The herb, spearmint is commonly known as the common mint or as garden mint is well known for its unique aroma and crisp flavor it imparts to the foods and beverages. No wonder, this potherb with a distinct taste remains the favorite cooking ingredient of chefs across the world. This perennial herb with pointed leaves has Mentha spicata as the scientific name.
Health Benefits Of Spearmint Leaves
Spearmint is almost similar to peppermint, in terms of the active ingredients present in it as well as the health benefits it possesses. Read on to know more about the top health benefits of Spearmint.
1. Improves Oral Health
Spearmint is often used in toothpaste, mouth fresheners, chewing gums and mouthwashes, as its aromatic properties can keep the bad breath away. It has both antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, which can protect the mouth and throat from all kinds of infections. The organic compounds present in this potherb can also prevent damage of gum and maintains dental health. Halitosis or bad breath is caused by the bacterial build-up in the gums, which is eradicated by chewing few spearmint leaves often.
2. Offers Excellent Respiratory Support
Spearmint has amazing anti-inflammatory properties, which helps it to cure all kinds of respiratory issues, such as a cough, cold, irritation in the nose, congestion and sore throats. Having fresh juice of spearmint along with honey will relieve sore throats. The tea prepared with fresh spearmint leaves would help in opening up the congested sinus passages.
3. Helps In Digestion
Spearmint is a very friendly herb to your digestive system, as it is known to work with carminative action to relieve irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, flatulence and pain in the abdomen. Pregnant women can drink a cup of spearmint tea to get better relief from morning sickness and to prevent nausea. The juice of Spearmint leaves can treat the colic in infants. People who are experiencing bloating can chew some fresh leaves of this herb to lower bloating and cramps.
4. Balances Hormones
The leaves of the Spearmint plant are widely used for treating PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and other types of hormonal imbalance issues. The presence of potent organic compounds in this plant can stimulate the endocrine system in the body. This herb can improve the hormonal balance and avoid specific metabolic side effects, such as hirsutism, by lowering the excess levels of testosterone in women.
5. Promotes Blood Circulation
Spearmint leaves are rich in iron content that helps it to improve the count of hemoglobin and red blood cells. It prevents anemia, improves the energy levels, heals wounds faster and ensures that the blood circulation is enhanced in all parts of your body.
6. Maintains Heart Health
Spearmint leaves have high levels of potassium that are important to keep the blood pressure under healthy levels. The presence of potassium in this herb acts like a vasodilator and removes the stress from your arteries and blood vessels to enhance the health of the cardiovascular system. This potherb also can lower the risks of developing heart attacks, strokes, and atherosclerosis.
7. Relieves Stress
Steaming your face with a bowl of hot water and a handful of Spearmint leaves would invigorate your senses with its pungent fragrance that makes it find an important role in aromatherapy. Using oil extracted from Spearmint plant would help in relieving nervous issues, fatigue, headache, anxiety, and stress.
The soothing properties of this herb have a sedative effect to make your brain feel calm and relaxed. It is an appropriate choice to deal with chronic stress and anxiety, as it can ease the mind.
8. Promotes Memory
The presence of antioxidants like limonene makes this herb have a positive effect on the oxidative stress in the body. This property is known to have the ability to combat the negative effects induced by free radicals and promotes the neurotransmitter activity to promote the memory, focus, and concentration.
When you have no idea about any task or feel unfocused, then having a cup of hot spearmint tea will help in tackling cognitive tasks and for clearing your mind instantly.
9. Relieves Pain
Spearmint leaves are rich in anti-inflammatory properties, which is why one will get relief from headaches and joint pains after drinking tea brewed with these herbal leaves. Application of spearmint essential oil in the affected area will remove muscle sores and muscle cramps. This powerful plant contains anti-inflammatory compounds for soothing sore throat condition and to relax the gut muscles to relieve stomach spasms.
