I walked into the supermarket a few days ago and was excited to see fresh mint leaves on the fresh produce shelf. I love cooking with herbs (and spices) and always find a reason to obsess about one; the other time, it was turmeric.
My children loved the taste of the fresh leaves and when I used it to cook chicken, the delicious aroma filled the house. This got me curious about the leaf. I’ve always known that mint is a powerful herb with strong antioxidant properties, but here’s what I found out about the herb.
A little about mint
Mint is an herb and it is also known as mentha. There are two varieties of mind: Spear mint and Peppermint. The type that grows in the wild is usually spear mint. Peppermint is used in things like toothpaste, chewing gum and ice cream.
Mint is a really powerful herb. In fact, it has one of the highest antioxidant properties of any food. So how useful is this to you?
Health benefits of mint leaves
When I decided to look into the health benefits of mint leaves, I was amazed. There is so much goodness in such tiny little leaves. Here are some benefits below:
Allergies: It turns out that mint leaves help those who suffer from seasonal allergies. Because of the strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it is used to relieve the symptoms of seasonal allergies (itchy eyes, sneezing, runny nose, etc) and is a natural cure.
Asthma relief: Asthma is a terrible disease that doesn’t seem to have any cure, however it can be managed and mint is one of the ways experts have discovered. It eases the symptoms and relieves congestion.
Digestion aid: Traditionally, mint leaves have been used for years in aiding digestion and soothing upset stomachs. It is said to increase the production of bile, which helps with digestion.
Cold: If you’re suffering from the common cold with catarrh, sneezes and other attendant symptoms, then mint is the perfect remedy. It’s natural menthol acts as a decongestant that breaks up mucus and phlegm so that it is easier to expel them. The soothing qualities are also great for soothing sore throats.
Breastfeeding: You know how extremely painful it can be if you are breastfeeding for the first time? Actually cracked nipples could happen even when you’re breastfeeding for the fifth time.
A study published in the International Breasfeeding Journal, suggested that peppermint water prevents pain and cracks in the nipple for first-time moms who are breastfeeding.
You might be interested in this article -> Simple tips to help you wean your baby
Mint leaves are a must-have in your kitchen. Although it’s possible to buy the dried leaves that they sell in the spice shelves of stores, I much prefer the fresh leaves. And since they’re easy to grow (they can grow in pots), I’m thinking of growing mine as well.
I bought a wrap of mint leaves at Spar for N120.00
Want to know more about mint? Why not check these links: