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10 Reasons Why You Should Grow Mint At Home And How To Do It

10 Reasons Why You Should Grow Mint At Home And How To Do It

Mint: it smells great, it grows fast, it tastes good and it has amazing benefits. Not to mention, growing it in your home will help keep pesky bugs like ants and flies outside. The health benefits of mint leaves are unbelievable!

1. Digestion

Mint is perfect for helping with indigestion. Mint leaves are packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients that are really good for your stomach. The smell of mint alone helps activate the salivary glands that produce digestive enzymes, enzymes that are crucial to digestion. They relax stomach muscles which reduces the chance of stomach spasms and indigestion.

2. Relieves headaches

The refreshing aroma of mint is also a quick and effective remedy for nausea and headaches. It is a naturally soothing substance that can alleviate headaches simply by rubbing mint oil on your forehead and nose.

3. Decongestant

The strong smell from mint can also clear your nose, throat and lungs when you are congested. If you find you cough a lot, the soothing smell is great for clearing out throat, nose and other respiratory channels. Mint also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve inflammation along the respiratory tract. Drinking mint tea is perfect for helping you clear your congestion.

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4. Fatigue

A whiff of mint might be all you need to get your brain functioning again because it is a natural stimulant. Smelling mint also helps you feel less stressed and depressed because it relaxes your body and calms your mind. The aroma from mint releases a small amount of serotonin in your brain. So, the next time your brain or mood needs a boost, draw a warm bath and sprinkle fresh mint leaves into the water.

5. Skin care

Not only can mint help with medical issues, it’s also great for clearing up pimples, soothing itchy skin and repelling bugs. You can use it to treat bug bites and stings from mosquitoes, gnats, hornets, wasps and bees. The strong scent also helps keep other bugs away from you.

Mint leaves are full of antioxidants which help give your skin a natural glow. The anti-inflammatroy and anti-bacterial properties found in mint leaves also helps clear up acne.

6. Weight loss

By adding mint to your diet you are helping your body lose weight faster because, as we know, mint is a stimulant that helps stimulate digestive enzymes. These digestive enzymes absorb nutrients from food, but also consume fat and turn it into usable energy, rather than storing fat for later.

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7. Asthma

Since mint helps clear the respiratory tract, regular use is perfect for anyone who suffers from asthma. Mint also contains rosmarinic acid that acts as a powerful antioxidant, which helps to block allergy-producing leukotrienes.

8. Oral care

Because mint has a ton of anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it is great for your oral health because it stops harmful bacterial growth inside the mouth. It also makes your breath minty fresh! All you have to do is rub a mint leaf directly on your teeth and gums, or chew on the leaves for a few minutes.

9. Cancer

Recent research shows that mint can also prevent certain kinds of cancers because a phytochemical that can be found in mint leaves helps to cut off the blood supply to tumors.

How to grow it

Mint is one of the easiest herbs to grow. They grow on an interesting root systems called runners because they sprout new leaves and plants along their roots as they grow. Although mint plants can be pretty evasive, keeping them in a container away from other plants will help tame them.

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To grow mint, all you need is a water-retaining container that is 12 to 16 inches wide, potting soil and, of course, the mint plant. You can grow mint by cutting a sprig off of an existing plant, or you can buy either a seedling or plant from the nursery. Either way is fine, but growing mint from seed is very difficult.

Place the potted mint plant somewhere it will get ample sunlight, preferably in the kitchen where you will have easy access to it when cooking. You will need to keep the soil damp, so water it frequently and keep it away from drying and heating elements.

When trimming your mint plant, trim from the top to help it grow more leaves on the sides. This will help you get more leaves from your plant. Also, make sure to trim the mint’s flower buds to keep your plant under control.

Once you start harvesting never take more than 1/3 of the leaves so that it doesn’t run out. To dry them out, either hang them from the stems, or lay them flat on a tray. Once the stems and leaves are brittle, you can store the leaves in an airtight container.

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How to use it

mint lemonade

    via PicJumbo

    You can use mint for any number of things. Mint tastes great cooked in dishes with chicken, fish, lamb and other proteins, or you can add it to salads, cooked vegetables and even potatoes. The most refreshing way to consume mint though, is in beverages such as mint tea, cocktails and even lemonade such as a delicious ginger, cucumber and mint lemonade.

    As mentioned above, you can chew it to improve your oral health, sprinkle it in the tub or even rub it on itchy bug bites.

    Featured photo credit: Debs via flickr.com

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    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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