MINT

Inhaling fresh mint is uplifting to the soul. Nibbling the sweet, aromatic fresh leaves is refreshing and revitalizing. 

mintteaThe mouthfeel is at first warm but then finishing with a cool sensation from the volatile oils. There are many, many varieties of mint and its use is recorded in cultures around the world. It appears that initially it was a tonic or medicinal herb and then worked its way into the culinary world.

From the culinary perspective, fresh mint is preferred so that the volatile oils are bright and intact. I love throwing fresh mint on salads and in other veggies just to give an extra layer to the flavors.  Mint is versatile and can be enjoyed in both savory and sweet dishes.  

It’s definitely worth getting to know the different varieties of mint; such as chocolate mint; which tastes exactly how it sounds chocolate and mint combined in one nibble. Peppermint and wintermint are interesting variations. The choices are endless and each one has its own delicious quality.

From a medicinal perspective, mint is an excellent digestive tonic; useful for nausea and stomachache. Research is demonstrating that it is highly effective in calming the gastrointestinal tract in cases of Irritable Bowel or Crohn’s Disease. Studies also demonstrate that inhaling mint is enhances cognitive function and elevates mood. It also helps stimulate memory. Sipping mint tea and inhaling the aroma can be a great way to boost your energy and focus when you hit those afternoon slumps. This happens because the olfactory system plugs directly into the limbic system, which is responsible for emotional responses and memory. Inhaling and sipping creates a nice retronasal effect; while also calming the nerves and soothing digestion.

Mint is also full of antioxidants and other phytonutrients that help alleviate oxidative stress and systemic inflammation.