8 Surprising Benefits of Spearmint

Some of the most important health benefits of spearmint include its ability to improve digestion, boost respiratory health, optimize hormonal levels, relieve stress, increase circulation, maximize heart health, and protect the integrity and strength of the immune system.

Spearmint

Spearmint, which has the scientific distinction as Mentha spicata, is a word that most people recognize, but often as the flavor of their favorite chewing gum. However, there is far more to this species of mint, which is why it has received so much attention in recent years. This type of mint is actually native to Europe and Asia, but has spread throughout much of the rest of the world in recent centuries and has now been naturalized on five continents. Spearmint is a herbaceous perennial plant with a square-shaped stem, broad leaves, and white/pink flowers. The leaves are where the value lies in spearmint, at least in terms of use, as they contain many of the active ingredients and a high concentration of the scent and flavor.

Spearmint has a wide range of applications, including its culinary uses to flavor cocktails, sauces, dips, entire dishes, or even as a garnish, in addition to hygienic products, toothpastes, mouthwashes, soaps, body scrubs. However, the medicinal benefits of spearmint are particularly impressive, many of which can be enjoyed in any form, although spearmint tea and essential oil are perhaps the most direct and beneficial, aside from chewing the leaves directly. Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of this powerful variety of mint.

spearmint2Health Benefits of Spearmint

Antibacterial Capacity: The most common association of spearmint is with fresh breath, but its role in mouthwashes and toothpastes are not solely to keep your breath smelling good. The natural antibacterial and antimicrobial nature of menthol and other organic compounds in spearmint can help to protect your mouth and throat from infections, including those that can damage dental and gum health. Furthermore, bad breath is actually called halitosis, which is caused by bacteria below the gums, so spearmint keeps you healthy and smelling great!

Respiratory Health: Staying in the same region of the body, spearmint tea has a significant impact on the health of your respiratory system due to its naturally soothing and anti-inflammatory qualities. It can help to relieve sore throats and tightness in the chest, alleviating congestion and irritation. Spearmint’s powerful aroma can also help to clear up sinuses and even increase mental clarity, according to certain experts.

Digestion: Spearmint has a number of roles to play in the digestive system, particularly as a gentle tonic to ease upset stomachs. It is popular during pregnancy to prevent morning sickness, nausea, and vomiting, but can also be used by others suffering from such gastrointestinal issues as excess flatulence, cramping, or bloating. IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) seems to be increasing in recent years, and spearmint tea or chewing directly on spearmint leaves is often recommended to treat or manage that condition more effectively.

Hormonal Balance: For those suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome or some other form of hormonal imbalance, spearmint has been shown to help manage or treat the condition. The powerful organic compounds in spearmint can inhibit and stimulate the endocrine system in different ways, helping to optimize your hormonal balance and preventing the complicated metabolic side effects, including hirsutism, by reducing excessive testosterone levels in females.

Circulation: The iron content in a single serving of spearmint is more than 100% of the daily recommended amount, which can stimulate the production of red blood cells and hemoglobin. This not only prevents anemia, but also increases circulation to the body’s extremities, boosting energy levels and wound healing.

Heart Health: The high potassium levels found in spearmint are crucial to maintaining healthy blood pressure; potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it relieves the stress on blood vessels and arteries, therefore helping to prevent atherosclerosis, strokes, and heart attacks.

spearmintinfoStress Relief: Menthol, one of the most powerful active ingredients in spearmint, has a soothing, almost sedative effect on the body, which has been known to produce a calm, relaxed state. If you suffer from chronic stress or anxiety, a cup of spearmint tea can help to ease your mind and eliminate the negative effects of chronic stress hormones on your body’s systems.

Chronic Disease: Some of the other chemical compounds found in spearmint include limonene, cineole, pinene, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, and thiamin. The combination of antioxidant compounds with metabolism-balancing substances makes spearmint a powerful tool to prevent chronic diseases, including cancer, many of which are caused by free radicals attacking healthy cells. Antioxidants neutralize these free radicals and eliminate them from the body.

A Final Word of Warning: Some individuals are highly sensitive to mint and may experience allergic reactions when touching or consuming the herb. While these reactions are usually mild (skin rash, throat irritation, headache, or dizziness) it is still best to avoid this herb if you do suffer from the allergy and find other natural remedies for your various health concerns.

References
  1. http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2450&context=hbspapers&sei-redir=1&referer=https%3A%2F%2Fscholar.google.com%2Fscholar%3Fq%3Dspearmint%2Bhealth%2B%26btnG%3D%26hl%3Den%26as_sdt%3D0%252C14
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1245221/
  3. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10412905.2000.9712177
  4. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1552-6909.1993.tb01833.x/abstract
  5. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.2074/abstract
  6. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0002934371902403
  7. http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/416446
  8. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/smi.2437/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false
  9. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10826070600674893

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6 comments

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1

I was searching for spearamint herb tea bags but could not find any, so I purchased the herb peppermint tea. I do hope that peppermint tea is also good for indigestion? So far I'm wondering if I purchase a spearamint plant how much son will it require?

2

what about the packaged herb tea bags you buy at the store?

3

Those are ok but nothing beats the original leaves. Just invest in a $5 plant and water it every other day. Mint grows by itself. Spearmint is not that hard as well.

4

If I use fresh mint leaves in my tea does all the vitamins and mineral go into the tea or must I eat the leaf?

5

do all the vitamins-plural subject

6

Always interesting to. Read about herbs to benefit health

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