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.
The perennial herb grows to 1-2 feet tall, spread underground and overground with vertical branches. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs, oblong with a serrated margin. Pudina grows all-round the year, near moist places and in extreme climatic conditions. It is a fast-growing herb which needs minimal care and can be easily grown in your kitchen garden.
Mint leaves go by the vernacular name Pudina in all Indian languages. In Sanskrit, it is known as pudina, putiha, podinaka, phudino and podina.
Pudina/Mint Leaves Uses
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.
Nutritional Value Of Mint Leaves 2 Tablespoon Serving Size
Protein 0.12 g
Carbohydrates 0.48 g
Fat 0.03 g
Fiber 0.26 g
Minimal Amounts Of Other Essential Nutrients
How To Make Pudina Juice
Pudina juice is a perfect drink to quench your thirst in summer. This cooling natural drink benefits you to keep yourself well hydrated, refreshed and cool. The blend of other ingredients make it more delectable and helps you beat the sweltering heat.
1 cup chopped mint leaves
2 cups of water
1 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp lemon juice
1 tsp jeera powder
Pink salt as required
Add all the ingredients in a juice mixer and blend well on high speed.
Strain the pudina leaves juice into a serving glass, add ice cubes and garnish with a lemon slice. Relish the coolant drink.
Health Benefits Of Pudina/Mint leaves
Mint leaves are valued as a wonderful appetizer, the aromatic herb helps to activate the salivary glands in the mouth which stimulate the secretion of digestive enzymes and promotes the digestion process. Mint oil possesses strong antiseptic and antibacterial and calming nature that helps in soothing stomach woes and ease indigestion, inflammation and irritable bowel syndrome. In addition, evidence reveals that goodness of menthol oil in mint leaves treats diarrhoea and relieves nausea caused due to motion sickness.
Promotes Respiratory Health
Regular intake of pudina leaves is highly recommended for asthmatic patients, as it acts as a good relaxant and eases chest congestion. The potent anti-inflammatory properties of mint leaves are well-known to alleviate congestion of the throat, bronchi and lungs and provides relief from respiratory problems like asthma and cold. The cooling properties of mint leaves helps to soothe irritated nose, throat and provides relief from sore throat and cough.
Rhinitis and allergies are quite common among most of the people. Pudina leaves extracts to prevent releasing of irritating chemicals which worsen nasal symptoms caused due to hay fever and other seasonal allergies. However, it is not good to overdo this as it may irritate the throat and nasal cavity.
Pudina leaves act as a powerful adaptogenic herb which can regulate and stimulate stress response. It is valued as a healing herb in Ayurvedic medicine which provides relief from headache. The powerful and refreshing aromatic properties of mint leaves are used in making soothing balms and essential oils which assists in alleviating headache and nausea.
The goodness of chlorophyll and antibacterial property of mint leaves helps to ward off bacteria causing bad breath. Pudina leaves extract are beneficial in clearing plaque deposited in the teeth. Menthol the active compound present in mint leaves is the key element used in most of the toothpaste, mouthwashes and mouth freshener and chewing gums to combat dental problems. To instantly refresh the breath, chew a few mint leaves.
Promotes Weight Loss
The aromatic sweet herb plays a vital role in losing weight in a healthy way. Mint leaves promote the secretion of a digestive enzyme like bile acids and increase the bile flow which fastens and ease the digestion process and maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Moreover, mint leaves also promote digestion and assimilation of nutrients, boosts metabolism and helps in losing weight. Mint tea is a great refreshing calorie-free beverage which can be added in your regular regimen to promote weight loss.
Pudina leaves are valuable to boost brainpower. Several pieces of evidence strongly support that consuming mint leaves can promote attentiveness and cognitive functions. The active ingredients in mint leaves can better the memory power and mental alertness. Moreover, the stimulant qualities of mint leaves are used in chewing gums which is beneficial to trigger the brain health.
Combat Stress And Depression
Pudina leaves is a key element in aromatherapy. The rich and distinct flavour and smell of this essential oil can ease stress and refresh the body and mind. The powerful adaptogenic properties of mint leaves can control the action of cortisol and triggers the body’s natural response to beat stress. The essential oil is used extensively in aromatherapy and inhaling mint essential oil can soothe the mind promptly as it secretes serotonin in the brain which helps to combat depression. Add a few mint leaves while making tea or mint essential oil in your vaporizer or water bath for instant relief.
Nipple sores and cracked nipples are common among lactating mothers which make breastfeeding more painful and hard. Evidence revealed that applying mint essential oil is valuable in easing pain and heals soreness and cracked nipple. Mint essential oil can be used in several ways in preventing and treating cracked nipples and pain linked with breastfeeding.
Mint Leaves For Skin Health
Mint or pudina leaves is a key ingredient used extensively in a spectrum of skincare and beauty products owing to its potent antibacterial and cooling properties. The richness of menthol and natural antioxidants and flavonoids in pudina leaves are used as an amazing cleanser, toner, astringent and moisturizer in skincare products. Also Read: Mint Leaves Have Soothing Benefits For Irritated Skin
The goodness of salicylic acid and vitamin A in mint leaves control the secretion of sebum oil in the skin and help in curing acne or bacne. The powerful antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties of mint leaves are effective in treating acne and lowers the inflammation and redness associated with acne outburst. To heal acne, apply mint leaves extract on the affected regions, allow it to stay for 5-10 minutes, the extract quickly dries up acne, clears the scars and cleanses the pores from deep within.
