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Spearmint, (Mentha spicata), aromatic herb of the mint family (Lamiaceae), widely used for culinary purposes. Spearmint is native to Europe and Asia and has been naturalized in North America and parts of Africa.
The leaves are used fresh or dried to flavour many foods, particularly sweets, beverages, salads, soups, cheeses, meats, fish, sauces, fruits, and vegetables. The essential oil is used to flavour toothpaste, candles, candies, and jellies; its principal component is carvone.
Spearmint is a perennial plant that aggressively spreads by creeping stolons. The simple fragrant leaves are sharply serrated and arranged oppositely along the square stems. Spearmint has lax, tapering spikes of lilac, pink, or white flowers. The leaves and oil are used to make medicine.
Spearmint is used to improve memory, digestion, stomach problems, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
How does it work?
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
Possible side effects include:
- Pregnancy: Spearmint is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large amounts during pregnancy. Very large doses of spearmint tea might damage the uterus. Avoid using large amounts of spearmint during pregnancy.
- Breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if spearmint is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid using in amounts greater than those found in food.
- Kidney disorders: Spearmint tea might increase kidney damage. Higher amounts of spearmint tea seem to have greater effects. In theory, using large amounts of spearmint tea might make kidney disorders worse.
- Liver disease: Spearmint tea might increase liver damage. Higher amounts of spearmint tea seem to have greater effects. In theory, using large amounts of spearmint tea might make worsen liver disease.
As always make sure you are using organic herbs as pesticides are toxic and always take normal doses, excessive amounts of anything is not good for you.
We are not doctors, lawyers, accountants or your mom. We give out free smiles and the occasional unsolicited advice. That being said; if you are pregnant, nursing or concerned about your health, call your mom. Or even better, consult a doctors before consuming; particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.