Mentha (also known as Mint, from Greek míntha,Linear B mi-ta)is a genus of plants in the family Lamiaceae (mint family).The species are not clearly distinct and estimates of the number of species varies from 13 to 18. Hybridization between some of the species occurs naturally. Many other hybrids as well as numerous cultivars are known in cultivation.
Mints are aromatic, almost exclusively perennial, rarely annual, herbs. They have wide-spreading underground and overground stolons and erect, square, branched stems. The leavess are arranged in opposite pairs, from oblong to lanceolate, often downy, and with a serrate margin. Leaf colors range from dark green and gray-green to purple, blue, and sometimes pale yellow.The flowers are white to purple and produced in false whorls called verticillasters. The corolla is two-lipped with four subequal lobes, the upper lobe usually the largest. The fruit is a nutlet, containing one to four seeds.
While the species that make up the Mentha genus are widely distributed and can be found in many environments, most Mentha grow best in wet environments and moist soils. Mints will grow 10–120 cm tall and can spread over an indeterminate area. Due to their tendency to spread unchecked, mints are considered invasive. (Wikipedia)
1 ) Cancer: Current researches show that certain enzymes present in mint may help cure cancer.Act as a powerful Antioxidant, protecting the body against the formation of cancerous cells.
2 ) Mint is a very good Cleanser for the Blood.
3 ) Cold & Flu : Relieves the symptoms of colds and flu.
The strong aroma of mint is very effective in opening up congestion of nose, throat, bronchi and lungs. As it cools and soothes throat, nose and other respiratory channels, it gives relief in cough too. Many balms are based on this property of mint. Unlike other inhalers which are based on aerosols, those based on mint are more effective and eco-friendly too. Mint can help with Nasal Allergies.
4 ) Asthma: Regular use of mint is very beneficial for asthma patients, as it is a good relaxant and gives relief in congestion. But, over dosage may irritate as well.Ease and unblock the breathing and respiratory passages and airways.
5 ) Digestion: Mint is a good appetizer and promotes digestion, due to its typical aroma. It also soothes stomach in cases of indigestion, inflammation etc. This aroma of mint activates the saliva glands in our mouth as well as glands which secrete digestive enzymes, thereby facilitating digestion. Thus it is extensively used in culinary. Relieve symptoms of indigestion, heartburn and irritable bowel syndrome by relaxing the muscles in and around the intestine.
6 ) Headache & Pain : Balms based on mint or simply mint oil, when rubbed on forehead and nose, gives quick relief in headache.
Relieve minor aches and pains such as muscle cramps and sprains.
7 ) Oral Care: This is a well known property of mint. Being a germicidal and breathe freshener, it takes care of oral health by inhibiting harmful bacterial growth inside mouth and by cleaning tongue and teeth. Combat bad breath.
8 ) Skin Care : Mint tea can help clear up skin disorders such as acne.Provides a cooling sensation to the skin and can help to treat minor burns, itching and skin irritations.While mint oil is a good Anti-Septic and Anti-Pruritic, mint juice is an excellent skin cleanser. It soothes skin, cures infections, itching etc., and is also good for pimples. Its anti pruritic properties can be used for treating bites of insects like mosquitoes, honey-bees, hornets, wasps, gnats etc.