Spearmint – one of the most aromatic types of mints out there, whose scientific name is Mentha spicata, is often overlooked by its more popular cousins, namely Peppermint and Rosemary. A native to Europe and Southern parts of Asia, it is also believed to be the oldest type of mints out there. In the form of spearmint essential oil, it emits hints of sweet and minty aroma and taste (which really reminds you of the spearmint chewing gum!).
Spearmint essential oil can be used as a substitute for peppermint essential oil as it possesses similar medicinal properties. However, the menthol content in spearmint essential oil is very much negligible, making it a safer option for children, the elderly and those with sensitive skin.
Benefits of Spearmint Essential Oil
In terms of overall health, spearmint essential oil does yield quite several health benefits. This is because Spearmint comprises highly beneficial chemical constituents such as Carvone, Limonene, 1,8-Cineole, and B-Myrcene. These constituents are believed to exhibit the properties of expectorant, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral.
Another benefit that spearmint essential oil possesses is that it is high in antioxidants. Research conducted in Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai in the year 2005 shows that spearmint was an effective aid in preventing fat oxidation in meat via extraction, which means it helps protect against/repair damage caused by free radicals. When used topically, the antioxidants’ quality will help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and skin imperfections.
Common in Food and Oral Care
Spearmint is a well-known gem in the culinary world as it enhances the flavour of dishes. Internationally, spearmint is widely sought after for its sweet and satisfactory taste; specifically, it’s used in savoury dishes of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, often used in the rice, shakes, and mouth-watering dishes such as Orzo Tabbouleh, Creamy Greek Tzatziki Sauce, and Maghrebi mint tea.
You can add a drop of spearmint essential oil to your baked goods, desserts or salads for a unique flavour. This also aids in digestion and bowel movement thanks to its compound, Carvone which aids in strong muscle contractions in the digestive tract. Not only that, but it also aids in relieving digestive symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.
Apart from the F&B industry, spearmint has been a go-to source for those in the gum and dental industries because of its flavouring and breath-freshening properties. It’s no wonder that spearmint essential oil is also one of the popular ingredients to be used in natural homemade mouthwash!
Having trouble remembering things lately? A study published by the National Library of Medicine in 2016 had shown that rosmarinic acid found in spearmint essential oil help in improving learning and memory in mice. Following that, another study was published in 2018 shows improvement in working memory in older adults with memory impairment when given daily supplements containing spearmint extract.
While there are no reported dangers of using this essential oil, but as an emmenagogue, it should not be taken by pregnant women. Soap Cart does not recommend ingestion of essential oil unless it is under the supervision of certified medical practitioners in aromatherapy.