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The Health Benefits of Mint
For centuries, mint has been enjoyed for its wonderful aroma, its great taste, and its healing power. Long known for its ability to settle a nervous stomach, mint has a great many other health benefits as well. Whether as a soothing mint tea or part of a recipe, mint has long been part of both the cuisine and the medicinal cultures of societies as diverse as the Middle East, India and Europe.
Mint is well known for its ability to sooth the digestive tract and reduce the severity and length of stomach aches. In addition, mint teas and other herbal preparations have shown great promise at easing the discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome, and even at slowing the growth of many of the most harmful bacteria and fungi. The well-documented antifungal properties of mint are thought to play a role in the treatment of asthma and many allergy conditions as well.
It is even thought that mint may have benefits as an anticancer food. Mint is known to contain a phytonutrient called perillyl alcohol, which has been shown in studies on animals to prevent the formation of colon, skin and lung cancer. Further study is needed to see if this important benefit extends to the human world.
Mint is used in a variety of ways, but the most common is through the brewing of mint tea. There are many excellent mint teas on the market, and fresh mint tea can be made by pouring hot, but not boiling, water over fresh leaves of mint. When preparing mint tea, it is important that the preparation be covered while it is steeping to prevent the valuable volatile oils from evaporating.
For those who prefer their mint in pill form, there are a number of preparations on the market that make it easy to enjoy the many health benefits of mint. Supplements containing mint are widely available at health food stores, at supermarkets and of course on the internet.
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