Spearmint is related to peppermint and is known for its unique flavor and scent which makes it prized as an ingredient in food and drinks. The essential oil derived from this herb is produced through steam distillation and provides a number of benefits to those that use it.
Origins of Spearmint
Spearmint is a type of plant that can be found naturally in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. It has been successfully grown in other parts of the world such as Africa and Latin America. It has many of the same benefits as peppermint without being overly strong, which makes it good for children. Spearmint has lower menthol than peppermint, but otherwise the two plants are quite similar.
Spearmint has been used since antiquity. The ancients discovered that it could be used to alleviate a number of unpleasant conditions, such as skin issues, headaches and digestive problems. It was prized especially in Greece, where it was placed in baths and used to brighten teeth while healing sores in the mouth.
Health Benefits of Spearmint
When consumed spearmint will provide a sense of well-being. It will help the mind relax and create positive emotions, which makes it ideal for those who are suffering from depression or anxiety. It can be used to assist women who are going through menstrual issues and it can also reduce nausea or fatigue. In the culinary world, spearmint is an important ingredient in a number of dishes. It will often be added to chewing gum, as well as drinks and even frozen foods.
The Greeks learned a long time ago that when spearmint is added to water it provides multiple benefits when one bathes in it. It can rapidly reduce body temperature while helping you to relax. It is also added to dental products such as toothpaste and mouth rinse because of the many oral benefits it provides. Massage therapists will often use spearmint as massage oil due to the antispasmodic properties it has which can reduce pain in the muscles and abdomen.
A Look at Spearmint Essential Oils
Like other essential oils, the benefits that spearmint provides are truly miraculous. This has made it the subject of continuous research over the years. Experts have found that this substance is rich in oxides, hydrocarbons, ketones, alcohols and esters. Its primary ingredients are limonene, carvone, menthol and beta-pinene. It has been discovered that spearmint is a type of insecticide, one that can be used to keep away mosquitoes and other insects.
It also has significant antimicrobial attributes, which are derived primarily from its chemical makeup. It has proven lethal against four types of bacteria, which are Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Pasturella multocida and Escherichia coli. It has been used in the treatment of serious sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis, and has even been found to be effective against internal infections and wounds, particularly those in the stomach or abdominal tract.