Vedicus

Mint: A breath mate!

   

Mint: A breath mate!

   

Mint is an excellent herb that has been used from hundreds of years for its remarkable medicinal properties, and for refreshing and invigorating the breathe.

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Halitosis / bad breath is the most common oral ailment. It is a condition where unpleasant smell is felt from a person’s mouth more frequently. It might impact your health, daily life and confidence badly. Mint, a perfectly safe herb to implement has a strong cooling effect that freshens up your breath instantly and also treats halitosis because of :

  1. Germicidal properties: The word germicidal means an agent that kills the germs/microorganisms therefore mint flushes out all the organisms from mouth which are responsible for bad breath. It also stops the production of volatile sulfur compounds and stimulates oxygen-rich saliva flow.
  2. Strong aroma: Mentha possess very strong aroma and it is so powerful that it masks with the unpleasant smell coming out from your mouth. Due to its aromatic properties it is nowadays widely used in following materials as their base element
    • candies
    • chewing gums
    • mouth freshners
    • mouth sprays
    • mint teas
    • chocolates
    • toothpastes
    • inhalers

Thus mint proves to be a good neutralizer of bad taste as well as for smell.

Why do we have bad breath…?

The reasons you might have bad breath are:

Habits: Poor diet, poor oral hygiene, alcohol, tobacco and smoking.

Bacteria: When the remained food particles in the mouth are attacked by bacteria can cause bad breath.

Foods: Certain foods such as garlic, onions, high protein diet and some spices are very much responsible for halitosis.

Ailments: Gums diseases, faulty dental restoration, postnasal drip, stress, dry mouth, menstruation, gastrointestinal problems, liver disease, lung disease, respiratory infections, or kidney failure.

Others: Certain medications may also cause bad breath.

This is just the overall view regarding the factors responsible for bad breath but in order to get rid of your bad breath here are some tips.

Dietary recommendations for Halitosis

  • Increase the intake of foods that are rich in zinc as they help in preventing bad breath. The action of zinc can be elucidated as it checks the anaerobic bacterias inside the mouth to keep it free from foul smell.
  • Drink lots of water to keep mouth and body well hydrated. Drinking enough water enables copious salivation. Saliva cleans residual food from the mouth and has natural antibacterial attributes which kills bacteria which cause bad breath.
  • A reduction in protein intake is advised for treatment of bad breath because protein intake increases pH level in mouth hence promotes production of volatile sulphide compounds in mouth which causes bad breath.
  • The food rich in carbohydrates such as soft drinks, coffee, candy, caramel, bread etc. should be avoided.
  • Every meal should consist of grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds among other food groups.
  • Increase intake of vitamin C and vitamin E rich foods.
  • Chew few mint leaves as it is a good mouth freshener and reduces bad breath rapidly.

Mint Combat other ailments

  1. Mint as skin spouse: Mint is a great herb for curing skin related problems. You can use this herb without any hesitation as it looks after your skin without producing any side effects. Here are few ways by which you can use the mint plant for your skin:
    1. Take few leaves of mint, crush them in a pastel mortar, add honey to it and apply the pack on your face. Apply the paste of mint leaves on blackhead affected areas and wash off after 15 minutes. This will surely cleanse and tighten your skin pores plus gifts you a fresh and oil free skin tone.
    2. Cracked heels are the common problems, to sort this out mint plays a pivotal role. Boil some mint leaves in water and then soak your feet in this decoction.
    3. Make a paste of mint leaves and natural rose water. Regular implementation of this pack on your face helps in getting rid of stubborn acne due to presence of salicylic acid.
    4. Mint leaves also controls oiliness of skin as it contains Vitamin A. Hence it rejuvenates and refreshes your skin.
  2. Soothe digestive tract: Mint is an excellent remedy and perfectly safe for use in reducing symptoms related to digestion, stomach cramps, flatulence, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and colic in children.
  3. Appetite stimulant: Mint is also a appetite regulator.
  4. Morning sickness in pregnant women: Morning sickness a common symptom of pregnancy that can be easily handled by this herb. When it is ingested it stimulates the digestive enzymes which decreases the chances of recurring nausea. Either use mint leaves internally or just can have their fragrance for the desired results.
  5. Culinary purposes: Since many years mint has been used in our kitchen for preparing many dishes. Do you remember the mint chutney, you might be eating with your snacks. The taste and fragrance of mint can't be forgotten.
  6. Head lice: The Mint oil alone can work for the head louse because it act as an insect repellent beside this it is also provides relief in strong headaches due to its strong and refreshing aroma.
  7. Respiratory diseases: Mentha has been used in various cough syrups, balms, inhalers due to its action on respiratory system hence it is used in nose congestion, conditions like narrowing of bronchi & throat, asthma, common cold and chronic coughing.
  8. Eliminating toxins from the body: When mint is taken internally along with lemon juice improves your digestion by facilitating the flow of bile, also removes the unwanted materials enabling the elimination of the toxins from our body and act as a blood cleanser that keep us fit and fine.
  9. Cures insect stings and bites: Mint has anti inflammatory properties and can be used in mosquitoes bites. Apply mint juice on the affected area as an outcome it makes your skin soft and calm.
  10. Prevent cancer: In Cancer Journal it is published that mint posses the ability to protect against the type of radiation commonly used in cancer and also destroys the CA tumour thus by consuming this herb you can reduce the possibilities of radiation therapy.

As we came across through numerous benefits of mentha so we must grow this tiny winy herb in our gardens to owe its advantages. Various varieties of mint are available in the nurseries like sweet mint, spearmint, chocolate mint, peppermint. Because of its easy availability it can be easily grown in our homes. Being the most popular and oldest plant its gardening is executed all around the world. To grow mint, spring and autumn season are the best times.

from Indian herbs
by Dr. Vineeta Negi

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