Spearmint is a pleasant aromatic herb packed with numerous health beneficial vitamins, antioxidants and phyto-nutrients.
The leaves and herb parts contain essential oil, menthol.
The chief essential oil in spearmint is menthol. Other important chemical components of spearmint are α-pinene, β-pinene, carvone, cineole, linalool, limonene, myrcene and caryophyllene. These compounds in mint help relieve fatigue and stress.
The herb parts are also very rich in minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron (148% of RDA) and magnesium. Iron is required for enzymes in cellular metabolism and synthesis of hemoglobin. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase.
The herb is also rich in many antioxidant vitamins, including vitamin A (provides 4054 IU or 135% of RDA), beta-carotene, vitamin C, folates (26% of RDA), vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), riboflavin and thiamin.
The herb beverage is an excellent remedy for minor ailments such as headaches, nervous strain, fatigue and stress, as well as for respiratory problems; helping with asthma, bronchitis and catarrh.
It is very useful to deal with digestive problems, including nausea, flatulence and hiccups as it relaxes the stomach.
The essential oil, menthol, has analgesic, local anesthetic and counterirritant properties. Menthol also finds application in the preparation of toothpaste and mouth refreshers.
On the skin, when used as cream or lotion, it may help relieve the itching of pruritus, dermatitis, and hives.
Spearmint oil is used as blended massage oil and in the aromatic therapy to help relieve headaches, stress, fatigue, and nervous conditions and to relieve itching.
Spearmint tea can be used safely in pregnancy. In women, it helps reduce unwanted hairs through its anti-androgenic properties.