Not only is the garden herb easy to grow, but adding mint to your meals (or Pimm’s!) can have some incredible benefits for your health. From fresh breath to relief from sickness, it’s truly a wonder plant.
Mint can reduce inflammation
Add mint to your Pimm’s and drink away guilt-free (in moderation, of course). It contains large amounts of beneficial plant compounds called polyphenols (from the Mentha haplocalyx if anyone asks). This helps to reduce inflammation, which is linked to the reduction of various diseases. Bottoms up!
Banish indigestion with mint
If you’re experiencing any upper stomach pain or heartburn, try adding a tablespoon of fresh mint leaves or a mint tea bag to some boiling water and sip slowly.
Menthol compounds in this herb help to neutralise acidity – but make sure you only use the milder mint varieties rather than peppermint, which can antagonise symptoms.
Mint can improve your eyesight
You get almost 10 per cent of your daily needs of vision-strengthening vitamin A in 15g of mint leaves, so add that to a pea and mint soup. Fry a diced red onion and 2 cloves of garlic, then add 900ml stock and 1kg frozen peas before bringing to a simmer for 20 mins. Cool then blend with the chopped mint, and season.
Reduce sickness with mint sweets
Menthol oil from mint leaves helps with nausea, particularly associated with motion sickness. If you get a bit icky when you travel, pack some mints such as VerMints Organic Peppermints (£2.99, wholefoods.com) or apply some Peppermint Essential Oil (£4.49, indigo-herbs.co.uk) inside your wrists.
Mint leaves keep your breath fresh
The chlorophyll contained in mint leaves can help neutralise specific bacterium in your mouth that can cause odours, so chew on a few leaves for some natural minty freshness.