Spearmint essential oil is extracted from the Mentha spicata, a herbaceous perennial rhizome plant with hairy leaves and stem. The leaves are roughly 5-9 cm long and are characteristically pointed and serrated, giving the plant its name. As with other members of the mint family, the stalk has a decidedly square look to it. A number of hybrids of this plant are observable in the wild, most notably peppermint (Mentha piperita) and water mint (Mentha aquatica).
Although it’s a native to Europe and Southwest Asia, it can now also be found in Canada and America.
Spearmint Essential Oil Benefits
- Stomach upsets – Spearmint is commonly used as one ingredient of herbal teas which can be used to treat an upset stomach, or associated symptoms, such as gas and bloating.
- Hormone Balancing – Research indicates that spearmint may be effective in treating hirsutism in women. It appears to show some anti-androgenic properties, that decrease the amounts of free testosterone in the blood.
- Migraines – With it’s cleansing scent, spearmint makes a perfect natural headache relief.
- Anti-fungal – Spearmint oil has also been reported to be successful in treating some kinds of fungal action, although it wasn’t as successful as oil of oregano was for this use.
- Sleep and relaxation – It has been used to elicit a calming effect when used in a massage or for insomnia.
Spearmint Essential Oil Uses
Spearmint oils can be used to flavour many foods and drinks. It is popular in cocktails, such as the Mojito or Mint Julep. Spearmint oil is also used to flavour chewing gums, mints and toothpaste. It makes a great addition to any homemade natural soaps, shampoos and aftershaves.
Adding a couple of drops to a bowl of hot water and then inhaling the fumes can act as a natural decongestant. It can help to clear your airways and thin mucus.
Spearmint Essential Oil Side Effects
Spearmint essential oil does not seem to produce any side effects, but like many essential oils, it is not recommended for use with pregnant women or children. Some essential oils may cause irritation or allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin so it is wise to do a patch test before using regularly.