Known for its fresh, cooling taste, mint has been a common ingredient in cocktails, ice teas, and dental care products. However, there is much more to this popular plant than its refreshing taste. Here are some health benefits of mint.
1. It Can Help with Indigestion
Research shows that capsules of caraway and peppermint oil have similar effects to those of cisapride – a drug commonly used to treat indigestion. The combination of these two oils helped reduce several intestinal symptoms, including stomach pains.
2. It Can Subjectively Improve Breathing
It may come as a surprise, but mint doesn’t seem to be an effective nasal decongestant. So, why do many cold medications contain mint? Although it doesn’t have a measurable effect on cold symptoms, mint seems to make us feel like we’re breathing more easily.
3. It May Improve Brain Health
One of the less explored health benefits of mint is its effects on our brain function. A study by the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, UK, found that students had better test results after inhaling peppermint oil aroma five minutes before the test.
4. It Could Relieve Breastfeeding Pain
Research shows that peppermint gel could be used as an effective treatment for nipple cracks in women who are breastfeeding. The study found that only 3.8 percent of women who used this gel experienced nipple cracks.
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5. It May Help Kill Mouth Bacteria
We all know that peppermint products are great for masking bad breath, but the research about its effectiveness on mouth bacteria is still lacking. There are, however, some studies that show that peppermint leaves or tea could kill bacteria.
Now that you’re familiar with some of its benefits, you know why you should consider including this plant in your diet. To really reap the many health benefits of mint, you may also try taking capsules or inhaling it, as many studies mentioned above used these methods.