My husband and I recently returned from a vacation in Vietnam where we experienced the country’s delicious cuisine. Vietnamese food is full of fresh, aromatic herbs that line the inside of fresh spring rolls or sit atop the hot, steamy bowls of traditional pho. One of my favorite herbs: MINT. Vietnamese mint was the local favorite but mint is found all over the world and provides an abundance of healing characteristics.
What’s it good for?
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Peppermint specifically is able to relax the muscles of the gastrointestinal (GI) system reducing persistence signs of IBS including abdominal pain, cramping, bloating and changes in bowel movements. The cause of IBS is still under debate, but an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine is a strong possibility. Peppermint oil has been found to decrease this bacteria growth reversing IBS some patient populations.
- Common Colds & Allergies: Mint contains rosmarinic acid, a highly effective anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory helping relieves the symptoms of colds and allergies. It also contains menthol which is a natural decongestant effective in expelling phlegm and soothing sore throats. Recipe below.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): As many as 5 million women in the United States suffer from PCOS, a condition where the body produces a high level of androgens. This hormonal imbalance leads to irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth (hirsutism) and at times difficulty conceiving. A 2010 study in Phytotherapy Research reported women who drank 2 cups of spearmint tea a day over a month period had a reduction in testosterone levels and subsided excess hair growth.
Mint is a superhero healing spice in my opinion. I have highlighted just a small number of ailments that mint can treat so I encourage you to dig deeper. Hope you enjoyed this month’s spice blog!
Sore Throat Tea Recipe
8 oz of Hot water
3 sliced of fresh ginger
1 large slice of lemon
5 sprigs of mint, slightly bruised to release the aroma
Mixed together and steep for 5 minutes. Drink as needed.
Healing Spices by Bharat B. Aggarwal, PhD.