We live in busy, dirty cities, we don’t have time to chew our food, let alone lead a lifestyle that truly supports our wellbeing and health. Thankfully, nature has everything we need to help us restore some of the damage we unconsciously make to our bodies!
One of nature’s great creations are mint leaves! They have been used for centuries to relieve the nervous system and fight fresh breath, but their health benefits are far more widespread than that!
Here are some little-known health benefits of mint leaves
Mint leaves can be used as first aid for headaches, as they have anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties. Many people also report using peppermint oil for relief from their migraines and other types of headaches. How to use peppermint to relieve a headache?
Taking a bath can help decrease headache intensity. Add a few drops of diluted peppermint oil to your bath to really increase the relaxation benefits. Turn the bathroom lights off and use a candle if your headache gets worse with bright lights. Try taking a bath to prevent a headache from coming on or worsening.
Inhale peppermint oil with steam
Pour hot water into a bowl and add 3 to 7 drops of essential oil. Cover your head with a towel, close your eyes, and breathe through your nose. Do this for no more than 2 minutes. Steam inhalation can help with sinus headaches, especially if you also have symptoms of congestion.
Add it to your massage oil
Essential oils need to be diluted in a carrier oil before being applied directly to the skin. Usually, the recommended ratio is 3 to 5 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of sweet almond oil, warmed coconut oil, or mineral oil. People with nut allergies should always avoid nut-based oils.
Diffuse it into the air
Use a diffuser to help diffuse the oil into the air. You can also inhale peppermint oil directly from the bottle. If the scent is too strong, add a few drops to a cloth, cotton ball, or tissue and breathe it in. Avoid incense sticks, as the smell of smoke may worsen your symptoms.
Drink peppermint tea
Peppermint essential oil shouldn’t bet taken orally, but you can make tea using peppermint leaves. According to a 2016 study, drinking peppermint tea may help you think more clearly and feel more alert.
Peppermint oil has not been studied enough to encourage use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Children and infants should not inhale peppermint oil.
First aid in toothache
Chewing mint leaves can help with toothache. Mint has antiseptic properties that treat infections as well as a chemical, called chlorhexidine; a potent anti-microbial compound, which prevents bacteria that cause tooth decay and bad breath. Many teeth whitening products also contain mint as one of their primary ingredients.
Mint can also prevent dandruff:
Dandruff is caused by an accumulation of excess oil and debris, and sometimes a fungal infection. Moreover, a dirty scalp is a breeding ground for head lice. A good and natural way to prevent dandruff and head lice is to massage your scalp with crushed mint leaves. Mint’s antibacterial properties naturally relieve itching and irritation.
Can also relieve indigestion
Mint may also be effective at relieving other digestive problems such as upset stomach and indigestion.
Indigestion may occur when food sits in the stomach for too long before passing into the rest of the digestive tract.
Multiple studies have shown that food passes through the stomach quicker when people take peppermint oil with meals, which could relieve symptoms from this type of indigestion.
A clinical study in people with indigestion showed that a combination of peppermint oil and caraway oil taken in capsules had effects similar to medications used to treat indigestion. This helped improve stomach pain and other digestive symptoms.
Similar to IBS, studies highlighting mint’s ability to relieve indigestion used peppermint oil rather than fresh or dried leaves.
May Decrease Breastfeeding Pain
Breastfeeding mothers commonly experience sore and cracked nipples, which can make breastfeeding painful and difficult.
Studies have shown that applying mint to the skin can help relieve pain associated with breastfeeding.
In these studies, breastfeeding mothers applied various forms of mint to the area around the nipple after each feeding. Typically, they used an essential oil on its own or mixed with gel or water.
One study showed that applying peppermint water after breastfeeding was more effective than applying expressed breast milk in preventing nipple and areola cracks, which resulted in less nipple pain.
Another study similarly showed that only 3.8% of mothers who applied a peppermint gel experienced nipple cracks, compared to 6.9% of those who used lanolin and 22.6% of those who used a placebo.
Furthermore, an additional study showed that both the pain and severity of nipple cracks decreased in mothers who applied menthol essential oil after each feeding.
You can easily add mint to green salads, desserts, smoothies and even water. Peppermint tea is another popular way to incorporate it into your diet.
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