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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 January 17, 2019

    8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

    8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

    In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

    Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

    Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

    Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

    Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

    The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

    There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

    How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

    According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

    Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

    Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

    The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

    Listen carefully:

    We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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    The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

    Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

    8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

    There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

    Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

    1. Pray Daily

    You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

    When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

    Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

    Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

    2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

    A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

    By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

    Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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    If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

    This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

    How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

    3. Smile Often

    Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

    Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

    Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

    The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

    4. Organize Your Working Desk

    A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

    When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

    Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

    Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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    5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

    I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

    Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

    What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

    6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

    God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

    I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

    I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

    7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

    You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

    How do you do that? This is my formula:

    First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

    If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

    If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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    If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

    Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

    8. Go Exercise

    Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

    The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

    You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

    12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

    The Bottom Line

    It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

    It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

    Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

    More Resources About Mindfulness

    Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

    Reference

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