3 MINUTE READ
Latin Name: Mentha spicata
Family: Lamiaceae (Mint Family)
The smell of Spearmint “rejoiceth the heart of man”
I’ve always been drawn to the mint family, even prior to becoming an herbalist. I often found myself drinking peppermint tea and growing loads of basil every year, even at the age 12.
I believe we are all drawn to different plants because we share a special connection with them. In return they share with us medicine we need be it emotionally, spiritually or physically.
The Latin name Mentha is derived from the story of the goddess Persephone, who was jealous of Pluto’s love for the nymph Minthe, and transformed her rival into a common garden plant. The god Pluto, unable to retrieve the lovely Minthe, assured that her fragrance would waft on the garden breezes, releasing more of the pleasant aroma each time it was trod upon. (2)
Aristotle forbade mints to be used by soldiers prior to battle because he believed that the qualities of this herb might diminish their willingness to fight.(2)
The smell of Spearmint, according to the herbalist John Gerard writing in 1568, “rejoiceth the heart of man.” (2)
Sprigs of fresh mint were also put in grain storage sacks to repel rodents.
Matera Medica: Mentha spicata
Parts used: Leaf, dried and cut
- Digestive system
- Motion sickness
- POS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)
- Muscle Pain
- Cold and Flu
- Sore Throat
- Strengthens and adds shine to hair and nails.
*Personally through my experiences with spearmint, I find it to be a calmer of nerves, digestion or upset, a mood booster and stabilizer and a tasty addition to most teas.
Preparation and Dosage:
Taken as a tea and added to other herbal mixtures for flavor. Also used in some culinary creations.
Recent Studies: Recent research indicates that spearmint may have useful antibacterial properties in addition to its traditional uses as a digestive aid. A group of Japanese researchers reported in 2001 that essential oil of spearmint showed significant bactericidal activity against such disease agents as Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Helicobacter pylori. (2)
Summary: Perhaps I am biased with my love for spearmint or perhaps it’s really just that awesome, but I tend to add spearmint into almost every blend that I make. It’s like that friend you bring with to every party, but also tell your deepest secrets to, that friend that will be there for you no matter what.
Since spring time is sneaking up on us here is one of my favorite refreshing tea blends
Sunshine Cool down Tea:
3/4 Tablespoon dried Spearmint Leaves
2/3 Tablespoon Dried Hibiscus flower
25 oz. water
Put the herb mixture in a tea strainer and add about 25 oz. of water. Let the mixture sit in the sun for approximately 2-4 hours. Strain out the mixture and serve the tea over ice.
Add the herbs to a tea strainer. Pour approximately 25 oz. of boiling water over blend. Let steep for at least 20 minutes, covered. Strain out the herbs and it is ready to serve!
**Contraindications: Spearmint is a mild herb and generally considered safe. Some herbalists counsel against administering mint tea to young children, infants, and pregnant women. People with hiatal hernia or having an acute gallstone attack should not use spearmint. Spearmint may interfere with homeopathic remedies when taken close proximity.
- Mars, Brigitte. The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine: The Ultimate Multidisciplinary Reference to the Amazing Realm of Healing Plants, in a Quick-study, One-stop Guide. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Pub., 2007. Print.
- Fundukian, Laurie J. The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Detroit: Gale, Cengage Learning, 2009. Print
- Tierra, Michael, and David Frawley. Planetary Herbology: An Integration of Western Herbs into the Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic Systems. Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus, 1988. Print.