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