Health benefits of Spearmint
Spearmint is a pleasant-smelling species of mint often used in medicine for its claimed therapeutic properties.
Spearmint is loaded with vitamins, antioxidants and vital nutrients. Despite having a very similar aroma to peppermint, spearmint does not contain as much menthol, but is rich in limonene, dihydrocarvone and cineol.
This MNT Knowledge Center feature is part of a collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods.
Possible health benefits of spearmint
There are many health claims associated with the consumption of the herb. Some people consume spearmint to help alleviate symptoms of nausea, indigestion, gas, headache, toothache, cramps, and sore throat. Spearmint is also applied topically (to the skin) to help reduce swelling due to nerve or muscle pain.
Antioxidant activity – a report, published in the Journal of Chemistry, revealed that spearmint extract has “good total phenolic and flavonoid contents. It exhibited excellent antioxidant activity.
Relieving symptoms of digestive problems – spearmint may help relax the stomach muscles, reducing symptoms of nausea and other digestive problems. According to a review of the potential health benefits of spearmint tea, published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, “human studies on the GI, respiratory tract and analgesic effects of peppermint oil and its constituents have been reported”.3 However, more research is necessary to back this claim.
Other health conditions that spearmint may be effective at treating, include:
Spearmint (Mentha spicata), fresh – Nutritional value per 100 g:
|Energy – 44 Kcal||Carbohydrates – 8.41 g|
|Fat – 0.73 g||Protein – 3.29 g|
|Iron – 11.87 mg||Manganese – 1.118 mg|
|Copper – 0.240 mg||Potassium – 458 mg|
|Riboflavin – 0.175 mg||Pyridoxine – 0.158 mg|
|Vitamin C – 13.3 mg||Cholesterol – 0 mg|
|Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) – 0.061 mg||Vitamin B6 – 0.041 mg|
|Folate (vitamin B9) – 3 μg||Vitamin C – 4.6 mg|