Mint is very appreciated in the kitchen for its pleasant aroma and flavor. It also has several therapeutic properties that you may not know.
The strong, sweet perfume of mint is instantly recognizable. Its taste is warm and spicy, with a refreshing aftertaste. It has a versatile flavor that allows the most interesting combinations.
In Indian cuisine, for example, it is mixed with cumin, cardamom, ginger and cloves.
In Western cuisine fresh is used to enhance carrots, potatoes, aubergines and all legumes. You can add it to tomato soup along with some chillies to get an "American flavor".
At the end of a meal, the flavor of mint goes well with fruits and chocolate desserts.
In contrast, some stews from oriental cuisine require the spicy flavor of dried mint.
The two most commonly used mint varieties are peppermint (Mentha piperita), used medicinally, and spearmint (Mentha spicata). The latter is the one that is used to growing in the gardens, it is less strong but it has the same uses.
6 properties of mint that you probably do not know
It is very common to have a pot with mint at home, to have it always at hand to cook and, lately, to make mojitos.
However, mint does not only serve to provide color, aroma and flavor. They are also attributed some medicinal properties. Here are six of them:
1. It is a great digestive remedy
Stimulates the flow of bile, relieves acidity, prevents the appearance of gas, nausea and other digestive discomfort.
For this purpose you can take peppermint oil capsules.
2. It helps to breathe better
Menthol decongests the respiratory tract. It helps to reduce the fever of colds and flu. And it contains antiviral thymol.
Peppermint is also effective in the treatment of sinusitis and rhinitis.
3. It improves blood circulation
It contains rosmarinic acid and eugenol with anticoagulant effects.
They also improve the oxygenation of the blood.
4. It is stimulating, not exciting
Active but without producing nervous excitement. It allows you to perform without stress.
If you combine it with ginger it adds power to its action.
5. It is an external application analgesic
Relieves muscular, rheumatism and headaches.
Dilute mint oil (15 drops in 30 ml almond or olive oil).
6. It is a natural antibiotic
It contains more than 40 antiseptic principles, useful for skin conditions such as eczema, pruritus or bites.
Infusion of mint, digestive and analgesic
It is prepared by pouring 10 grams of its leaves or tops into a saucepan of boiling water.
It is a good digestive, which in the form of a gargle alleviates toothache.
Fast dressing for salad
You can prepare, quickly and easily, a mint dressing that will enhance the flavor of your salads.
- 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- The juice of half a lemon
- ¼ teaspoon dried mint
- A pinch of salt
- A pinch of pepper
Beat the ingredients until you get a homogeneous sauce.