Ayurveda and Spices: The Wonderfully Fragrant Mint

 Ahhhh…the wonderfully fragrant mint! It “wakes up” the senses, clears the head, and soothes digestion.


It might be surprising to learn just how vast the mint family is. Many culinary herbs and spices are in the mint family, including basil, thyme, lavender, lemon balm, oregano, sweet marjoram, rosemary, sage, and savory. However, when we think of mint, we usually think of the three main mints: peppermint, spearmint and horsemint. All three have a mild soothing action on the nerves and digestion, helping to relax the body and clear the mind and senses. Mints also are great cooling diaphoretics which are useful for common colds and flus. Each of these have their own unique properties; peppermint is the most stimulating and the best choice for improving digestion. Spearmint is quite relaxing in its effect, and good for urinary inflammation. Horsemint has antispasmodic properties, making it useful for difficult menstruation. 


Mints generally are high in the element ether (space), giving them an etheric nature of expansiveness and clarity and making them useful for calming the mind and emotions. Their action on the body is mild.


Here’s a suggestion; sip on mint tea to support healthy digestion! It is commonly available, and in Ayurveda, optimal health pivots on healthy digestion. 


By Dr. Marisa Jackson-Kinman, C.A.S., P.K.S., A.Y.T., Faculty at the California College of Ayurveda