Mint, a perennial plant belonging to the Lamiacae family grows very well in cool and damp soil. The biological name of mint is Mentha arvensis and possesses great medicinal properties. Mint does not require any specific season and can be grown throughout the year. It is also used widely in various cuisines for flavoring. Although mint is grown in most parts of Europe, Asia and Africa, the largest producer and exporter of mint essential oil is India . Mint essential oil is extracted through the process of steam distillation and due to the high nutritional value and refreshing nature there are numerous health benefits of mint essential oil.
Why is Mint Essential Oil Beneficial or Unique?
Mint essential oil with a golden yellow color is rich in vital nutrients and minerals. It contains calcium, phosphorus and iron in large quantities. It is very rich in vitamins as it possesses vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B3 and vitamin B12 in abundance. It also contains Vitamin D and Vitamin E, thus enriching it with medicinal properties. The health benefits of mint essential oil are further increased due to the presence of menthol .
Health Benefits of Mint Essential Oil
Mint essential oil with its useful nutrients and vitamins, provides you with a vast number of health benefits. It is used to cure various diseases as it possesses therapeutic properties.
Benefits for Digestion : Mint essential oil possesses antioxidant properties which help in proper and quick digestion. It also helps in stimulating the enzymatic reactions, thereby, speeding the digestion process . Due to its rich smell it triggers the process of salivating, thus, producing considerable amount of enzymes that in turn helps digestion. It also acts as a great appetizer and due to this it has been used in curing health disorders related to improper digestion like diarrhea, flatulence, indigestion, vomiting and nausea .
Benefits for Headaches : With its strong and refreshing smell, mint oil helps in reducing headaches. Application of mint essential oil on temples and forehead can relieve you from severe headaches. Due to this beneficial property, mint oil has been used as a vital ingredient for preparing various balms and pain relief products . It also helps in headaches caused due to migraines and sinuses.
Benefits against Cancer : Mint oil contains important phyto-nutrient called prillyl alcohol that helps it to fight against cancer cells. Due to this anti-cancer property, various studies conducted on animals have facts that prove that mint oil helps in the treatment of lung, colon and skin cancers .
Benefits for Respiratory Ailments : Mint essential oil acts as an effective decongestant as its strong smell and cooling effect helps in thinning the mucus formation, thereby, clearing the nasal passage. It is also used in cough syrups to prevent irritations caused due to incessant coughs. Many mint oil based inhalers are very effective in curing respiratory disorders. It also acts as an expectorant, thus, clearing the respiratory tract.
Benefits for Skin : With soothing and cooling effects, mint oil possesses anti-pruritic properties which are highly beneficial for the skin. It contains anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties that make it a great cleanser. It is due to this property that mint oil is widely used in a vast range of cosmetic products like lipstick, toner, face wash, facial scrubs, body lotions and moisturizers. Mint oil contains salicylic acid that helps in removal of pimples and blackheads. It also aids in treating acnes. Application of mint oil or mint oil based products prevents the pores of the skin from getting blocked, thereby, refreshing and revitalizing the skin. It also helps in cleansing the blood which in turn reduces formation of acne .
Benefits against Dental Disorders : The health benefits of mint essential oil can prevent the occurrence of cavities and other dental problems. Its anti-septic property effectively fights against germs which affect your gums and teeth. It prevents any kind of bacteria formation inside your mouth, thereby, ensuring good oral health. Due to its refreshing smell, it prevents bad breath and adds freshness to your mouth. With the presence of these properties, mint essential oil has been a key ingredient in various mouth washes, toothpastes and mouth fresheners .
Benefits for Asthma Patients : Mint essential oil with its strong aroma helps in removing congestions within the respiratory tract and clears mucus. This is highly beneficial for asthma patients as it allows them to breathe properly clears the respiratory passage .
Benefits for Immune System : Mint oil is rich in minerals like phosphorus and calcium and is a storehouse of various vitamins. This helps in enhancing the immune system of the body which in turn helps in effective prevention of various diseases, thus, reducing the occurrence of infections and diseases .
Benefits for Women : Mint oil is beneficial for pregnant women as inhalation of this oil prevents nausea caused due to morning sickness. It is also helpful for women suffering from dysmenorrhea or constant pain during menstruation. It also helps in reducing menstrual cramps .
Benefits for Arthritis : Due to its palliative property, application of mint oil on the joints can reduce arthritis pains. It is also used widely by athletes as it provides instant relief on sprains and muscle cramps .
Other Health Benefits
There are other health benefits of mint essential oil that are worth mentioning. Body massages with mint and blend of other essential oils can be very relaxing and helps release stress effectively. Drinks with mint oil help your body to get refreshed and cooled during excessive heat in summers. The antiseptic property of mint oil helps you in getting rid of dandruff and lice. It has been used in various shampoos to provide you with a cooling effect due to the presence of menthol. It can also be applied on insect bites as it gives relief from pain and irritation.
Precautions while using Mint essential oil
Although there are numerous health benefits of mint essential oil, it however should not be consumed by pregnant and breast-feeding women. Mint oil should also be avoided by people with liver and gall bladder disorders .
Mint essential oil is great for health. Mint, when used both in its plant form and in the form of essential oil, is equally effective for enhancement of health.