Not Eating Mint? Find Out What You Are Missing
Curious about using mint in your recipes? Mint (Mentha) is a perennial herb indigenous to Europe, with over 25 different species across the globe. One of the most common varieties is peppermint (Mentha aquatic), which is more potent and typically associated with culinary and medicinal use.
Menthol, the active ingredient in mint that gives it its characteristic flavor, is more concentrated in peppermint (Mentha piperata) than in spearmint (Menthe spicata) and is considered an aid in digestion by providing calm to muscles of the stomach and intestine. Oil of peppermint has also been used to stop the growth of bacterial, viral and fungal infections, and to address asthma, sinusitis, allergy-related colds and other respiratory issues. Nutritionally, peppermint is a good source of vitamins A and C, along with manganese, and copper.
Opt for fresh mint as it provides more flavor and look for leaves that are bright green. Place several leaves in a pitcher with ice water for a refreshing summer beverage. Wrap the mint leaves in a damp paper towel that loosely holds the leaves and place them in a sealed plastic bag. They should keep fresh for several days in the fridge.
Today’s Health Topics
Ask Dr. Weil's Q&A