Ahhh, the magical freshness of mint. Everyone has experienced it in one way or another. Be it a stick of gum, a cup of mint tea or fresh mint chopped as a garnish. Mint is a backyard staple in the summer and a tea cupboard favourite year round, but did you know it’s a powerful and commonly used herb in the TCM herbal toolbox?
Mint is used as an essential oil for headaches, nausea and muscle aches in pains, it also packs some pretty powerful antibacterial, antiviral properties. This makes it great for treating early onset colds or flus particularly those with a sore throat or fever.
Mint is considered a cool and acrid/aromatic herb which has surface releasing properties. Which basically means it helps to push things UP and OUT of the body. Really good when you’re feeling the start of sickness or a sore throat and you want that pathogen g o n e!
But that’s not all - given its cool temperature properties, mint is also good for things that feel hot. Particularly when heat is combined with irritability. And it’s great for the eyes. So if you’re suffering from a sore throat, red painful eyes, neck and shoulder tension that escalates with stress, mint is your pal. It soothes, smooths and invigorates all at the same time. Be it fresh breath, a clear mind or a moment to cool down and calm your temper, mint has you covered.
Some of the other benefits of mint include:
Calming stomach pain and nausea that can come from stress or tension, motion sickness or summer heat.
Good for fever, red eyes, tension headaches, sore throat and great for early stages of rashes or measles.
If you’re someone who gets pain in your flanks (rib pain), PMS with irritability, or are just feeling testy and irritable in general, mint is a definite go-to!
It’s also considered a smooth muscle relaxant so that’s why it makes such a great muscle rub for aches and pains from long hours at your desk or too much play and working out.
Mint can be easily dried for teas and drinks or used as an essential oil topically or as an inhalant. Try dropping a few drops of mint oil onto your palms and then rub your hands vigorously together and take a deep inhale. I pretty much guarantee you will feel brighter, fresher, calmer and more alive within seconds.
Mint of course also makes a wonderful addition to summer salads, turned into sauce to serve with roasted lamb or sprinkled on a million other tasty dishes.
Try adding fresh mint to your water and sipping on it through the day in summer months or blending it with a summer fruit such as raspberries to make a refreshing Aqua Fresca.
Winter months you can make a hot tea with mint and perhaps adding a hint of ginger if you’re wanting to keep warm, but still get the fresh, stress releasing benefits of mint.
If you have a pot or garden patch, I encourage you to grow your own mint. It’s a resilient perennial that will come back year after year offering you it’s many medicinal benefits year round.
Here’s to a calm, cool and collected minty fresh season!
Photo by S. Laiba Ali on Unsplash