By Aylin Erman, EcoSalon
You see it in your mojito or a garnish atop desserts, but mint can add more zing to your life in ways you never imagined.
These 10 unusual ways to use mint give you just a small glimpse into all the ways mint can boost your mind, body, and senses. The fragrant herb can improve just about every gustatory experience, from pairing it with chocolate to infusing it into water. As for health benefits, mint may very well change the lives of new mothers and cancer patients.
Peppermint leaves were found in Egyptian pyramids dating back to 1,000 B.C., and today the herb still upholds some impressive healing properties. The following 10 unusual ways to use mint are reason why the herb has stuck around for so long and stayed relevant.
1. Water Infusion
Roughly chop fresh mint leaves and mix them into a pitcher of water with a few slices of lemon. Let the pitcher sit for at least 30 minutes before straining and drinking (or leave the mint and lemon in!). Enjoy the fresh and detox-friendly water that will leave your breath fresh and your senses heightening.
2. Stomach Pain and Bloat
In one study, among participants who took peppermint oil capsules, 79-percent experienced a decrease in the severity of abdominal pain and 83 percent had less bloating. Before a big meal, drink a glass of water with a drop of peppermint oil and feel the difference.
Snack on chocolate, but with a side of fresh mint. The pair is a match made in heaven. You can also melt chocolate over a double boiler and add a few drops of peppermint oil into the mix. Pour the melted chocolate over parchment paper and let cool and harden. Break off pieces of the chocolate and bask in the glory that is mint-kissed chocolate.
4. Breast Feeding Pain
According to a 2007 study, peppermint water reduced the prevalence of nipple cracks and nipple pain among breastfeeding mothers. Only 9 percent of mothers using peppermint water experienced nipple and areola cracks, compared to the 27 percent who did not use it.
5. Palate Cleanser
Chew on mint leaves in between courses to cleanse the palate and prepare for the next dish with a fresh starting point. Or, finish off a meal with mint leaves to get rid of a heavy aftertaste.
You don’t even need to consume mint in order to benefit from it on a deeper level. The aroma of mint stimulates the digestive glands in the stomach, so simply smelling it promotes healthy digestion!
Who said pesto had to be basil-based? Swap basil with mint for a unique alternative.
Crunching for an exam or important meeting? Try sniffing peppermint before the big day. Evidence shows that peppermint increases alertness and memory.
9. Cleaning Supplies
Add a few drops of mint essential oil to a homemade or unscented store-bought cleaner. This addition will make your house smell fresh and summer appropriate.
10. Radiation Protection
Mint exhibits protective properties against radiation. Cancer patients are most likely to go through irradiation therapy at some point in their treatment, but radiation’s damage to tissue reduces its effectiveness. Mint has shown an ability to reduce the negative effects of radiation and protect against tissue damage.
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