Mint or Mentha is one of the oldest herbs widely used in global cuisines and it is highly prized for its innumerable therapeutic properties and uses. The divine flavour of pudina leaves renders a distinct taste and aroma to the dishes and it is used to make chutney, raita and refreshing drink. Mint leaves are also valued as a mouth freshener since times immemorial for its amazing healing properties.
Mint the aromatic herb also known as Mentha, belongs to the plant family Lamiaceae, there are more than 13-24 species of mint exists due to hybridization and overlapping of many species. Spearmint and peppermint are the other two common varieties of mint. Mint species is extensively distributed and grows in wet moist land across India, Europe, Africa, Australia and other Asian countries.
Pudina leaves can be used fresh or dried in a spectrum of culinary dishes. The leaves render a warm, fresh, aromatic, sweet flavour and deliver a cool aftertaste which is used in making tea, beverages, jellies, syrups, ice creams and candies. Mint flavored tea is quite popular in India and also widely relished in the Arabian and African countries. Mint julep or mojito is an alcohol flavored cocktail drink.
Mint essential oil and menthol are used as a flavouring agent in mouth fresheners, drinks, antiseptic mouthwashes, toothpaste, chewing gum etc., Menthol, the compound present in mint renders the characteristic aroma and flavors to all mint based products.
Menthol is the key element in mint essential oil which is an ingredient in many cosmetics, perfumes and also used as an aromatherapy oil to calm the digestive system.
The aromatic ayurvedic herb is a natural coolant, with a sweet and a pungent aftertaste. Mint has the quality to pacify all the three doshas and chiefly manages the Pitta dosha. Pudina leaves owing to its carminative properties helps in digestion and assimilation of food and treats colic pain. The extract of pudina leaves is used to treat intestinal worms.
Mint leaves are low on calorie and contain a minimal amount of protein and fat. It is heaped with Vitamins A, C and B -complex which enhances healthy skin and bolsters the immunity. Pudina leaves are one of the foods rich in iron, potassium, and manganese which promote brain function and improves the haemoglobin profile. The aromatic essential oils are piled with antioxidants which scavenges the cells from free radical damage and support overall health.