Have you ever had that minty gum or a minty cough drops and felt the surge of this “amazing cool” effect in your mouth, nose, ear…
If yes … the answer is “It’s because of Menthol”..
so, let’s see what exactly does “menthol” do…
Menthol actually plays a trick on your nerves. Your bodies cold sensing nerve cells have cold receptors called TRPM8. They signal the brain about the low temperature. Menthol triggers your nerves in similar way giving your mouth the cooling effect without actual temperature drop. This cooling effect helps relieve pain and inflammation.
Plants from mint family have menthol in their oils, which is known as a natural pain-reliver for thousands of years.
Mint was commonly used in toiletries and cosmetics for centuries, but it wasn’t used as an ingredient in food until the 17th century. The English were the first people to eat mint and they’re still are huge admirers….
Mint plant is native to Europe and Asia and is mostly grown in middle east, north Africa, south America and in the eastern parts of the Himalayas. It’s a small plant with sharp leaves growing in opposites. Mint leaves are pleasing, fresh, sweet-smelling with a cool hint which makes them perfect addition to teas, drinks, jams, jellies, syrups, candies and ice creams. Mint is famous choice in cooking and as a medicine due to its exceptional aroma, flavor and healing properties.
1. Mint improves brain power.
You knew about mint’s refreshing taste and its aroma, but do you know that mint can improve memory retention?
Several studies have shown that mint can amp up quick-thinking, alertness and cognitive function in individuals who regularly eat it. It was discovered that folks who regularly use chewing gum with mint have higher brain power than ordinary persons.
So next time you need quick brain boost, go ahead and pop the minty gum in your mouth or chew those fresh mint leaves.
Even inhaling mint oil can help combat stress and anxiety.
2. Mint is excellent for digestion and for IBS.
Mint has a powerful antioxidant property which soothes the digestive system. It relives indigestion problems like motion sickness, abdominal pain, flatulence, food poisoning, nausea and other stomach disorders. Mint energizes the digestive enzymes and facilitates and promotes the digestion process.
IBS or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a digestive problem. One out of every seven Americans, most of them women suffer from IBS. In this ailment intestinal muscles contract slower or faster than usual. Thus, the person suffers from abdominal pain, cramping, and bloating; excess gas; diarrhea and constipation (sometimes one, and sometimes both, alternating).
Studies show mint can help ease the symptoms of IBS as it relaxes the muscles of the GI tract, helping to normalize those contractions. It can also help clear up the excessive growth of bacteria in the small intestine which is one of the causes of IBS.
3. Mint helps in treating respiratory problems.
Mint is full of anti-inflammatory properties. It is natural relaxant and it helps relives congestion. Thus, mint is extensively used in treating asthma, cold, cough, nasal congestion, sinus and bronchitis. It helps relieve sore throat, headache, chest congestion and runny nose.
Innovative ideas to use mint:
1. Pluck mint leaves and chop them small, add to water in ice cubes. Use these minted ice cubes to add flavor to cold beverages.
2. Grind fresh or dried mint add it to olive oil or vinegar dressing.
3. Make a chutney with mint leaves, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno and ginger. Add salt and few drops of lemon juice. Grind everything and relish it with bread or use it as a salad dressing.
4. Substitute mint with basil and try making mint pesto.
5. Add mint to cream based soups and sauces and experience a zing.
6. Use chopped mint for garnishing.
1. To calm down nerves and relieve stress after long hard day, add drop of mint oil into your bath water or add drop of mint oil on a cloth and place it under the pillow before sleeping.
2. For pain relief from migraine or any joint pain, add 2-3 drops of mint oil to the boiling water and inhale the steam.
3. For any kind of pain relief, mix few drops of mint oil to equal quantity of coconut oil and massage over affected area.
4. To help digestion make mint tea with fresh mint leaves, lemon juice and honey and consume regularly.
5. For oral health, gargle with mint leaves decoction or chew mint leaves daily.
6. For skin issues like dry skin, acne or dark spots - extract juice from mint leaves, apply on affected areas. Wash after 10-15 mins with warm water.