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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 285

Thoughts: Mint!

A herb with remarkable medicinal properties.

Digestion: Mint is a good appetizer and promotes digestion, due to its typical aroma. It also soothes stomach in cases of indigestion, inflammation etc. This aroma of mint activates the saliva glands in our mouth as well as glands which secrete digestive enzymes, thereby facilitating digestion. Thus it is extensively used in culinary.

Nausea & Headache: Again, the strong and refreshing aroma of mint is an excellent and quick remedy for nausea. Whenever you feel it, just smell the oil of mint or crushed fresh mint leaves or use any product with mint flavor, whichever is available near you, and it will be gone. Many people keep mentha oil or mint flavored products with them to avoid nausea, particularly when they are traveling. Balms based on mint or simply mint oil, when rubbed on forehead and nose, gives quick relief in headache.

Respiratory Disorders, Cough etc.:
The strong aroma of mint is very effective in opening up congestion of nose, throat, bronchi and lungs, giving relief in respiratory disorders resulting from asthma, cold etc. As it cools and soothes throat, nose and other respiratory channels, it gives relief in cough too. Many balms are based on this property of mint. Unlike other inhalers which are based on aerosols, those based on mint are more effective and eco-friendly too.

Asthma: Regular use of mint is very beneficial for asthma patients, as it is a good relaxant and gives relief in congestion. But, over dosage may irritate as well.

Skin Care, pimples etc.:
While mint oil is a good anti septic and anti pruritic, mint juice is an excellent skin cleanser. It soothes skin, cures infections, itching etc., and is also good for pimples. Its anti pruritic properties can be used for treating bites of insects like mosquitoes, honey-bees, hornets, wasps, gnats etc.

Oral Care: This is a well known property of mint. Being a germicidal and breathe freshener, it takes care of oral health by inhibiting harmful bacterial growth inside mouth and by cleaning tongue and teeth.

Current researches show that certain enzymes present in mint may help cure cancer. The phytonutrient, called perillyl alcohol, in mint is believed to prevent colon, skin and lung cancer.

Other Benefits: Besides its wide industrial use in food stuffs such as ice-creams, chocolates etc., alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, cosmetics, medicines, inhalers and mouth and breathe fresheners, it is used as a condiment and decorative item in culinary world-wide. Drinks and food-stuffs containing mint cools you off in summer. It is a good relaxant. One more peculiar property which is very much in contrary to its cooling and soothing effects is that it induces sweating if consumed in fever, thereby curing it. Mint juice can be applied on burns to heal and soothe them. It is also beneficial in rheumatism. It is also said to improve activity of the brain, although there are no sufficient proofs.

How to use mint:

* Dried mint leaves, boiled in water, form a strong concoction that helps in soothing the digestive tract and easing the severity of stomachaches.
* Drinking herbal mint tea reduces irritated bowel syndromes and cleanses the stomach.
* Mint is a strong diuretic and therefore, helps in eliminating toxins from the body. Drinking or eating it.
* When included in the diet on a regular basis, mint reduces the growth of bacteria and fungus in the body.
* Fresh crushed mint leaves helps in whitening teeth.
* Inhaling mint gives relief from congestion problems, like sinus infections and common cold.
* Due to the presence of essential oil called menthol, mint finds its usage in preparing a variety of cosmetics and perfumes.
* Inhaling essential oil of mint provides a sense of calm and thus, helps one relax the mind.
* Menthol present in mint makes it an important component of many medicines and drugs.
* Mint finds extensive usage in the field of aromatherapy. Smell it, drink it, eat it.
* Mint has antipruritic or anti-itch properties. When added with camphor, it helps to cure insect stings and bites.

History of Mint:
Mint is known to have originated in Asia and the Mediterranean region. In many cultures, mint symbolised hospitality and was offered as a sign of welcome and friendship to guests as they arrived. In the Middle East mint tea is still served to guests on their arrival, whilst in ancient Greece, the leaves of mint were rubbed onto the dining table, which was a sign of their warm greeting.

Mint was also often used as an air freshener and was placed in the rooms of houses, synagogues and temples to clear and freshen the air and rid the smell of unpleasant odours from the room. The Greeks and the Romans used mint as a perfume and a bath scent, as well as using it in medicine and in cooking.

Mint was so revered by the ancient Greeks that they named the plant after the mythical character Minthe. According to Greek myth, Minthe or Menthe as she is also known, was a river nymph. Hades, the God of the Underworld, fell in love with Minthe and wanted to make her his lover. However, Persephone, Hades's wife found out and in a fit of rage turned Minthe into a plant, so that everyone would walk all over her and trample her. Unable to undo the spell, Hades gave Minthe a wonderful aroma so that he could smell her and be near her when people trod on her.

Organic Facts

Quotes: Nothing in the cry of cicadas suggests they are about to die - Basho

Triumphs: I had a lot of mint growing in my garden, so today I wanted to eat a lot of it! I found and created some delicious recipes for using mint :)

Mint in the garden I grow :)

What I Ate Today:

Meal 1: A beet, celery, carrot, ginger juice.

Meal 2: Raw Chocolate Mint Brownie! Created with almonds, cashews, raw cacao powder dates, mint, avocados, vanilla and agave syrup!

Meal 3: Macadamia nuts and sprouts; lentils, chick peas and beans.

Meal 4: Sauté of Peas and Prosciutto with fresh mint! Created with olive oil, shallots , sugar snap peas, fresh shelled peas, prosciutto or salmon, mint and coconut oil.

Meal 5: Mint tea - fresh mint leafs from my garden in boiled water :)

Recipe: The recipe for Raw Mint Chocolate Brownies and Sauté of Peas and Prosciutto with fresh mint are available on The Earth Diet website

Exercise: Walking and yoga, stretching and breathing out the stale air and in with the new!

80 days to go!!!

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