Versatile, easy to grow and find, a mint herbal remedy is a great choice to keep in an herbal medicine cabinet. Mint is most closely associated with digestion, including bad breath and stomach ailments, but also has a variety of analgesic and respiratory applications.
Twenty-five different species of mint exist, including Garden mint, Peppermint, Spearmint and Lamb mint. This class, known as Mentha Spicata, is traditionally used to make herbal infusions or teas, oils and tinctures.
In the Western world, Peppermint is the most commonly used mint, while the field mint is most used in China. Spearmint and garden mint are also very popular, safe for use in children and have culinary applications.
The aerial parts or leaves of the mint plant are most often used to make a mint herbal remedy, although sometimes dried parts of the mint plant, bark or seeds may be used for infusion purposes.
The leaves of mint varieties such as peppermint, the most effective medicinal mint herb, are also used to create essential oils for aromatherapy and external use.
Taken internally, a mint herbal remedy can help relieve or treat the following:
- Nervous Tension
- Appetite Stimulant
In addition, specific mints like the Peppermint plant have anti-spasmodic properties that help with morning sickness, gallbladder issues, dyspepsia, gastroenteritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and stomach ulcers. This particular mint also has stimulant properties and can improve emotions.
Peppermint Essential Oil
As an essential oil, peppermint can be massages into the chest to clear congestion associated with bronchitis, sinusitis, upper respiratory infections (URI), and asthma. The high concentration of Menthol not only helps clear nasal and lung congestion, it also provides a calm and cooling effect on the entire body.
The essential oil also has analgesic effects that provide relief from arthritis, rheumatoid conditions, neuralgias and general muscle aches and pains. It also soothes itchy and irritated skin as well as wards off insects.
Aromatherapy applications for peppermint oil include increase in mental acuity, relief from cold, flu and headache and reduction in nausea and vomiting.
Spearmint also aids in indigestion and has specific applications in the treatment of hiccups, fever and URI’s in children and adults. Spearmint is also used for dental hygiene, a common ingredient in mouthwash, toothpaste, chewing gum and breath mints and sprays.
As an aromatherapy vehicle, Spearmint can help with nausea, headaches and migraines as well as clear congestion associated with asthma and bronchitis.
When applied topically, as oil or in conjunction with other herbs in a cream or lotion, it can relive itchy, irritated skin associated with eczema, pruritus and extreme dry skin.
Is a relatively safe herb.
Spearmint is preferred for children because peppermint may be too strong.
It should be taken in moderation, as too much internally may irritate mucous membranes.
Women who are breast-feeding should avoid peppermint because it can reduce lactation.
Many varieties of mint exist; Peppermint and Spearmint are the most commonly used in a mint herbal remedy. Mint is best known for it’s digestive applications, but can also be used as a topical analgesic to ease muscle and joint pain as well as inhaled to clean respiratory congestion.