Spearmint Leaf (Mentha spicata)


Spearmint is very closely related to peppermint with regard to its active ingredients and ways in which it is used for health benefits

Spearmint is an aromatic herb found in European cuisine since Roman times. It is native to Central Europe but it is now found throughout North America, where it was introduced by North America’s earliest immigrants in the late 1500’s. In those dangerous times it was used to prevent and treat scurvy, due to its high vitamin C content.

Mint has an interesting history in Europe. Roman legend has it that the wife of Pluto was jealous of a young nymph named Minthes and so turned her into a plant. Although Pluto was unable to transform her back, he gave her a delightful aroma that we now recognize as Mint.

The oil in spearmint contains chemicals that reduce inflammation (swelling) and change levels of chemicals called hormones, such as testosterone, in the body. Some chemicals might also harm cancer cells and kill bacteria.

If you opt for the loose herb, you simply combine one teaspoon of the dried leaves with one cup of boiled water. Let it steep for about five minutes, strain and enjoy. You can drink spearmint tea hot or iced.

You can also add spearmint to black, green or white tea to add a minty flavor.

 Hormonal Balance and Reduction of Hirsutism

Hirsutism is a health problem for women in which hair grows excessively where it shouldn’t (such as on the jaw line and neck), and it also causes male pattern baldness. This condition is typically caused by an increase in male hormones called androgens, such as testosterone.

A small scientific review published in 2017 reveals that spearmint tea may help to decrease androgenic hormones for female patients with hirsutism.

Judging from the studies to date, the length of spearmint consumption should likely be longer (more than 30 days) and study follow-up time should be lengthened as well.