You enjoy a piece of mint chewing gum after a meal, or maybe you enjoy a few mint lozenges during a busy workday. But did you know that mint also has some health benefits? Fresh mint leaves and mint extract have been used for hundreds of years as a mouth and breath freshener, and it’s also used medicinally to treat a variety of health conditions.
Whether you're enjoying a cool mint beverage or eating some crushed mint leaves after a meal, you could be doing your body some good. Here are some of the key health benefits of mint, and an easy recipe for making your own mint candy:
HEALTH BENEFITS OF MINT
Mint can be ingested in pure form when the leaves of the mint plant are crushed into a fine paste and mixed into various foods. You can also purchase fresh mentha oil from a natural food store to add it to a homemade breath freshener or candles. Here are some of the key health benefits of mint:
Mint improves digestion – mint helps to increase saliva production which releases digestive enzymes into the body. This is why you may need a fresh mint after a big meal; it not only freshens your breath, but also facilitates the digestive process.
Mint reduces sinus pressure – if you’re suffering from asthma or breathing problems, you can ingest fresh mint to relieve pressure in the nasal passage and open up your lungs. Mint can help you think clearly and improve breathing overall.
Mint cleans up infections – mint oil has been used as an antiseptic for hundreds of years, and can be applied directly to the skin to clean up an infection or even treat a skin rash. If you’re suffering from a bad case of acne, mint may also help reduce inflammation and diminish pimples
Mintfor cough relief – if you’re suffering from a sore throat or a painful cough, sucking on fresh mints or eating foods with a lot of mint can reduce irritation and soothe the throat. A mint tea can also help to improve your state of health when you have a poor immune system; the heat of the tea can be very soothing and the mint can help relieve that itchy throat.
Mint reduces nausea – if you get car sick often or you feel nauseous after a meal, consider chewing on some fresh mint gum. Crushed fresh mint leaves have been used medicinally for hundreds of years to treat nausea, and you can make the most of mint’s properties whenever you feel a wave of nausea coming on.
HOMEMADE MINT CANDY RECIPE:
Enjoy some freshly made mints for an after-dinner treat or for a refreshing snack! You can store these in a cool tin for up to 4 weeks to enjoy as needed!
Ingredients: 1 cup white sugar 1 cup powdered sugar 4 tablespoons cold water Fresh (preferably organic) peppermint extract
Mix the sugar and water together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir constantly until the sugar melts to form a smooth syrup, then add the peppermint extract. Stir until well combined, then drop the mint drops on waxed paper with a spoon. Leave to cool for at least 30-45 minutes until the mints harden, then store in a cool, dry place. You can also use a variety of food colorings to give your mints a hint of color!
Article Written By: Sabah Karimi; Sabah is a busy writer from Orlando, Fla., who is passionate about writing on health and fitness, beauty, fashion and style tips, spa and travel topics. She now uses her expertise as a freelance writer to contribute to both DivaVillage.com and VillageMAMA.com.