What Does Mint Do For Your Body: Expert Tell You

Mint offers numerous benefits for your body, including enhancing digestion, boosting immunity, relieving stress, alleviating headaches, and improving oral health.

How Does Mint Enhance Digestive Health?

Mint contains carminative compounds that provide relief from digestive issues. Compounds like menthol stimulate the secretion of digestive juices that aid food breakdown and absorption. The carminative properties relieve conditions like:

  • Indigestion
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Bloating
  • Excess gas

The menthol in mint also relaxes intestinal muscles, allowing food to pass through smoothly. Studies have found that mint essential oil effectively reduces the frequency of functional dyspepsia symptoms in up to 80% of patients.
More comprehensive information and care guidelines can be read here.

mint, menthol crystals, white and black crystal on white sand
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The Immune-Boosting Power of Mint

Mint contains powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals and boost immunity. The potent combination of menthol and rosmarinic acid in mint help:

  • Kill bacteria
  • Fight viruses
  • Reduce inflammation

Some key benefits for the immune system include:

Antioxidant Effects

Mint is high in antioxidants like flavonoids, carotenoids, and phenolic acids that help fight oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants help boost immunity by:

  • Neutralizing free radicals
  • Strengthening immune cell function
  • Limiting tissue damage caused by inflammation

Research shows up to 80% of the antioxidant activity in mint is due to rosmarinic acid which has potent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

Anti-inflammatory and Antimicrobial Properties

Menthol and ​​ rosmarinic acid in mint have been shown to:

  • Inhibit the growth of bacteria like E.coli, Salmonella and Staphylococcus
  • Suppress the replication of viruses like influenza
  • Reduce inflammatory markers like TNF-alpha, IL-6 and CRP levels in the body

Several studies conclude that mint‘s antioxidants and phytochemicals have significant potential to enhance immune responses and reduce illness. Further research is needed to determine specific dosages and mechanisms of action.

mint, fresh mint leaves, red and green round fruits
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Relieve Stress and Anxiety with Mint

The smell and taste of mint have calming and relaxing effects that can alleviate stress, anxiety and depression. Peppermint essential oil in particular has been shown to activate the parts of the brain associated with emotion and memory formation.

Some key benefits of mint for mental health include:

Reducing Stress Hormones

Simply inhaling the aroma of mint can trigger the hypothalamus and limbic system to reduce the production of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. The scent travels directly to the parts of the brain that deal with emotion and memory.

Activating Calming Pathways

Compounds like menthol and terpineol activates theGABAergic and serotonergic pathways in the brain which promote relaxation and relieve anxiety.These calming effects can lower blood pressure and heart rate helping the body recover from stress.

Improving Mood and Focus

Chewing mint leaves releases menthol which crosses the blood-brain barrier and binds to receptor sites in the brain. This may reduce inflammatory responses and improve mood, concentration and mental clarity.

Natural Antioxidant Effects

The high concentration of antioxidants in mint fights free radical damage in the brain. Antioxidants like rosmarinic acid reduce neuroinflammation which is linked to depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.

Several studies have found peppermint essential oil to be a effective natural remedy for stress, depression and anxiety when inhaled aromatically or massaged topically. Further research is warranted to determine the optimal dosage and longevity of effects.

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Mint: A Natural Remedy for Headaches

Mint contains menthol and other compounds that provide migraine and tension headache relief in various forms:

Relaxing Vasculature

The menthol in mint helps constrict blood vessels and decrease inflammation which are key factors in many headaches. Benefits are seen when:

  • Inhaling menthol-rich mint essential oil
  • Massaging mint ointments on the forehead and temples

Soothes Symptoms and Relaxes Muscles

The soothing scent of mint can:

  • Reduce nausea associated with headaches
  • Ease mental tension that triggers or worsens pain
  • Relax tightened scalp muscles

Natural Pain-Reliever

Mint contains compounds like Eugenol, terpineol and menthone that have analgesic effects, reducing severity and duration of headaches. Studies show:

  • Peppermint oil applied topically reduces intensity of migraine pain by 60% versus 30% for placebo
  • Spearmint extract relieves throbbing symptoms of tension headaches

Natural remedies include:

  • Rubbing peppermint oil on the back of neck and temples
  • Chewing mint leaves or inhaling an essential oil diffuser blend.

While research is limited, mint has been used for centuries as a traditional headache remedy. The effectiveness of mint tea, oil and ointments suggest they are a safe option for prevention and relief of headache symptoms.

mint, fresh mint leaves, green leaves plant during daytime
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Freshen Your Breath and Improve Oral Health with Mint

The antibacterial properties of mint make it effective for freshening breath and maintaining oral health. The menthol and other phytochemicals in mint leaves help:

  • Kill the bacteria that cause bad breath
  • Reduce inflammation and prevent gingivitis
  • Increase saliva flow to wash away food debris and bacteria

Fights Bad Breath Bacteria

The antibacterial compounds in mint inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria like:

  • Streptococcus mutans
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis
  • Fusobacterium nucleatum

Research has found peppermint oil is as effective as the mouthwash ingredient chlorhexidine at reducing bad breath bacteria. Simple chewing mint leaves or using mint extract can help eliminate foul odors.

Reduces Gum Inflammation and Plaque

The anti-inflammatory properties of mint reduce redness and swelling of gums caused by plaque build-up. Studies shows:

  • Peppermint extract reduces gingival index scores more effectively than chlorhexidine mouthwash
  • Spearmint oil inhibits 94% plaque accumulation and decreases P.gingivalis bacteria

The aromatic constituents of mint eliminate food residues trapped in between teeth to inhibit biofilm formation and reduce plaque.

Stimulates Saliva

When chewed, mint leaves activate salivary glands to produce saliva which:

  • Dilutes bad breath bacteria
  • Lubricates teeth and gums
  • Washes away food particles and dead cells

The increased salivary flow due to mint contributes to its effective oral health benefits. Simple habits like chewing mint gum or fresh leaves after meals can improve both bad breath and oral hygiene.

mint, fresh mint leaves, shallow focus photography of green pea on brown wooden surface
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More Helpful Guide

Frequently Asked Question

How do you store fresh mint?

To store fresh mint, place stems in water in a cup or jar. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Properly stored mint should keep for up to 1 week.

How do you use mint essential oil?

Mint essential oil is commonly used in aromatherapy, skin and hair products. It can also be mixed with water or other oils and taken internally but should be diluted first.

How much sun does mint need?

Mint thrives best in partial or filtered sunlight. Avoid planting mint in areas that get hot afternoon sun. Dappled sunlight is ideal for robust mint plants.

Can too much mint be bad for you?

Yes, consuming too much mint may cause heartburn, flushing, headache, skin irritation or liver damage in some cases. Menthol overdose can also cause breathing trouble.

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