Medicinal Uses For Nausea, Gas, Motion Sickness, Headaches
Mint is one of the most well-known herbs and a popular flavor. However, this herb also has a long history of medicinal uses for sore throats, cramps, skin spots, and more.
Mint has been an important herb for centuries. It was treasured as an aromatic cleansing, seasoning and medicinal herb in the ancient civilizations on the Indus River.
Mint was used to scent baths and homes and for its medicinal purposes. Remedies for everything from colic to digestive orders and skin wounds called for mint leaves. Centuries later, when the colonists sailed to the New World, they brought mint for headaches, indigestion, gas, and insomnia. They also drank tea brewed from mint leaves, not only because it was a refreshing, healthy drink, but also because it was not taxed as tea was by the British rulers.
Mint Leaves as Medicine
The leaves of the mint plant are the part that is used medicinally — in food and in other preparations. They contain high amounts of pure essential oils. The main ingredient is the volatile oil menthol, which evaporates quickly in the air giving it that characteristic cooling and cleansing feeling and taste. Different varieties of the herb contain varying amounts of the essential oil. Other components in the essential oil derived from the leaves include menthone, methyl acetate and menthofuran. Even rubbing or walking on the leaves releases the aromatic oils from the mint plant easily.
Today the fragrant mint plant continues to be used for its pleasant flavouring in cooking and for its medicinal qualities. Menthol is used for its decongestant, anti-spasmodic, diaphoretic, antiseptic and antibacterial and slightly anesthetic properties. Mint can be ingested directly or applied in topical oils, ointments and cleansers on the skin; even its pungent aroma has healing properties.
Menthol can help to calm indigestion, clear up a stuffy head, relieve a headache and soothe a sore throat. With indigestion, mint eases pain and discomfort by relaxing the muscles of the intestinal wall. It also increases saliva production in the mouth; this aids proper chewing and swallowing which helps to relieve stomach cramps.
Treat Nausea, Cramps, Motion Sickness with Mint
Mint is also used for other ailments such as motion sickness, cramps and nausea. When taken orally or inhaled as aromatherapy or rubbed on the skin, mint can relieve respiratory conditions such as coughs, colds, breathing difficulties and bacteria, fungal and viral infections. Additionally, mint oil aromatherapy even helps focus and concentration and clears mental stress.
Mint essential oil must be used in moderation as the menthol in the oil may cause sensitivity in some individuals. It can irritate the skin or mucus membranes if the dosage is too high. Mint and other herbal compounds should not be used in infants and pregnant and lactating women should only use very small amounts.