10. Prevents Chronic Diseases
Spearmint leaves contain useful chemical compounds, such as pinene, limonele, cineole and vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin A and Vitamin C. The perfect blend of metabolism balancing substances with its antioxidant compounds makes this herb an effective choice to keep away chronic medical conditions, such as cancer.
These chronic medical issues are often caused by free radicals that attack the healthy cells, which are handled by the antioxidant compounds in this plant.
- Spearmint has antiseptic properties so it is very beneficial for treating wounds and abscesses
- As spearmint has menthol in it so it very beneficial for treating cramps and spasms
- This liquid is very good source for treating anti – inflammatory conditions. It is capable of preventing the internal abscesses from infection
- If a women is suffering from some menstrual problems then it is very beneficial for in treating these problems
- Intake of this oil increases the secretion of bile juice which in turn improves the metabolic rate of the body
- The aroma of this oil is very fascinating. Inhaling this aroma relaxes your mind and body completely
- Useful for anti-inflammatory purposes
- Prevents gum diseases
- Useful for bad breath
- Helps digestion
- Prevents gas build-up
- Beneficial in treating fever
- Useful in treating colic
- Helps in getting rid of hiccups
- Beneficial for treating leprosy
- Cures headaches
- It is antispasmodic
- Very restorative
- Can induce urine
- Prevents vomit
- The essential oil and stem extract from spearmint leaves is used for preparing remedies to treat cancer
- Treats respiratory problems
- Beneficial for glandular problems
- Good for glandular problems
- It is anti-parasitic
- Acts as a hormone and thus its activity removes any emotional blocks
- Improves metabolism and helps in burning excessive fat
Spearmint Usage, Role, and Speciality
Why Is Spearmint So Special?
Spearmint is a popular herb that has its origin in the Asian and European countries and later spread to several parts of the globe. The plant can be identified with spear shaped leaves growing on the square type stems with pink or white flowers. It can be easily grown in small flower pots and in the backyard to derive its health benefits in fresh form.
The Spearmint plant grows all year round and its leaves are only used for culinary and medicinal purposes. The key active ingredients of spearmint leaves are Limonene and L-carvone. Plus, the presence of menthol level in this herbal plant is much less when compared with the other mint variants, making it a subtle one in the mint family.
It can be included in recipes, such as soups, gravies, fries, meat preparation and snacks to enjoy its goodness. One can also find it sold in the form of essential oil, powder, herbal tea and along with green tea.
Spearmint is very effective among the mint group of herbs. It was used by Romans to prevent spoilage of milk. In earlier times in East, it was used as a tonic to treat digestion. Candied spearmint leaves have been around for several decades. They are available as jellied candies which are sugar coated and are in the shape o a leaf. Spearmint leaves add flavor to food dishes. They are also used for making beverages. For instance, iced tea consisting of spearmint leaves can be quite cool in the summer.
Role Of Spearmint In Medicine
In the 18th century, the Romans and the Greek used the leaves of Spearmint as an aid to cure stomach cramps, digestion and stomach disorders. It was also used for whitening the teeth and to keep the breath fresh. Spearmint has been used for several centuries in Ayurveda of India, as the invigorating herb can cure vomiting, nausea, irritable bowel syndrome, flatulence, stomach pain and other gastrointestinal issues.
Using Spearmint Leaves
It is easy to use Spearmint leaves in your everyday diet. Use it in your food preparations, pluck a few leaves from the plant and chew it or put a few leaves in your green tea and a bit of ginger to brew a fresh cup of tea. You can also add it to your regular black tea with a dash of lemon. Enjoy it after refrigeration to get a cup of iced lemon and mint tea.
However, you must consult your doctor before using this plant every day. If you are on some medications for a medical issue, pregnant or nursing your baby then consulting your doctor is necessary. Some people might have an allergic reaction to the herb, which can be identified by the allergic reactions. These reactions could be mild skin rash, irritation in the throat, dizziness or a headache.