Tuesday, 1 March 2016

The distinctive and magnificent herb - "Mint" (Pudina)

When we list out the food items of healthy and medicinal value, time and again the name of herbs are left out. Nature has kindly bestowed on us a lot of herbs which have high nutritional and medicinal value and Mint or Pudina occupies a top place in this list. Mint is not only a flavor enhancer used in cuisines, but also has a plethora of medicinal benefits. The antioxidant properties of this herb are amazing. Mint comprises around 15 to 20 species including peppermint and spearmint. Mint oil, a product made out of mint is used in gums, pain balms, toothpaste, beauty products etc.

Indigestion and IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome) 
The calming and relaxing effect of mint has a soothing effect on the intestine, which helps to control indigestion, flatulence, acidity and stomach cramps and upsets. 

Home remedy for cold 
From ages, mint has been used as a home remedy for treating common cold and cough. Natural menthol present in mint acts as a decongestant and helps to loosen up and oust out the phlegm. Taking a steam with few drops of peppermint oil will clear the nasal passage and bring relief to sinusitis. Mint has strong anti- inflammatory and anti- bacterial features, which can cure a  sore throat and prevent infection. For an aromatic and refreshing tea, just add a few mint leaves to the water, when you are making tea. 

In recent times, there has been a rapid increase in skin allergies and allergic asthma due to lifestyle changes and pollution. Rosmarinic acid found in mint leaves act as an anti – inflammatory substance which is a natural cure for allergies. This hinders the production of leukotrienes in the body which causes allergic rhinitis. The soothing effect of mint, the anti – inflammatory and anti – bacterial properties also aids to maintain an acne and blemish free skin. It is one of the ingredients widely used in natural beauty products to enhance the glow of the skin.

Mint extracts and oil is a major component in many of the pain balms and medicines. It has the power to reduce aches and pains when applied externally. Even consumption in the form of tea is said to calm the nerves and muscles. Women can find relief from menstrual pains, cramps, and other associated discomforts by taking the mint.

Oral and dental health 
Toothpaste companies use mint as an ingredient not only for mouth freshness and preventing bad breath, this herb has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which will help in the overall dental and oral health. Chewing few leaves of fresh mint will ensure that you won’t get bad breath.

In addition to the above-mentioned uses, mint is also said to have anti - carcinogenic benefits and is useful in improving the overall immunity of the body.

The mint leaves which we buy from the market are often laced with pesticides, hence planting them in a pot is a great idea, just keep them near the kitchen window and pluck them fresh and use. Please don’t limit the use of mint leaves as a garnish or in biriyani or mint chutney.You can use them liberally in all curries, salads, cocktail and mocktail drinks to get the zing and flavor. When combined with fruits it imparts divine taste, so don’t be stingy while using them in fruit salads, fruit puddings, chocolate cookies etc. Tickle your imagination and sky is the limit.

Dr. Anita Mani
Infertility& Surrogacy Specialist at Gift IVF Centre


Dr. Anita Mani is a renowned infertility specialist in south India with 18 years experience in ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology). Dr. Anita has successfully set up ART hospitals in Cochin and Bangalore,  along with her spouse  Dr. S Mani, who specialises in surrogacy. She completed MRCOG, from Royal College of Obstetrician and Gynaecologist  London, DFFP from  ART Warwick university and  worked in UK for 5 years. Dr. Anitha believes in scientific and ethical practice and is currently the director of Gift Gyno IVF centre Cochin.  Apart from advanced laparoscopic surgeries, she is also an expert in various ART techniques including IVF, IUI, ICSI , donor egg / sperm and surrogacy. Her proficiency is in genetic abnormalities and high risk pregnancies. She has also set up an Ayurvedic centre named SATYA, a holistic wellness center located in Athani near Kochi Airport Junction, where the ancient healing of Ayurveda, Yoga, martial arts, dance forms and farming will heal your body and soul

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