The role of our grandmothers was to educate and provide the family with home remedies for better health. And with that objective a lot of medicinal plants and herbs became the part of our garden, kitchen and tradition. Therefore taking forward, the fourth herb in our series #SacredIndianHerbs which we gonna talk about today is Pudina, commonly also known as Mint.
Scientific name: Mentha arvensis
English Name: Spearmint or Mentha
As summer starts to trouble, and your mom or grandma gardens a green plant that grows rampantly and makes chutney (sauce) with it, then for sure it’s Pudina. Nature has given us the all opportunity to best deal with different seasons. So has given Pudina, a herb known for its coolness, wonderful aroma and great taste, has amazing healing power too. It grows upto a height of 1-2 foot and is largely confined to North India in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Haryana as temperate to tropical climate is suited for plant growth. North India is growing the plant with new and advanced varieties out of which “Mentha Spicata” and “Mentha Officinalis” are the most common.
Pudina chutney to combat summers
Pudina/Mint is used in many cuisines all over the world to enhance the taste of the dish. The aroma and the freshness of Pudina is so tempting that you just can’t resist smelling and tasting it. Besides being used for garnishing and flavouring dishes, salads and soups, pudina traditionally makes some of the mouth-watering chutneys in our kitchen. The easiest way to make is by adding jeera, salt, coriander, etc to the pudina paste which helps to reduce internal heat and also aids in digestion, prevents formation of gas (flatulence) and growth of intestinal worms.
Pudina as Intestinal cleanser
Mint is a calming and soothing herb that restores the upset stomach or indigestion. Thus it relieves pain and discomfort from gas or bloating. For effective remedy - take 10g Menthol (extract of Pudina) + 10g Edible camphor + 5g Thymol (extract of carom seeds). Keep the mixture under the sun in a close air tight container. Gradually this will be converted to a liquid form. 5 drops of this decoction when mixed in 1 ounce of water will be ready to use to clean intestines and improving digestion. The decoction should be taken two times a day after meals.
Pudina for Respiratory illness
Mint is well known to nourish the lungs and increase the body resistance against the infections. The phenols present in mint are beneficial for treating respiratory infections such as cough, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, etc. It helps to open up the airways and expulsion of phlegm thus allowing relaxed breathing.
Pneumonia in children: Pneumonia is an averagely common childhood condition affecting the children below the age of 5 years. The easiest remedy to treat this condition is to take 5 drops of the same decoction as mentioned earlier (Menthol + Edible camphor +Thymol) in the same quantity is mixed with 10ml sesame oil to form a paste. The paste is then can be applied on the chest of the children. It will be helpful in various respiratory disorders and for curing pneumonia. And in winters, we can put one drop of this decoction into the water, given orally to child. Always remember to dilute this decoction to avoid any harm.
Home remedy to treat sinus infections: We can put 4-5 drops of this decoction in boiling water and inhale the steam, to treat sinus problems.
Pudina for cosmetology
Skin: The antibacterial and anti inflammatory property of Pudina makes it an excellent remedy for unhealthy skin. The patients who are suffering from recurrent acne problems or pus filled acne can get relief from using the mint paste mixed with camphor. It will give you a clear and glowy skin. Make sure that you wash the leaves before making the paste and while applying paste, your hands should be clean too.
Hair: Pudina acts as an effective hair tonic that prevents dandruff or hair loss. It helps to neutralize the effect of excessive oil production and hence aid in proper functioning of sebum that reduces the hair fall. Pudina also stimulates hair follicles and increases blood circulation in the scalp, promoting hair growth. The best and easiest way to make your hair healthy by using pudina is to mix it’s extract with sesame / mustard oil in a proportion of 1:10. Slightly heat and apply it on the scalp.
Pudina for Oral care
Pudina is a natural antiseptic as well as germicidal that makes the breath fresh for long. It adds to oral health by inhibiting the growth of bacteria inside the mouth and kills the one causing harmful odour. Fresh leaves of pudina when chewed daily act as an antiseptic toothpaste.
Pudina for balancing Doshas
According to Ayurveda, imbalance of doshas end up in illness. Pudina is commonly used for calming all three doshas, and especially helpful for balancing Pitta. The cooling property of Pudina aids in treating ulcers and a cup of mint tea can cure heartburn.
The irregularity in diet / diet timings, consumption of fast food and sedentary lifestyle; badly affects the doshas and cause disturbance in the digestive system. The strength to digest the food becomes low that leads to production of some toxins called as ‘Ama dosha’ in Ayurveda. These toxins may get accumulated in our joints thus inviting conditions like arthritis, gout etc. Mint proves to be an excellent remedy for treating Ama dosha and avoiding such disorders.
Pudina as counter irritant
Take extract of mint (menthol) and caroms seeds (thymol) in equal quantities and add camphor to it. The resultant mixture is stored in airtight container and is then kept under sunlight for a day resulting in a good ointment. This ointment is then applied on the joints or affected areas at night and left covered with cloth. If we add 5 drops of sesame oil or mustard oil in 1 ounce of this ointment, then its efficacy increases and can be used to treat headaches and muscle pain too.
A small herb, pudina can help you cure various ailments. Stay healthy and don't forget to opt these natural herbs in your lives as they are the only secret for a healthier life.