Improves Skin Tone And Complexion
The cooling and refreshing properties of pudina leaves retain the moisture in the skin and tightens the pores. The astringent property of mint leaves tones the skin, softens dry and itchy skin. Mint is a natural cleanser helps to ward off dead skin cells, dirt from the pores, lessens blemishes, improves the skin complexion and makes the skin look supple, radiant and well-toned. Also Read:3 Incredible Ways To Use Mint For Brighter Skin
Slow Down Ageing
The richness of antioxidants and other vital vitamins in mint leaves shield the skin cells from free radical damage and revitalize the skin thus slowing down the ageing process. Furthermore, the essence of rosmarinic acid in mint leaves is valuable in enhancing the blood circulation, hydrated the skin and fades away wrinkles and fine lines. Pudina leaves extract are great to keep your skin look radiant and glow from inside out.
Treats Dark Circles
Pudina leaves extract is heaped with essential vitamins C and A which promotes the blood circulation, lessen dark circle and makes the skin look healthy. Apply a pack of mint leaves extract with tomato juice and allow it to stay for 20-30 minutes and rinse well with cold water, this lightness the skin tone and diminishes dark circles under the eyes.
Removes Dark Spots
The presence of salicylic acid and soothing properties of mint leaves is beneficial in repairing and soften the skin cells. Pudina leaves extract helps in brightening the skin tone, clear off dark spot and makes the skin look healthy and glow.
Uses Of Mint Leaves For Hair Health
Pudina leaves extract are a great source of carotene and antioxidants that promotes hair growth and prevents hair fall. The potent antimicrobial and antifungal properties of mint leaves aids to ward off dandruff, head lice and treat other scalp issues. Apply mint leaves paste mixed with lemon juice on the hair scalp and allow it to stay for 30-40 minutes and rinse the hair well. Furthermore, menthol based hair oil improves the blood circulation to the hair follicles and renews new hair cells, prevent hair loss and makes the mane grow stronger and voluminous.
Mint/Pudina Leaves Recipe
Pudina rice is easy to cook and flavorful rice dish that can soothe the upset tummy. The tangy rice with a drizzle of lemon and seasoning makes it a delicious and fulfilling lunch delight.
2 cups rice-cleaned and soaked for 30 minutes
1/2 cup sliced onions
½ tsp mustard seeds
2- dry red chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
5-10 no’s cashew
2 green chillies finely chopped
2 Tbsp paste of mint leaves
A few drops of lemon juice
2 Tbsp oil
Salt as required
MethodIn a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the oil and add the mustard, cumin seeds, dry red chillies and cashews and fry for 1-2 minutes. Now add the onions, green chillies and sauté till transparent, once done add rice, pudina paste and blend well for a few times and add 3 cups of water.
When the rice is boiled, sprinkle a few drops of lemon juice, add salt as required and close the pan with the lid and cook in medium heat for 15-20 minutes.Tangy pudina rice is ready to be served hot with papad.
Mint leaves loaded with antioxidants, vitamins A, C and minerals promotes digestion, treats asthma, improves skin health and boosts memory. Seasoned with jeera it helps in pumping the iron stores, boosting immunity and controlling diabetes. Cashew adds the protein value of the rice and a good source of energy. Lemon juice boosts immunity and keeps diseases at bay.
Pudina chutney or the green chutney kindles the digestive secretions and aids in digestion. It is an ideal accompaniment that goes well with hot idly, dosa, uthappam, vada and even with sandwiches and rolls. Remember to use only fresh mint and avoid the stalk as it may render a bitter taste to the chutney.
½ cup plucked and washed pudina
2 tbsp grated coconut
¼ cup coriander and curry leaves
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp Bengal gram dal
½ inch ginger
¼ cup sliced onion
1 tsp tamarind paste
2-4 green chillies
salt as required
½ tsp mustard seeds
¼ urad dal
1 red chilies
Pinch of hing
1 tsp oil
In a pan dry roast urad and chana dal and keep it aside.
Pour oil sauté onion, green chillies and ginger for 2 minutes and finally add all the leaves mix well and switch off the stove.
In a blender add coconut, dal and sautéed mixture, tamarind paste, salt and grind well into a fine paste.
In a pan temper mustard seeds, red chillies, urad dal and fry well, finally add Hing powder and switch off.
Pour the tadka over the chutney, serve with hot idly or dosa.
Pudina leaves is a storehouse of essential vitamin and antioxidants that helps to soothe the upset gut, treats asthma, common cold, sore throat and enhance skin health. Coriander leaves loaded with antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E and minerals calcium, zinc and iron promotes good vision, strengthens the bone and treats liver problems. Curry leaves a rich source of dietary fibre and iron makes your mane stronger and denser and improves haemoglobin levels. Coconut renders the healthy fats, dal adds to protein value and jeera, chillies and other spices added promotes digestion and augments immunity.
The aromatic herb is generally safe for consumption, however people with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) should minimize the consumption as it may not soothe the tummy and may act as an irritant. Menthol oil is not recommended for internal consumption and avoid applying mint oil directly to the face of the infant or child as it may cause breathing difficulties.
Mint or pudina leaves is highly valued for its indispensable medicinal properties and uses. Pudina leaves are a healthy addition to your foods and beverages that render a unique taste and flavour in varied ways like green salads, desserts, chutneys, raitas, smoothies and mint tea. Evidence reveals that mint leaves should be consumed in the form of capsules or pudina leaves extract applied to the skin as a face pack or used as essential oil aromatherapy to reap its wholesome benefits.
The many benefits of mint leave range from alleviating digestive symptoms, improving brain functions, treating the common cold, asthma and even freshens the breath. Mint leaves can be used fresh, dried, as essential oils or in the form of supplements to derive its benefits.