You may have only recently noticed balm mint as an ingredient in some of your upscale hair-care products, but it’s far from a new discovery. The herbal extract has been used for more than 2,000 years, mainly as a medicinal plant.

The benefits of balm mint reach far beyond cosmetic and even date back to the middle ages. The Greeks treasured it as a medicinal plant because it was believed to ease depression and anxiety, as well as a myriad of ailments such as digestive spasms, menstrual cramps, insomnia, and headaches. This healing herb is even suggested to help people with an overactive thyroid.

And it doesn’t end there. Since balm mint helps ease inflammation with its anti-viral properties, it’s used to calm the swelling and pain from cold sores and insect bites.

Studies have shown that the anti-bacterial effects of balm mint can help with upper respiratory infections as well. When the leaves are used to make a hot tea, balm mint causes sweating that can help break the fever associated with colds and flu. In fact, you will often find lemon balm leaves as part of herbal blends in upscale boxed teas labeled as “calm.”

Beyond tea, the aromatic herb is used to flavor vermouth and other alcoholic beverages, some soft drinks and even foods. Its crushed leaves can be added to everything from salads and sauces to marinades and soups. Indeed, the bountiful uses of balm mint stretch from the kitchen to the medicine cabinet to the shower.

It has garnered so much attention, it is no wonder the International Herb Association (IHA) has selected balm mint as the 2007 Herb of the Year.

Products containing Balm Mint

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Teri Evans