Tea. Tea is the British answer to all ills. Only problem is, I don’t like it. Never have. So I have a cupboard full of tea alternatives, fruit teas, tisanes, green teas, etc etc. However one of my favourite tea replacements is mint tea, made with freshly picked mint from the garden and hot water. Simple, but refreshing and invigorating. And, as I have just found out, a cure for all ills!

I should say now that I am not a doctor (in case you were wondering!) and my medical training extends to putting a plaster on the booboo, dishing out arnica pills and chocolate! However I am great believer in natures remedies, healing through good diet, fresh air and exercise. I think it is common knowledge that mint is good for the digestion; calming stomach problems, and used extensively in oral hygiene for its fresh, cleansing aroma and flavour, and antibacterial properties. However I have just discovered that it cures, well most things, and during these difficult times some of the illness listed below are quite pertinent!

Asthma – it is a relaxant and relieves congestion*

Alleviates allergies and hay fever – extracts of mint leaves have been shown to inhibit the release of certain chemicals, which aggravate severe nasal symptoms associated with hay fever and seasonal allergies

Digestion and IBS – soothes inflammation and prepares the stomach for digestion

Breast feeding – rub mint oil onto cracked nipples (wish I had know that 7 years ago!)

Prevent respiratory disorders – prevents nasal congestion and helps clear congested throat, bronchi and lungs

Skin care – mint oil is an antiseptic

Weight loss – it stimulates the digestive enzymes which absorbs nutrients and converts fat into energy (After Eight anyone!!)

Prevents memory loss – chew gum and you will never walk into a room wondering why you are there again! Got to remember to chew the gum in the first place though!

Oral care – inhibits bacterial growth

Treats nausea  – mint oil alleviates nausea and calms the digestive system

Headaches – naturally soothing, rub a mint balm into the temples

Reduces depression and fatigue – a natural stimulent, throw a few mint leaves into your salad and you will feel energised!

Sterility – this one seems to be a mixed bag as there are arguments for and against! Those claiming that it helps alleviate and those that profess it causes it! Mmm everything in moderation. Chewing gum whilst having sex is a definite no no in my book!!!!

Cooling and refreshing – in France there are a lot of mint based drinks both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. If consumed during a fever mint induces sweating and therefore encourages the fever to pass much quicker.

Soothes burns – mint juice will cool the burn

Rheumatism – alleviates the pain

Stimulates the brain – serve mint tea during brain storming sessions and watch the ideas flow!

Who would have thought it heh! It is also very easy to grow, even I manage it. And right now, after the rain, it is flourishing in my garden so free and plentiful! No need to panic buy, just potter down to the garden and put the kettle on. Pour freshly boiled water onto two large sprigs of mint and let infuse for a few minutes and enjoy! Sugar/honey optional.

* too much mint can be an irritant

For more detailed information on the health benefits of mint visit https://bit.ly/33qJTlf