By Christian Dischler
Mint has perpetuated our recipe books, commandeered every tea blend, and been reduced to garnish throughout American dining. However, this mighty herb is more than an afterthought. Originally from the Mediterranean, mint’s influence has steadily grown to encompass the entire globe, providing every culture with a chance to harness its health benefits and versatility. With over two dozen different species, there’s a lot to love. But how exactly does it help us? Let’s take a look.
From cough drops to toothpaste, mint is everywhere in our medicine cabinets. Known to be a powerful fighter of bad breath and body odor, this little leaf can really lend a helping hand to our overall hygiene. It’s a popular homeopathic approach to reducing sinus congestion, relieving sore throat and helping suppress a nagging cough. It also aids in digestion and is a popular lip balm ingredient!
Minty Skin Care
Mint is an antiseptic, meaning it actively prevents the growth of harmful bacteria. Often, you’ll see mint included in a variety of rash or itch creams to help soothe irritation and reduce infection. So next time you find yourself battling bug bites, grab a mint-based cream or make your own to help cool down your skin, and prevent unnecessary scratching.
Mint, Mind & Body
Perhaps its most underrated and unknown benefits come from its ability to boost our entire health profile. Loaded with Vitamin A, which supports healthy vision, it’s also a reliable source of antioxidants. Fighting off free radicals never smelled so good! Speaking of scent, mint has also been linked to improve mental clarity and alleviate stress when used as aromatherapy, or in salves. Additionally, there’s studies that suggest it might help with regulating and losing weight. When mint enters our bodies, it can help engage certain digestive enzymes that help us process fat into energy.
It’s apparent that this mighty herb is more than your average super food. And the best part? It’s super easy to grow and include in almost any part of your diet. Put some in your tea, lemonade, sweet and savory dishes. One of our favorite ways is to put some fresh mint in a salad with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, walnuts, strawberries and gorgonzola cheese.