Mint, also known as mastranto, piperita or mentha, is an herb very similar to peppermint, belonging to the lamiacea family. It consists of a plant that is approximately one meter high, made up of numerous rough 8 cm leaves.

Its most distinctive feature is its aroma and perfume. For this reason, mint is used for aromatherapy, since its smell is relaxing and calming. Also in gastronomy, since it has a refreshing taste that is used in food and drinks; and in medicine for its wide spectrum of therapeutic properties.

What is mint for and what are its properties?

Peppermint has therapeutic and medicinal properties as it contains menthol, cineole or limonene, flavonoids, phenols and tannins. This gives it digestive, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, anti-flu, analgesic, etc.

Peppermint can be used in different ways: essential oil, tea, gels, lotions, baths, poultices, etc.

  • Mint infusion or tincture: can be used in the treatment of slow or heavy digestions, due to the digestive effect that promotes bowel movements. It can also be used for gas and flatulence, as it relieves stomach bloating and has carminative action. The use of the tincture can reduce headaches or neuralgia.
  • Peppermint essential oil: it can be used topically, with the proper indications of the therapist to reduce pain, spasms, bruises, muscle contractions, etc. In addition, it can be used as a poultice to relieve headaches or migraines.
  • Topical Peppermint : Topical Peppermint can be used as an antifungal, it eliminates fungus from the skin and nails. It is also a good treatment for cases of dermatitis, eczema or hives. There are even menthol analgesic lotions that are very useful in the case of muscle aches and to reduce fatigue and tiredness.

What is the use of peppermint?

Peppermint can be used in different ways to extract its benefits. In general, this produces a refreshing and cold sensation in the respiratory tract and in the mouth, so it is a sensation that is played with at meals, and in cocktails.

Likewise, this refreshing property makes it ideal in natural medicine, since it helps to decongest the airways, dilating the paranasal sinuses and helping us to breathe better in case of obstructions.

Peppermint essential oil is a powerful stimulant used by therapists for emotional energy; as used in aromatherapy it helps relaxation and good humor.

Peppermint tea is also digestive and helps reduce gastrointestinal pain, nausea, discomfort and stomach acidity. Finally, peppermint as a topical helps reduce pain caused by bumps, bruises or muscle contractions.

Mint leaves for weight loss

The properties of mint as a slimming agent are multiple. In the first instance, this herb has very few calories, if not zero, so its intake will not provide extra calories in the diet. In addition, mint has cleansing properties, which will help our body to eliminate toxins and cleanse the body of foods that harm us.

This goes a long way when it comes to losing weight. And as if that weren’t enough, peppermint also contributes to regular bowel movements, thus preventing constipation.

However, its most important property to lose weight is that it reduces anxiety levels, so the urge to eat at all times can be controlled. For this, it is recommended to have a cup of mint tea between meals to calm anxiety and achieve a feeling of satiety.

Mint tea for sleeping

Peppermint is also used to help you sleep better, since it can reduce tachycardia and palpitations, due to its relaxing and calming effects. This helps reduce stress and insomnia, and helps you sleep better at night. For this, a cup of mint tea is recommended before going to sleep.

More benefits of mint

  • Gastrointestinal and digestive: helps to expel and reduce gas; increases the production of bile, which favors the digestive process; helps prevent involuntary stomach spasms or contractions; fights diarrhea.
  • Psychosensitive: helps relaxation and calm the nerves.
  • Detox: helps eliminate toxins by stimulating sweating.
  • Respiratory: helps to decongest the airways, dilating the paranasal sinuses and eliminating mucus; softens mucous membranes and fights coughs.
  • Analgesic and anti-inflammatory: calms pain in bruises and bumps; prevents clotting and bruising; helps disinfect wounds.
  • Energetic: relaxes, increases the activity and energy of the body and mind, also stimulates the sexual appetite.
  • Others: freshens breath (by chewing the leaves); it has antioxidant properties stimulating cell reproduction; it can diminish feverish pictures.

How is mint prepared?

Depending on the use we want to give the mint, there are different ways to prepare it:

  • Using the live plant, recently cut: in this way its leaves can be used as a flavoring in the home and in the garden. Chewing its leaves helps to improve bad breath and reduce stomach upset. Using dry twigs can be an insect repellent.
  • Prepare the tea or infusion: preparing this tea is very easy. Only a few mint leaves should be put in boiling water, so that they give off all their properties. It can be taken hot or cold, although it is more recommended as a refreshing drink. This contributes to digestion, helps you sleep better, and reduces stress.
  • Boiled mint in water: place the mint leaves to boil for about 30 minutes. This preparation helps to disinfect wounds due to its antiseptic properties, it also serves to improve and alleviate the appearance of dry and cracked skin, with hives or eczema.
  • Internal Use: you can buy peppermint capsules that are very effective for treating viruses, muscle aches, irritable bowel and more.

Where do you get mint?

Common mint, also known as Mentha Piperita, is a variation of peppermint, with very similar tastes and aromas. They can be differentiated by the color of the stem, since that of mint is red. It can be found almost anywhere in the world, although it is mostly cultivated in the United States, France and Germany. This species of mint is a spontaneous hybrid, which arose from the cross between the mentha aquatica and the mint spicata.

Peppermint side effects

Using peppermint as an aromatherapy or tincture has a stimulating and energizing action, so using it at night can cause insomnia or restlessness when sleeping.

Peppermint essential oil should not be used in children or pregnant women. The use of the oil should always be under the supervision of specialist therapists. In addition, the essential oil should not have direct contact with the skin, as a high concentration can cause skin irritations and allergies. Its adequate dose and vehicles (base oils such as argan, olive, coconut, etc.), must be stipulated by the specialist.

Pure menthol should not be ingested as it is highly toxic. In some people, peppermint oils, in any dose or concentration, can cause allergies, redness, especially it can cause damage to the mucous membranes, so its use should be stopped immediately.

Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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