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HERBS: SPEARMINT

Mentha spicata
Action: Aromatic, diaphoretic, stimulant, stomachic, carminative, cholagogue, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, local analgesic, anti-emetic, diuretic.
Systems Affected: Stomach, intestines, kidneys, bladder, uterus, circulation, nerves.
Preparation and Dosage (thrice daily): Dried leaves, dose 1-5 grams by infusion.

Spearmint has been known and used for culinary and medicinal purposes since ancient times. Native to the Mediterranean region, the Romans were responsible for its distribution throughout northern and western Europe. It is now cultivated commercially and as a garden plant and is probably the most widely used of all mints. The plant was formerly classified as Mentha viridis, a reference to its bright green colour, whereas the modern botanical name and the common name both reflect the spear-like shape of its leaves.
The medicinal properties of Spearmint are similar to those of Peppermint (stimulant, carminative, antispasmodic, etc.) but less powerful. The taste is also milder and more pleasant than Peppermint, and for these reasons it is better adapted to children's ailments.
Spearmint is particularly valued for its anti-emetic properties and is considered by many a specific for nausea and vomiting. It also relieves hiccough, flatulence and colic.
Unlike Peppermint it possesses some diuretic action and is a weak emmenagogue. It is used to treat inflammation of the kidneys and bladder and suppressed or painful urination.
A strong infusion of the herb was traditionally used as a local application for chapped hands. Long used as a culinary herb, Spearmint aids digestion, hence its use as a garnish, sauce, jelly or vinegar with such foods as lamb, peas and new potatoes.

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HERBAL

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