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Benefits Of Spearmint

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

Scientific Name: Mentha spicata

Common Names: Garden mint, Lamb's mint, Our Lady's mint, Spire mint, and Sage of Bethlehem

Family: Lamiaceae or Labiatae (Mint)

Spearmint, also known as Mentha spicata, is a captivating perennial, similar to Peppermint and part of the mint family. Common names for this herb include Garden mint, Lamb's mint, Our Lady's Mint, Spire Mint, and Sage of Bethlehem (1). This herb has radiant green leaves pointed with lavender flower spikes that can grow up to four inches long and are native to the Mediterranean. Spearmint has a pleasantly sweet flavor and is frequently used to flavor toothpaste, mouthwash, chewing gum, and candy. Most of all, spearmint is a highly aromatic plant valued for its culinary, medicinal, and cosmetic use (2).


Benefits of Spearmint

May Help Digestive Upsets

Spearmint is frequently utilized to relieve digestive upsets such as indigestion, nausea, vomiting, and gas. In an eight-week randomized study of 32 people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), one group took a product containing spearmint, lemon balm, and coriander along with loperamide for diarrhea. They also took psyllium for constipation. There was also a placebo group in the study. The study outcomes demonstrated that the severity and frequency of abdominal pain and discomfort were remarkably lower in the spearmint group than in the placebo group (3). In another study, when spearmint essential oil was applied to the skin topically, there was a significant reduction in the incidence of nausea and vomiting compared to the placebo group (4).

Rich In Antioxidants

Antioxidants can help fight damage from harmful free radicals. The buildup of free radicals can lead to oxidative stress, linked to chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease (5). Two tablespoons of spearmint can provide approximately two percent of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamin C, another potent antioxidant important for overall well-being (6). In one study, spearmint extract prevented fat oxidation in meat and was as efficacious as the synthetic antioxidant, Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), proving excellent antioxidant activity against free radicals (7).

Antibacterial Properties

An antibacterial property is when a substance, or in this case, an herb, can destroy or suppress the growth and reproduction of bacteria (8). Studies have found that spearmint essential oil is effective against several types of harmful bacteria, including Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and one Candida species (9). Another study found spearmint essential oil to be effective against eleven Lamiaceae species, including Coridothymus capitatus L., Lavandula stoechas L., Lavandula angustifolia Mill., Mentha spicata L. subsp. condensata, Origanum syriacum L., Rosmarinus officinalis, Salvia fruticosa Miller., Satureja cuneifolia Ten., Satureja thymbra L., Thymbra spicata L., and Vitex agnus-castus L. (10).

May Help Reduce Stress

Spearmint tea may help promote relaxation. Spearmint alleviates stress because the leaves of this plant contain menthol, which has a relaxing, sedative-like effect on the body. It’s assumed that spearmint encourages relaxation and eases stress by interacting with GABA receptors, the neurotransmitters involved in reducing nerve activity in your brain (11). In an animal study, spearmint extract reduced anxiety and enhanced sleep quality (12).

May Improve Arthritis Pain

Arthritis is a common disorder characterized by inflammation of the joints (13). Spearmint may help relieve joint pain caused by arthritis. An extensive study review was conducted on a collection of both animal and human studies. The study review concluded that essential oils made from spearmint had pain-relieving effects (14). A 16-week-long study found that 62 people with arthritis of the knee who consumed spearmint tea twice per day had decreased stiffness and physical disability. At the same time, a spearmint tea high in rosmarinic acid alleviated the same symptoms and also diminished pain (15).

May Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Spearmint tea may help decrease blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. In an animal study, rats were administered a spearmint extract equal to 9 mg per pound of body weight per day. While healthy rats seemed unaffected, rats with diabetes had remarkably lower blood sugar levels (16). In a 21-week-long animal study, they discovered diabetic rats given 136 mg per pound of body weight per day of this type of spearmint extract showed a 25% reduction in blood sugar levels (17). Although animal studies have shown promising results, human-based studies on this potential effect are lacking.

May Help Lower Blood Pressure Levels

High blood pressure increases your risk for heart disease and stroke, the two leading causes of death here in America. Unfortunately, tens of thousands of Americans have uncontrolled high blood pressure in America (18). (-)-carvone is a compound in spearmint that has been demonstrated to behave similarly to calcium-channel blockers, the pharmaceutical drug used to treat high blood pressure with side effects like constipation, dizziness, fast heartbeat (palpitations), fatigue, flushing, headache, nausea, rash, swelling in the feet and lower legs and more (19). In fact, in one animal study, (-)-carvone was proven to be 100 times more potent at easing blood vessel contractions than verapamil, a commonly used blood pressure pharmaceutical drug (20). Although animal studies have shown promising results, human-based studies on this potential effect are lacking.

