All About Mint: Benefits and Most Powerful Type

Whether it’s mint leaves, oil, tea or water, mint has been used worldwide for many health issues, including digestive and bowel conditions, which is are often the cause of other physical and mental health issues. From ancient medical systems to contemporary scientific research, there is a strong consensus that a healthy gut is crucial for preventing and managing a wide array of health conditions and one main benefit of mint is its powerful digestive properties.

We at Fairview Adult Day Care Center in Brooklyn, NY, offer health education and rehab for the elderly and people with neurological and mental disorders. We encourage our members to consider a holistic approach in their treatment programs.

Person holding mint leaves in hands.

Mint Benefits and Most Powerful Type

Mint, abundant in antioxidants, is present in various foods and beverages like herbal teas, soups, and salads. Incorporating this fragrant herb into your routine could lead to several beneficial lifestyle improvements.

While many types of mint offer significant health benefits, peppermint stands out due to its high menthol content and wide range of therapeutic uses. It’s particularly powerful for digestive issues, respiratory health, pain relief, and mental clarity. However, the best type of mint for you may depend on your specific health needs and preferences.

Peppermint stands out

Menthol in the mint is great for pain and numerous other health issues. It is primarily found in peppermint, which is a hybrid of watermint and spearmint. For instance, peppermint oil – an antispasmodic medication – can alleviate stomach cramps, bloating, and flatulence, especially in people with irritable bowel syndrome, IBS. It achieves this by relaxing the muscles of the bowel wall. It proves to be a safe and efficient temporary remedy for this condition. However, further research is necessary to evaluate its prolonged effectiveness and safety, as well as its comparative efficacy with other IBS treatments such as antidepressants and antispasmodic medications.

Other types of mint and their benefits

Even though other mint varieties may also contain small amounts of menthol, typically not as much as peppermint. For example, spearmint – Mentha spicata – contains lower levels of menthol compared to peppermint but still possesses a mild menthol flavor and aroma. While menthol is most abundant in peppermint, its presence in other mint varieties contributes to their cooling and refreshing qualities, which is another mint benefit.

Spearmint, also called as a gradient mint, which is milder flavor and is greatly beneficial for digestive health does have antioxidant properties.  It is often used in treating hormonal imbalances and improving memory.

In general, various parts of mint, including leaves, stems, and roots, have long been consumed in traditional medicine. Mint contains valuable phytochemicals, widely used in pharmacy, food, flavor, ointment, and other industries.

Another benefit of mint is that regular use of it could help to prevent and manage diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular issues.

Side effects of mint

While mint is generally considered safe for most people when consumed in moderate amounts, excessive consumption, especially peppermint oil and supplements, or use of mint products may lead to certain side effects in some people.

In acute oral studies, peppermint oil demonstrated low levels of toxicity. It’s still important to use mint products in moderation and be mindful of any adverse reactions. If you experience persistent or severe side effects after consuming mint, discontinue use and consult your doctor.

Some of the mint side effects may include gastrointestinal issues, such as heartburn, acid reflux, and upset stomach.

Some people may be allergic to mint or menthol products, experiencing symptoms such as skin rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing.

Despite its numerous benefits, mint may interact with some medications. Do consult your doctor if you are taking medications and considering regular consumption of mint products.

Inhaling significant amounts of menthol can result in symptoms like dizziness, disorientation, muscle weakness, queasiness, and visual disturbances. It’s advisable to refrain from diffusing undiluted peppermint oil in areas where infants and young children are present. When preparing diffuser blends for infants and children, ensure that the concentration of peppermint oil is minimal, and always use them in well-ventilated spaces.


National Library of Medicine
A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.)
Diane L McKay, Jeffrey B Blumberg 2006 Aug;20

Nutritionist Resource. Health benefits of mint
By Tamara Marshall, writer at Nutritionist Resource
Published on May 17th, 2014

National Library of Medicine
Peppermint oil for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis by Reena KhannaJohn K MacDonaldBarrett G Levesque 2014 July

National Association for Aroma Therapy
NAHA Safety Note for Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) Essential Oil
Updated 11/2019

Mayo Clinic
Irritable Bowel System

Final report on the safety assessment of Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf, and Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Water by B Nair

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This article is for educational and informational purpose only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. For any questions about your own health condition, speak to a qualified physician or healthcare provider.