Friday, April 30th, 2010

Cooling Herb Mint

mintLegend has it Minthe, Pluto’s beloved and originally a nymph, angered his wife. In a fit of rage she turned Minthe in a lowly plant, on which people will tread. Pluto was unable to undo the spell. In an effort to soften the evil spell, he gave an aroma to mint that refreshes the surroundings, every time you bruise the leaves. Mint belongs to a large family with over 30 species.

What distinguishes mint from other herbs is the characteristic cool feeling, which comes from the volatile oil menthol. Mint chutney that we all relish is a very good source of dietary fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, and calcium, vitamin B2, omega-3 fatty acids, potassium and copper. What makes mint unique is its characteristic aroma. Mint’s characteristic smell has made it one of the more popular perfuming herbs throughout history.

Traditionally, we have been using mint oil diluted in water, when stomach gripes grip our lives to get instant relief. The healing properties of mint come from its smooth muscle relaxing ability. With the relaxing of muscles surrounding the intestine, there is less chance of spasm and indigestion that go with it. Add a handful of mint leaves in boiling water and sip on the infusion to get rid of acidity The refreshing fragrance of mint helps fight depression and alleviate stress, anxiety, tension, and fatigue. Bruise and add a few leaves in your bath water and soak in. Sipping on mint tea strengthens immune system. The astringent action of mint leaves work well during sultry summers. Boil mint leaves in water. Strain and refrigerate the liquid spray on your face in sultry summers and feel the cooling effect of mint. Bruise a few mint leaves and apply the juice on face to get rid of suntan.

The Greeks believed mints could clear the voice and cure hiccups. When cold bogs you down throw a few mint leaves in boiling water and inhale the steam to get relief. Essential oil of mint also stops the growth of many different bacteria including Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium that infects the mucous lining of the human stomach. When using mint prefer fresh leaves to dried ones. Store dried mint leaves in an airtight container and keep in a dark place. It can stay for as long as a year.

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Category: Herb Wise
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