Health Benefits of Mint

April 17th, 2016 by Dr. Keith Nemec

Mint leaves have been used for centuries not only in foods but as medicinal purposes. Mint leaves have been found to contain beta carotene, calcium, chromium, iron, fiber, folate, folic acid, manganese, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin and vitamins A, B6, C, E, K and zinc.

Studies have shown that that the antioxidant of rosmarinic acid found in mint plants can be used for those with allergies. The menthol contained in mint has been effective to break up mucus and phlegm as it is a natural decongestant.  The mint will also soothe sore throats and assist with being able to breathe more clearly.  Those with asthma found that mint leaves aid in the relaxation of the bronchi and relieves congestion.  Mint is one of the main ingredients in inhalers.  Studies are currently underway for using mint on tuberculosis patients.

A study by Harvard Medical School found that those suffering with irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion or upset stomach have found mint to be a calming and soothing herb. Mint has also been known to aid in the promotion of digestion and working the salivary glands.  Studies show that those with nausea and even babies with colic can have relief with mint leaves.

Mint has been studied in the area of memory loss and has been found to be a stimulant and help with retention and being alert. The stimulant function of mint can also aid in the stimulation of the digestive system and aid in a healthier way of weight loss. Chewing on mint leaves not only can be used to freshen ones breath, it can clean the tongue and teeth and contains germicidal ingredients that aid in the stopping of bacteria growing inside the mouth.  For this reason many of the toothpastes and mouthwashes contain some form of mint as part of their ingredient.

Research is currently being done on the enzymes found in mint for the treatment and prevention of cancer, especially of the prostrate. The extract of Scutellaria barbata from the mint family has been found to starve the tumors by attacking blood vessels which feed the tumor.  This extract knows the difference between good and bad blood vessels and helps starve the ones from oxygen so they can’t grow.

Mint leaves contain potassium which aids in the lowering of blood pressure and regulating pulse rate. Mint leaves are found to be beneficial for skin treatments which would include acne, and can also be used for rashes and insect bites as they have a cooling effect. This cooling and soothing of mint leaves can be beneficial in the reduction of headaches, stomach aches, and muscle pain and possibly aid in the curing of depression.

God’s food is medicine and it is powerful. These medicinal foods have many undiscovered health benefits found in the plant bound phytochemicals that cause such healing in those who consume them. You can add some fresh mint leaves chopped into your salads for a fresh and uplifting flavor, digestive aid and cancer preventative.

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