May Aid Women with Hormonal Imbalances

For women struggling with hormonal imbalance, spearmint can influence every cell in their body with side effects like bloating, fatigue, irritability, hair loss, palpitations, mood swings, problems with blood sugar, trouble concentrating, infertility, and more (21). In an animal study, spearmint essential oil reduced testosterone and ovarian cysts and enhanced the number of viable eggs in rat ovaries (22). This isn’t just in animals; studies in women have also indicated that spearmint can decline male hormones like testosterone while rising female hormones necessary for ovulation, such as luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and estradiol. For instance, in a five-day study, 21 women with hormone imbalances consumed two cups of spearmint tea a day, and their testosterone decreased, and their LH, FSH, and estradiol levels increased (23). In a randomized 30-day study, 42 women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) who drank spearmint tea twice a day had reduced testosterone levels and raised LH and FSH levels than women who consumed the placebo tea (24).

May Improve Memory

There’s some evidence that spearmint may help improve memory. Animal studies have indicated that mice given a spearmint extract encountered enhanced learning and memory, as revealed by their adequate execution on a maze test (25). In a study focusing on seniors with memory impairment, those offered daily supplements containing 900 mg of spearmint extract experienced a 15 percent improvement in their available memory (26).

⚠️ Warning: The Holistic Hipppie is not a functional medicine practitioner. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This content is not medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or replace medical guidance. The Holistic Hipppie assumes no liability for the application of the information discussed.

Contraindications & Interactions

As per Dr. Axe, spearmint is safe for most people when consumed in amounts commonly found in food. When taken as a medicinal substance or applied topically to the skin, it is generally considered safe when used appropriately.

If you are pregnant, it’s important to know that excessive use of this herb in tea or any other form, such as a spearmint supplement, may damage the uterus. Therefore, avoiding large amounts of this herb during pregnancy is recommended.

Spearmint may harm the liver or kidneys in large doses. If you already have liver or kidney disease, it’s important to know that this herb may increase liver or kidney damage, especially in large quantities. Even spearmint tea’s side effects may include liver and/or kidney damage if the tea is drunk in excess (27).

Spearmint could reduce milk supply in breastfeeding mothers. Although it’s not as common as people think, it’s important to note for those with a spearmint sensitivity. Additionally, I do not recommend ingesting essential oils.

Products Recommended with Spearmint Ingredients

  • Earthley's Charcoal Facial Bar is an all-natural facial bar to help cleanse and detox your skin. Charcoal is all the rage, and for a good reason. We added plant-based butter to balance any potential drying effect to create the perfect cleansing bar, even for sensitive skin. Earthley makes this unique soap unscented or with spearmint essential oil for added tingle and benefits. This facial bar can also be used for the whole body.

  • Earthley's Energy Plus {Herbal Iron} is made with herbs that are rich in iron and vitamin C to increase energy naturally. This tincture supports a natural energy boost, endurance throughout the day, and restful sleep at night. Unlike synthetic vitamins, our herbal iron provides natural energy from the earth in amounts that your body can adequately absorb. Plus, there are no unwanted side effects!

  • Earthley’s Eucalyptus-Spearmint Dish Soap Bar provides a pure, low-waste clean for dishes. Using the most natural and effective ingredients, this soap can be used to effectively hand-wash dirty dishes.

  • Earthley's Nourish Her Naturally is formulated specifically for women, Nourish Her Naturally is an herbal multivitamin made to fortify, improve, and nurture the female body. This tincture includes herbs packed with vitamins and minerals to help balance hormones, boost energy levels, and promote overall wellness. Herbal multivitamins use the power of nature rather than isolated mega-doses (which can create imbalances in the body). It is safe for ages 1+ and can also be used as a prenatal.

  • Earthley's Nourish Me Naturally is an herbal multivitamin for everyone providing an organic way to help your body get the nutrients it needs. It is formulated to provide your body with safe and adequate vitamins and minerals it can adequately absorb, made from actual, whole herbs (not isolates or synthetics). Don't guess the nutrition you need; use what the earth provides!

  • Earthley's Remineralizing Tooth Powder (Mint) is a 100% natural and fluoride-free option for healthy, clean teeth. This tooth powder is whitening and remineralizing, so it will help improve the look, strength, and health of your gums and mouth. Not recommended for people with metal-based tooth fillings.

  • Earthley’s Tummy Soothe Essential Oil Blend is designed for unhappy tummies. Soothe upset tummies with a gentle massage. We’ve combined dill weed, bergamot-mint, and spearmint oils to fight bloating, gas, and indigestion.

  • MaryRuth's Organic Adrenal & Focus for Adults relieves occasional exhaustion and aids in finding your focus. It is specifically formulated to combat adrenal fatigue, enabling the body to handle stress, calming the nervous system, and supporting the ability to focus.

  • MaryRuth's Organic Kids Adrenal & Focus helps your child find focus with an herbal blend that contains herbs to assist your child's mind and body by helping the body better manage stressors, calm the nervous system, and support cognition, allowing for focus, attention, and relaxation.

  • Simply Earth's Spearmint Essential Oil was traditionally used to scent bath water and aid digestion. Today it is commonly used as a flavoring agent, especially in gum and toothpaste, but its essential oil can also help those with queasy stomachs or who need a focus boost.

What's your favorite way to use spearmint?



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