Botanical Name : Mentha piperata
Family : Lamiaceae
Mint or Mentha is one of the oldest herbs widely used in global cuisines and it is highly prized for its innumerable therapeutic properties and uses. The divine flavour of pudina leaves renders a distinct taste and aroma to the dishes and it is used to make chutney, raita and refreshing drink. Mint leaves are also valued as a mouth freshener since times immemorial for its amazing healing properties.
Mint the aromatic herb also known as Mentha, belongs to the plant family Lamiaceae, there are more than 13-24 species of mint exists due to hybridization and overlapping of many species. Spearmint and peppermint are the other two common varieties of mint. Mint species is extensively distributed and grows in wet moist land across India, Europe, Africa, Australia and other Asian countries.
The perennial herb grows to 1-2 feet tall, spread underground and overground with vertical branches. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs, oblong with a serrated margin. Pudina grows all-round the year, near moist places and in extreme climatic conditions. It is a fast-growing herb which needs minimal care and can be easily grown in your kitchen garden.
Mint leaves go by the vernacular name Pudina in all Indian languages. In Sanskrit, it is known as pudina, putiha, podinaka, phudino and podina.
Health Benefits Of Pudina/Mint leaves :
Improves Digestion :
Mint leaves are valued as a wonderful appetizer, the aromatic herb helps to activate the salivary glands in the mouth which stimulate the secretion of digestive enzymes and promotes the digestion process. Mint oil possesses strong antiseptic and antibacterial and calming nature that helps in soothing stomach woes and ease indigestion, inflammation and irritable bowel syndrome. In addition, evidence reveals that goodness of menthol oil in mint leaves treats diarrhoea and relieves nausea caused due to motion sickness.
Promotes Respiratory Health :
Regular intake of pudina leaves is highly recommended for asthmatic patients, as it acts as a good relaxant and eases chest congestion. The potent anti-inflammatory properties of mint leaves are well-known to alleviate congestion of the throat, bronchi and lungs and provides relief from respiratory problems like asthma and cold. The cooling properties of mint leaves helps to soothe irritated nose, throat and provides relief from sore throat and cough.
Rhinitis and allergies are quite common among most of the people. Pudina leaves extracts to prevent releasing of irritating chemicals which worsen nasal symptoms caused due to hay fever and other seasonal allergies. However, it is not good to overdo this as it may irritate the throat and nasal cavity.
Relieves Headache :
Pudina leaves act as a powerful adaptogenic herb which can regulate and stimulate stress response. It is valued as a healing herb in Ayurvedic medicine which provides relief from headache. The powerful and refreshing aromatic properties of mint leaves are used in making soothing balms and essential oils which assists in alleviating headache and nausea.
Dental Care :
The goodness of chlorophyll and antibacterial property of mint leaves helps to ward off bacteria causing bad breath. Pudina leaves extract are beneficial in clearing plaque deposited in the teeth. Menthol the active compound present in mint leaves is the key element used in most of the toothpaste, mouthwashes and mouth freshener and chewing gums to combat dental problems. To instantly refresh the breath, chew a few mint leaves.
Promotes Weight Loss :
The aromatic sweet herb plays a vital role in losing weight in a healthy way. Mint leaves promote the secretion of a digestive enzyme like bile acids and increase the bile flow which fastens and ease the digestion process and maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Moreover, mint leaves also promote digestion and assimilation of nutrients, boosts metabolism and helps in losing weight. Mint tea is a great refreshing calorie-free beverage which can be added in your regular regimen to promote weight loss.
Boost Memory :
Pudina leaves are valuable to boost brainpower. Several pieces of evidence strongly support that consuming mint leaves can promote attentiveness and cognitive functions. The active ingredients in mint leaves can better the memory power and mental alertness. Moreover, the stimulant qualities of mint leaves are used in chewing gums which is beneficial to trigger the brain health.
Combat Stress And Depression :
Pudina leaves is a key element in aromatherapy. The rich and distinct flavour and smell of this essential oil can ease stress and refresh the body and mind. The powerful adaptogenic properties of mint leaves can control the action of cortisol and triggers the body’s natural response to beat stress. The essential oil is used extensively in aromatherapy and inhaling mint essential oil can soothe the mind promptly as it secretes serotonin in the brain which helps to combat depression. Add a few mint leaves while making tea or mint essential oil in your vaporizer or water bath for instant relief.
Assists Breastfeeding :
Nipple sores and cracked nipples are common among lactating mothers which make breastfeeding more painful and hard. Evidence revealed that applying mint essential oil is valuable in easing pain and heals soreness and cracked nipple. Mint essential oil can be used in several ways in preventing and treating cracked nipples and pain linked with breastfeeding