Mint: The Most Well Known Herb


Mint is very common. There is chocolate mint, mountain mint, Vietnamese mint and lemon mint. Then there are the famous twins, peppermint and spearmint; in all there are a total of about 500 mints!!

Mint is one of the most popular and well recognized flavors of the world. It is an ingredient in many products, soft drinks, cocktails, jellies, teas, ice creams and candles among many others. However the mint that flavors many of these treats is Peppermint, the sweet mint.

When you go to the store to buy a mint spice you will find more spearmint, the savory mint. Whether it is sweet or savory, all mint is a potent healer. Let’s start with the digestive tract and how mint helps.

Peppermint can help ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a digestive problem that strikes an estimated one out of every seven Americans; many of them are women.

IBS has a range of symptoms including abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. In one Italian study 54 people with IBS took enteric coated peppermint oil for four weeks. Results showed that 75% of people with the above symptoms had at least 50% reduction of those issues.

Researchers in Canada found that peppermint oil can help clear up bacterial overgrowth in the small intestines, a suspected cause of IBS. There are other digestive problems where peppermint can help with indigestion and spasmodic episodes.

Menthol one of the compounds in peppermint helps clear up nasal congestion and other respiratory discomfort resulting in easier breathing. This compound also helps with nerve pain, like after shingles and for headaches by rubbing the essential oil on the temples. Today it is used in many pain relieving products like Icy Hot and Tiger Balm.

Peppermint and spearmint can also help with stress; anxiety and work performance by helping you stay focused. Researchers in UK found that women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a condition with high testosterone levels, drinking spearmint tea twice a day for one month reduced the levels of testosterone. For breastfeeding mothers using a topical treatment of peppermint water on their nipples were less likely to have cracking of nipples or nipple pain.

Of course, mint oil kills bacteria of the gums and teeth. Of course, that’s why many chewing gum and mouthwashes have peppermint and spearmint flavoring.

A study also found that peppermint can lessen hot flashes induced by chemotherapy in breast cancer patients.

Try steam inhalation using peppermint or spearmint in boiling water and breathing in its steam for nasal congestion.

Spearmint and peppermint have been used in toiletries and cosmetics for centuries but mint really was not used for food until the 17th century. Countries in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Southeast Asia use a lot of mint in their foods; both fresh and dried herbs, in both sweet and savory dishes.

In India, Raita, made with mint, cucumber and yogurt is a popular condiment; it is a cooling contrast to hot curries!

Here are more ideas to put more mint in your diet:

-Freeze mint in ice cubes to put in iced tea and lemonade

-Grind mint and add to vinaigrette  salad dressing

-Add mint to cream based soups and sauces

-Substitute mint for basil in your pesto

-Use mint instead of oregano or basil with eggplant or tomato dishes

Give these mints a try and you may have better luck with the natural plant then over the counter aids!


Healing Spices by Bharat B. Aggarwal

Cindy Burrows
Cynthia Burrows, M.T. CWC, Herbalist

Cynthia Burrows, from Austin, Texas, owns Cindy Burrows, Natural Health Consultant; assisting individuals with health issues they would like to change. She will set up a program giving choices of foods, herbs, teas and homeopathic suggestions. Cindy is past owner of Nature’s Healing Herbs, an Herbal, Green Tea, and Tincture product line, and a rare product line of Green Tea Foods. She has certificates for Herbalist at East West School of Herbology, and as Wellness Consultant with the Wellness Forum in Ohio.

Cindy is also a Medical Technologist, with a B.S. degree from Mansfield University in Mansfield Pa., she has been in healthcare for over 30 years. In 2005, she started using a new device founded in Europe, Quantum Biofeedback, “an energy rebalancing of the body”, by using our bodies electricity or frequency waves it can detect stress points in the body, she has added this to her consulting practice. She now has her Certification as a Biofeedback Specialist. She helps her clients by working with the synergy of herbs, food, homeopathy, and aromatherapy within her practice. She is a speaker, writer, and teacher. Cindy has been interviewed on TV; about the benefits of Green Tea and has been on radio about her small business tour to Ecuador.

Cindy has been an herbalist for over 20 years and has spent 6 years learning through the East West School of Herbology with Michael Tierra. She has studied Western, Chinese and Ayurvedic Herbs with a strong emphasis on nutrition. Along with many other continued studies of alternative and complementary medicine. She is a Certified Wellness Consultant, through a special program, The Wellness Forum, which has its nutrition program, now part of the curriculum at Ohio State University, providing educational seminars and workshops designed to impart relevant nutrition information to individuals to take control of their own health. These programs give healthier options and choices that can impact your longevity and quality of life. Cindy has been a speaker to many groups and has conducted many of her own classes on food and healthy life style programs.

Cindy has been involved with a hands-on healing program for the past 4 years and offers energy healing, through donation only, to anyone who needs her services.

She is Co-president of the Austin Herb Society and a member of the American Herbalist Guild. Cynthia has been a board member on many programs in the past including; La Sertoma, Arthritis Foundation, Toastmasters International, National Association of Female Executives, Handicapped Equestrian Learning Program, Entrepreneurs Association, and Austin Integrated Health Care Program.

Cindy also loves nature, animals, reading, blending teas, juices, etc.; likes to hike, and work with plants and, of course, cooking., mostly vegetarian.
Cindy has an adventurous streak.
She has organized and taken tours with business and artists groups to Big Bend, Texas, New Mexico, USA, and Ecuador, South America.