Mint is a perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the Labiatae family, genus Mentha; there are many species of mint, the most common are peppermint, Roman mint and aquatic.
Depending on the species, the height of this plant can range from a few centimeters up to a meter, its flowers are a deep pink color while its leaves are dark green. Mint is a plant that hasn't special needs, it is very durable and bears well even the harsh winter temperatures; mint is a plant which grows in a massive way, for this reason may be weed and sometimes it needs to be resized.
Usually mint grows in flat areas but can be found up to 700 meters high in sheltered areas and quite exposed to sunlight.
Mint: Properties and benefits
Mint is composed primarily of water, fiber, ash, protein and carbohydrates; the presence of mineral is abundant , in good percentage there are calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, sodium and phosphorus. With regard to the vitamins we find, in moderate quantities, A, B, C and D vitamins; very abundant instead the types of amino acids present in the mint: arginine, aspartic acid, glutamic, alanine, leucine, glycine, proline, serine and valine those present in greater proportion.
Menthol is extracted from mint essential oil, it is a type of alcohol called chiral discovered about two thousand years ago in Japan, which is mainly used in the preparation of perfumes and medicines.
Benefits and Curative Properties of Mint
Although the species of mint are many, medicinal properties attributed to them are the same for all; this is due to the presence of menthol which revealed to possess excellent stimulant properties for the stomach and against gastrointestinal disorders; menthol also has a good analgesic property but you must use it carefully because excessive doses can have unpleasant side effects on the nervous system.
The sedative properties of this essence make mint a great help for those suffering from motion sickness or seasickness blocking vomiting in a short time.
Summarizing, we can advise you to take an infusion prepared with 30 gr. of fresh leaves and a liter of water for the following disorders: digestive problems, diarrhea, insomnia, state of general weakness.
The mint is very useful also in case of bad breath: 5 grams of fresh leaves in 100 ml. of water are used to gargle purification.
In cosmetics, due to its refreshing properties, mint is used for the preparation of shampoos and cleansers.
You can use small amounts of essential oil to gently massage the temples in case of headache.
Chinese medicine, since ancient times, used the mint for the treatment of cough and cold, as well as a tonic and digestive.
Very often, during pregnancy and under medical supervision, it is suggested the use of mint for the treatment of nausea and migraine.
The mint leaves are astringent and cleansing, for this reason they are used in the preparation of beauty masks.
The use of mint also extends in the preparation of cocktails; an example is the mojito, where, the mint beaten with sugar, is accompanied by ice and rum.
It uses the leaves collected in June and the flowers available in late July.
Essential Oil of Mint
The essential oil of mint, thanks to the presence of menthol, is able to prevent infections, it is an excellent germicidal, and is also used in the treatment of herpes simplex virus, both lips herpes and genital herpes.
Also useful in the case of sunburn and insect bites due to its anti-itching properties. We always remember that essential oils should always be used with caution and only after listening to the advice of a doctor.
Mint: Properties and benefits
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The intake of mint is not recommended in people with ulcers and gastritis as it increases the secretion of gastric juices. The essential oil, used in incorrect doses, can cause effects similar to certain drugs, it can cause agitation and convulsions with consequent depressions.
The pure menthol, present in the essential oil, can have very harmful effects if not lethal; for this reason it is always recommended its use behind medical supervision. Cardiac arrhythmia is another of the possible side effects of its misuse.
Prolonged use of the essential oil, because of its effects on the nervous system, can cause sleeping problems.