The mint was mentioned for the first time in Assyrian and ancient Egyptian cultures. It was highly praised in the Roman Empire and ancient Greece. It is believed that mint aroma revives spirits and improves brainwork. In the ancient Rus was popular a so called “kholodets”- mint extract with cooling effects. The extract was used for freshening and mouth rinsing and as a deodorant. Washing in washhouses was always with mint. Curative, aromatic vapor of mint with heat kill almost all germs on the skin and upper air passages. Mint was put into pillows for good sleeping.
The ancient Arabians grew mint in their irrigated gardens, Chinese wrote dissertations on mint, and Greeks washed faces and hands with light mint and water solution. First healers and witchdoctors used peppermint. Hippocrates and Avicenna gave detailed description of mint curative properties in their writings. Mint was widely used in Arabic, Chinese and Japanese medicine.
According to the first drug handbooks of the Middle Age, peppermint was used for internal hemorrhage and headache treatment. And even now, through the centuries, this spicy and aromatic herb is still popular, as it is being grown at special facilities and used in pharmacology and food industry.
Mint properties and application
Peppermint contains essential oil (2,5%) and the main ingredient of the oil that gives the specific taste is menthol. It also contains ethers, nopinene, piperitone, menthofuran, phellandrene, flavonoids, tannins and amarines. Menthol in mint has a germicide action. Peppermint has analgesic, cholagogic and vasodilatory actions; it improves digestive processes, stops vomiting. Tea with mint has a sedative action and calms inflammatory processes in bronchi, lungs; it antiseptisizes the mouth cavity in case of inflammation. Mint is used as a tonic cardiac stimulant that stimulates the heart activity and blood circulation it also has a sweating action.
Sedative and anti-inflammatory actions of mint make it a good cure for aches and convulsions, stomach aches, torminas, indigestion, singulation, headaches, vomiting and seasickness. Tannins protect the stomach from irritation that helps to ease mulligrubs and symptoms of spastic constipation and ulcerative colitis. Amarines in mint stimulate the liver and the gall-bladder activity that is why it can be used to cleanse the liver and to remove gallstones.
Mint anti-inflammatory actions make it effective when treating bronchitis, quinsy, running nose and pharyngitis. Mint tea is a good remedy to ease unpleasant symptoms of menopause. Mint has an integrated effect on the nervous system: it tones, soothes, cures insomnia and improves the brain activity.
Mint – contraindications
Mint is contraindicated to people who have hypotension. Mint often causes varicose aggravation. People with varicose veins should not consume mint to prevent the aggravation. Mint may cause epigastric burning, so don’t consume mint to prevent it.
Mint is contraindicated to children as young as three. It is not recommended to men as it may lower libido. People who have sleepiness should not consume mint. It is contraindicated to consume mint in case of infertility. Mint may cause problems with impregnation worse if a person already has some.