Spearmint is an aromatic plant native to the temperate countries of Western Asia and Southeastern Europe. It belongs to the Lamiaceae family. Its scientific name is Mentha spicata. Its pinkish flowers arranged in long terminal spikes also give it the name spearmint. Its main chemical constituents are carvone and limonene.
In addition to its characteristic odor reminiscent of chlorophyll chewing gum, spearmint is also known in herbal medicine for its many health and wellness benefits. This is mainly due to the presence of carvone and limonene in thespearmint essential oil. Mint on the cob is particularly renowned for its properties:
- Anti-catarrhal and expectorant: facilitates the expulsion of mucus from the respiratory tract
- Digestive tonic: stimulates the motricity of the digestive functions and fights against bloating, gas and difficult digestions
- Skin healing: promotes the healing of superficial wounds
In well-being, spearmint has a calming effect. It allows, in fact, to calm anxiety and any other sign of nervousness. In case of temporary fatigue, it can also give the body a “boost” effect. This greatly increases energy and vitality.
Different forms of use
In herbal medicine, spearmint can be consumed in different forms. We distinguish :
- Essential oil
- Herbal tea or infusion
How to use it ?
In order to take full advantage of benefits of spearmint, it is essential to follow a few tips for use. Respecting the prescribed doses is also essential.
For skin applications, it is advisable to dilute a few drops of spearmint essential oil in vegetable oil. This mixture can be used as a massage oil or applied to the skin with compresses. It is necessary to target the areas to be massaged according to the desired result. In case of cough, for example, it is enough to massage the area of the back.
To treat cases of sinusitis and to calm anxieties, it is possible to opt for inhalation. To do this, pour 2 to 3 drops of spearmint essential oil into a basin of boiling water and then inhale the steam. Pouring the drops onto a handkerchief is also an option. It is then enough to breathe into it in order to clear the nasal passages.
For all internal administration, it is best to consult a doctor beforehand.
Contraindications and precautions for use
The use of spearmint in a therapeutic setting should only be done under the recommendation of a healthcare professional. Consulting a doctor’s opinion allows, in fact, to have a treatment adapted to the age and the medical situation of each one.
Spike mint is also prohibited for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Ingested in high doses, it can lead to miscarriage due to the presence of carvone. In children under 6 years of age, only administration by olfaction is recommended.