Mint is commonly found in products like tooth paste, chewing gum, and breath mints, but there is more to this tasty herb and its breath freshening qualities.
Mint’s use as an herbal medicine dates back to at least 1000 BC. when the Egyptians used it for its antibacterial properties.
More recently, studies has compunds found in mint can have benefical effect on conditions including nasal congestion, digestion and memory.
Menthol, the most abundant compound found in mint, is what gives the herb its signature flavor. Menthos alos has numerous health beneftits, especially in the area of respiratory disorders. Traditional medicine has used mint as a treatment for respiratory diseases for hundred of years. A study showed that menthol improves nasal sensation of airflow in people suffering from nasal congestion associated with the common cold.
The same compound, menthol, has been shown to help with digestion. It has gastroprotective and anti-diarrheal activities. It also has antispasmodic effects that can relieve indigestion and abdominal pain.
One study showed that people who chew gum with mint as a major active ingredient ahd higher levels of memory retention and alertness that those who didn’t. In fact, another study showed that simply inhaling the aroma of mint is an effective way to boost memory and mood.
Mint makes a delicious tea and can add a fresh flavor to a variety of salads.