Many people think that the use of mint is limited to things like food flavoring or mouth fresheners. Just half an ounce of mint contains 12 percent of the recommended dietary intake (RDI) of Vitamin A, 8 percent of the RDI of manganese, 9 percent of the RDI of iron, and 4 percent of the RDI of folate. It is also an excellent source of antioxidants.
Mint leaves and oil have a positive effect on the brain. A study that looked into the effects of smelling mint oil found that it increased alertness while driving. “Peppermint administration led to increased ratings of alertness, decreased temporal demand, and decreased frustration over the course of the driving scenario. In addition, peppermint scent reduced anxiety and fatigue,” the abstract of the study states. Another study that looked at 144 adults found that smelling peppermint oil for about 5 minutes before testing resulted in an improvement in memory.
Women who breastfeed infants often experience cracked and sore nipples. This can make the breastfeeding process a difficult and painful experience. Applying mint to the nipples can help relieve such problems. A study found that only 3.8 percent of the participating mothers who had applied peppermint gel experienced cracks in the nipples in contrast to 6.9 percent of women who used lanolin. The chances of pain and intensity of the cracks decrease when women apply menthol essential oil to their breasts after every feeding.
You can also use mint for indigestion. One study found that “peppermint oil enhances gastric emptying, suggesting the potential use of peppermint oil in clinical settings for patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders.” Another clinical study discovered that peppermint oil together with caraway oil in capsule form affected indigestion in the same way that existing medications do. The menthol found in peppermint oil also helps alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) by relaxing the muscles of the digestive tract. A study that tracked people who took peppermint oil for four weeks found that 75 percent of them saw an improvement in IBS symptoms.
Benefits for the skin
Having dull skin can be quite disheartening. But there is an easy remedy for it — mint. The leaves lock moisture inside the skin by tightening the pores. As such, the skin looks glowing and smooth. The antioxidants also help in rejuvenating the skin and diminishing the signs of aging. Just make a paste of mint leaves and some banana, apply it on your face, leave it for about 20 minutes, and wash it off.
Breakouts and blackheads can ruin even the healthiest, most beautiful of faces. Breakouts are due to dead skin cells, bacteria, and excess oil. Create a face pack using mint leaves, rose water, and honey. Wash it off after 15 minutes of applying. Do this about twice a week and you should see the breakouts minimized. Blackheads occur when pores of the skin are clogged by dirt particles and excess oil. Mint can unclog these pores, remove the dirt, and tighten them. Prepare a mixture of mint, milk, honey, and oats. Use the paste to scrub your face for about two to three minutes on a daily basis.
Dark circles under the eyes can be caused by a myriad of factors, like too much exposure to sunlight, lack of sleep, genetics, dehydration, etc. Whatever the cause, getting rid of them is necessary in order to have a healthy-looking face. And all you need for it is some mint and cucumber juice. Mix both, apply to the affected area, and let it sit for about 15 minutes before washing it off. Do this three times a week and you should see the dark circles diminish.