Mint is the most well known of all the herbs. From toothpaste to after dinner mints, we come into contact with it nearly everyday. There are over 40 species of mint like peppermint, spearmint, variegated pineapple mint, water mint and eau de cologne mint. The most valuable mint in the kitchen is spearmint. This amazingly versatile herb adds flavor to a wide variety of vegetable dishes especially peas and new potatoes and goes well with eggs, cheese and puddings.
Mint is an important ingredient in Middle Eastern cookery and in Indian and Pakistani cookery. It is also valuable as a health aid.
The leaves can be made into an infusion and taken for nausea, travel sickness, indigestion, flatulence, fevers and migraines. A compress made by soaking a pad in the infusion can be used to cool inflamed joints.
An inhalation made by pitting a few fresh leaves into hot water will help ease nasal congestion.
Menthol, the main constituent of the volatile oil, is antibacterial and antiphrastic. Menthol stimulates the liver and gall bladder, increasing the flow of bile.
Mint has also been said to slow the effects of bacteria or fungus . Mint has also been said to help with asthma and other allergies. Some believe that mint in certain respects that can be helpful in cancer treatments too. But that has not been proven yet at least not on humans. In animals it has been shown that the alcohols that are in mint can help prevent colon, lung and skin cancer.
The smell of mint helps to stimulate brain activity helping cure depression, increasing concentration and decreasing anger and agitation. So its also good for your mental health.