gums and mouth-fresheners as it can mask bad breath.
It is also used to improve oral health. Drinking peppermint tea and chewing mint leaves, both dried and fresh, helps in reducing bad-breath causing bacteria in the mouth.
Its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help in controlling bacteria in the mouth which in turn prevent tooth decay, beats bad breath and keeps tongue and teeth clean.
Due to the presence of menthol, mint extracts can provide a cooling effect when applied on a painful spot. This cooling effect numb the areas partially thereby masking the pain. Due to these properties, most pain-relieving balms and oil have mint extracts.
To get relief from a headache quickly, rub mint-based balm or mint oil on the forehead and nose.
Inhaling mint soothes the nerves and calms the body. Those suffering from cold and flu also benefit a lot from inhaling mint extracts.
It can relieve stomach cramps and menstrual pain too.
Those suffering from a chronic cough will also benefit from inhaling mint extract. When you inhale mint, it cools and soothes the throat, nose and other respiratory channels. This soothes the irritation which causes chronic coughs.
Since long, mint is used in the beauty regime. It is considered a very good skin cleanser. Regular use of mint as a face pack will make your skin glow as the antioxidants present in mint leaves can rehydrate dry and dull skin.
It prevents many kinds of skin eruptions like pimples and skin infections. Pudina leaves help cure infections and itchiness.
Crushed leaves of pudina are also used to treat insect-bites and mosquito-bites due to its anti-itching properties. And the anti-inflammatory properties of mint reduce the swelling of these insect bites.
Due to its strong aroma, mint oil is often used as the main ingredient of bugs and insect repellents.
If you need a boost for your mind and body, inhaling essential mint oil could be of great help. The soothing aroma of mint is a natural mood-enhancer. Many aromatherapists use mint to stimulate and energise the stressed mind. Mint can rejuvenate tired body and soul.
A few drops of this fresh-smelling oil spread on the pillow covers will even help you sleep better.
Mint can also treat depression. If you are feeling low, add little mint leaves or mint extract to your bath water, or use mint extract on a vaporiser to get some relief. Packed with nutrients such as calcium, phosphorous, vitamin C, D, E and vitamin B complex, pudina improves the body’s immune system thereby keep us safe from infections and inflammation.
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