Medicinal Plants 2022

Hortelã: what is it for, how to use it and how to make chá

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Hortelã: what is it for, how to use it and how to make chá
Hortelã: what is it for, how to use it and how to make chá

Common mint, scientifically known as Mentha spicata, is a medicinal and aromatic plant, with properties that help treat digestive problems, such as poor digestion, acidity, nausea or vomiting, in addition to having a calming and sedative effect that decrease anxiety levels, improve mood and sleep quality.

In addition, mint helps to reduce intestinal gas, being a great home remedy for flatulence, as this plant has antispasmodic property, reducing bowel movements and preventing the formation of gases.

Mint can be used to prepare tea, smoothies or juices along with other fruits, and it can also be used to flavor soups or desserts. Mint can also be found in the form of oil, capsules or in cosmetic products.

Spearmint has several he alth benefits, the main ones being:

1. Relieve digestive symptoms

Mint contains compounds such as carvone, with antispasmodic action, and calming effects that help relieve digestive tract cramps, poor digestion, gas and can improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, such as pain and swelling. This medicinal plant also helps to reduce nausea and vomiting, in addition to stomach acidity, due to the activation of bile production.

2. Lessen the pain

Spearmint, mainly in oil form, has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects that inhibit pain receptors, being widely used to treat headaches, muscle or joint pain, helping to treat patients with osteoarthritis.

3. Balancing hormones in women

Some studies indicate that the consumption of mint in the form of tea could help women who have hormonal changes, as in the case of polycystic ovary, as it works by balancing the levels of female hormones and decreasing the levels of androgens.

4. Antibacterial action

Spearmint has antibacterial properties that act against gram positive bacteria that can cause different diseases such as intestinal and respiratory infections, for example.

5. Improve memory and mood

Spearmint contains good amounts of phenolic compounds that can be beneficial for cognitive and psychological he alth, helping to improve mental capacity and improve mood.

6. Promote relaxation

Mint has menthol, which is a substance with relaxing and sedative properties that help relieve mental stress, anxiety and improve sleep quality, as it interacts with the brain's GABA receptors, a neurotransmitter that intervenes in the decrease of the activity of the nervous system.

How to use mint

The benefits of mint can be enjoyed in the form of:

  • Leaves or dried extracts, to season food and make teas. Check out some mint tea.
  • Essential oil, for use in aromatherapy or relaxing and invigorating massages to relieve headache and muscle pain;
  • Capsules, for daily consumption in a more concentrated form;
  • Cosmetics, to contribute to its invigorating and antiseptic effects on the skin;

The dosage used in each situation depends on the form and the product, being specified on the packaging label or in the manufacturer's instructions box and, in case of doubt about the use, consult the doctor beforehand.

Spearmint can be purchased in natural products stores, manipulation pharmacies or free markets, and, in addition, it is possible to purchase a seedling in a specialized garden store, so that it can be grown in pots at home.

How to make mint tea

To make mint tea, just put 3 tablespoons of dried mint leaves in 250 ml of boiling water and cover for 5 minutes, strain and drink the tea 2 to 4 times throughout the day. Alternatively, fresh leaves taken from the plant can also be used.

Who should not use

Mint should be avoided by people with severe reflux or hiatal hernia, as well as children under 5 years of age, as the menthol in mint can cause shortness of breath and choking.

People with kidney problems or liver damage should consume mint in moderation, avoiding consumption in large quantities, and use only under medical supervision.

In pregnant women, mint is also not recommended, especially when consumed orally in large quantities, which can cause damage to the uterus. In the case of breastfeeding women, there is not enough information about the safety of mint and, therefore, consumption should only be done under medical supervision.

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