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Mint has one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any food. Learning how to use fresh herbs and spices like mint when cooking can also help to cut down on sodium intake.
Mint, also known as mentha, is actually a genus or group of around 15-20 types of plants including peppermint and spearmint. Mint oil is often used in toothpaste, gum, candy and beauty products while the leaves are used either fresh or dried for teas and food.
Possible health benefits of mint
Allergies: Mint plants contain an antioxidant known as rosmarinic acid, which has been studied for its effectiveness in relieving seasonal allergy symptoms. Because of rosmarinic acid’s anti-inflammatory properties, rosmarinic acid has been shown to be a promising treatment.4
Common cold: Mint contains menthol, which is a natural decongestant that helps to break up phlegm and mucus. Mint can also be effective, especially when combined with tea for relieving sore throats.
Indigestion: Mint is a calming and soothing herb that has been used for thousands of years to aid with upset stomach or indigestion. Mint is thought to improve the flow of bile through the stomach, which helps to speed and ease digestion.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): The use peppermint oil has been found to be an effective and safe treatment for those suffering from abdominal pain or discomfort associated with IBS.2,5
Skin: When applied topically in oil, ointment or lotion, mint has the effect of calming and cooling skin affected by insect bites, rash or other reactions.