When you hear the word spearmint, you probably think about gum, toothpaste, and candy — and it’s likely been a part of your life in some way for years. Known scientifically as Mentha spicata, it is one of the most popular oils in the mint family. Most people assume that spearmint essential oil is extracted from the leaves, but it actually comes from the flowering part of the plant as well. Spearmint shares many of the same properties and benefits as peppermint, but it also has its own special functions and uses.
The use of spearmint for therapeutic purposes dates back to before the ancient Greeks. It’s milder than peppermint, so it is excellent for people who find peppermint too strong. It has less of the organic compound menthol than peppermint, but that doesn’t reduce its cooling power. Whether or not you are already a mint lover, try some of these therapeutic uses for spearmint, and you’ll soon be hooked.
Soothe an Upset Stomach
You’ll find spearmint as an ingredient in many antacid tablets because of its ability to promote healthy digestion and acid secretion. Spearmint can also support the breakdown of food and help with easy transit through the digestive system. Add 3 drops of spearmint oil to 10 mL of carrier oil and massage into the abdomen, or diffuse it and inhale its digestive system-promoting benefits. Inhaling spearmint can also help curb your appetite by encouraging a sensation of fullness.
Perk up Your Mood
Spearmint Essential Oil has a beautiful, clean fragrance that most people, including children, find inviting. The crisp, cool aroma of spearmint also has the power to uplift anyone’s mood, especially if they are feeling low. It is energizing and revitalizing and promotes a feeling of encouragement and inspiration. It can freshen your mind just like it freshens your breath!
Help with Concentration
Spearmint can benefit your cognitive function. According to study results, spearmint extract improved attention span, concentration and overall brain function of participants. It also promotes a feeling of vitality and energy. Rather than reach for another cup of coffee to clear afternoon brain fog, try diffusing some spearmint essential oil instead. You’ll be helping to promote brain health while giving yourself a lift without the caffeine crash.
Cool Down Your Bath
We tend to think of a hot bath as the ultimate form of relaxation, but have you ever tried a cool bath? During the hot summer months, it can be hard to cool down, especially if you don’t have air conditioning in your home. A great way to get a complete cool-down is to indulge in a cooling bath. By adding 3 drops of Spearmint Essential Oil to 10 mL of unscented body wash, then add to a bath, you maximize its cooling power. The menthol can quickly chill the skin and give you a sensation of living in a different climate. And that’s great when it’s just too hot to go outside.
Sore Muscle Massage
Massage is one of life’s greatest pleasures and is an excellent way to ease away muscle soreness. Boost the benefits of massage by adding 3 drops of Spearmint Essential Oil to your massage oils while performing self-massage, or ask your massage therapist to use an oil containing spearmint. The menthol creates a cooling sensation on your skin that promotes relaxation and ease. Spearmint has a long history of use to soothe muscles, so give it a try the next time you are on the massage table.
Promote Oral Health
There are many types of mouthwash and toothpaste on store shelves that utilize spearmint as an ingredient for keeping your breath fresh and your mouth clean. Adding 3 drops to two teaspoons of coconut oil can be an effective alternative to alcohol-based mouthwash while promoting oral health. Poor oral health has been connecting to infections and even heart disease — so don’t forget to brush!
Like other essential oils, always dilute Spearmint Essential Oil to avoid skin sensitivities if used topically. Since it is gentler than Peppermint Essential Oil, it is an excellent alternative for using around children ages two and up. Spearmint can also be used while pregnant and nursing. Add Spearmint to your essential oils collection, and you’ll find yourself using it just as much as Peppermint!