Benefits of Mint for Digestion

Recent scientific studies show that peppermint can be helpful in preventing certain digestive problems. The research conducted by experts in 2011 revealed that this substance when used correctly can help relieve indigestion, gas and irritable bowel condition. Ingredients found inside activate the colon’s anti-pain channel which helps reduce unnecessary aching. This special tube, known as TRPM8, greatly reduces pain related to taking spicy foods such as chili or mustard.

Key Benefits of Mint

Curbs IBS Spasms and Throbbing

Mint is an ancient herb that was used by prehistoric civilizations like the Greeks, Romans and Assyrians to improve stomach health. It was commonly taken after meals to serve this function. However, it was only formally applied in modern medicine during the late 18th century. The product consists of two main compounds which are spearmint and water mint, and has potent medicinal properties to give patients faster healing.

Methyl salicylate and menthol are the two most active ingredients in peppermint. Both have anti-spasmodic properties, with calming effects on intestinal tract, stomach and uterus for women. They also contain powerful analgesic compounds, which work on kappa-opioid receptors to help block pain signals reaching the brain.

Furthermore, the product contains essential oils for stimulating gallbladder to generate bile which is used by the body to absorb fats. Hence, peppermint can be an effective digestive aid after taking heavy meals. It also enhances the overall functioning of muscles lining the intestine and stomach walls.

This product is widely considered the strongest natural anti-spasmodic herb, when consumed on a regular basis it can be more effective than mainstream over-the-counter drugs. Especially if taken as a strongly brewed tea. Those who chew mint more regularly experience diarrhea relief, including calming effects on their gastrointestinal tract. It also has anti-bacterial properties, increases production of gastric enzymes, relieves constipation, vomiting, nausea and morning sickness.

One simple and effective way of taking mint for irritable bowel syndrome is by mixing extracts with hot water, avoid boiling the herb directly in a pan as this can damage essential ingredients and oils found inside. Though you can still take the substance in other forms that are available. For instance, peppermint candies also called Altoids can have soothing effects on the gut and can be consumed at any time of the day. Pop a few before and after meals as a guaranteed safety precaution, either chew or swallow whole as effect is still similar. Nevertheless, ensure that the mint candy you’re taking doesn’t have artificial sugars but only natural ones such as honey. Processed sugar can sometimes get fermented by stomach bacteria, and this may in turn produce gas and bloating in the bowel.

Another popular form is enteric-coated oil capsules which has been proven effective in multiple clinical trials, including research that focused only on kids with IBS. They can be used by anybody whether they are young or old with no side effects whatsoever. These pills have been coated with a special material which dissolves inside the gut when consumed, it acts as a soothing agent and also reduces pain.

It’s far less costly to purchase this product in bulk when dried and brew from home, than getting tea bags directly from the supermarket. The concoction is 100% caffeine-free though can be sweetened with plain sugar or honey for even better taste. One can as well chill the solution into some iced tea, though this should always be taken on full stomach otherwise gastric spasms may occur. To prepare simply brew 1-2 tablespoons of dried mint leaves inside a cup of fresh boiling water. Add as many leaves as possible since the stronger it is the better.

Removes Bloating and Gas

Peppermint is a powerful antidote for flatulence, bloating and stomach gas conditions. It has antispasmodic agents which help remove cramps in the GI tract and bile tract. This allows easy passage of food and accidentally swallowed air through digestive tract, enabling them to move smoothly without causing any pain.

Moreover, the substance stimulates detoxification of liver by triggering more bile production in your body. A well-functioning liver on the other hand improves digestive health and reduces cases of flatulence. It would be helpful to sip peppermint tea at least once before taking evening meal, however this should be done at least 1 hr beforehand since having too much fluid together with food can reverse any benefits gained.

If you often experience pain in the lower gut, then fresh mint can help alleviate that condition. There are some extract oil capsules specially designed to bypass the stomach during ingestion, and only get deposited inside the small bowel. They work on gut problems alone and bypass gastroesophageal sphincter muscles, something that can also help prevent gas buildup. Most doctors recommend coated capsules for those who are trying mint for the first time, they are available in various places including food stores, online and grocery stores.

Another less popular but still effective option is in gum form. Though this may not bear a much direct impact like mint capsules, it’s still worth the try. Chewing stimulates release of gastric juices which in turn helps with food digestion and relieving the sensation of bloating and fullness after having a heavy meal.

Mentha Piperita, as it’s scientifically known, can be grown almost anywhere around the world and is actually a common medicinal herb. It has distinctive sweet taste and refreshing flavor which cannot be mistaken with any other compound. Menthol found inside is also carminative, meaning it blocks calcium channels responsible for peristalsis hence encouraging improved movement along the digestive tract. Peppermint oil can also boost circulation and flow of digestive enzymes that enhance food intake by the body, consequently preventing constipation. Menthol’s natural cooling sensation soothes the bowel lining, it has ability to stimulate receptors found inside the membrane thus curbing congestion. Though treating IBS can be somewhat tricky since there’s no specific cause that has been identified, doctors still recommend peppermint as a valid and safe solution for managing symptoms.

For people with Celiac Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, or Crohns Disease, we always recommend having a bag of Bob’s sugar free starlight mints on hand!

Sources

Brian Jackson

Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at 27 along with gluten intolerance that was off the charts; going gluten-free literally saved my life. Read my story.

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