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Spearmint

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Spearmint - Mentha spicata

The aromatic herb encourages proper digestion, settles the stomach, and alleviates that bloated, stuffed feeling.

It relieves gas and stops gastrointestinal spasms. Unlike peppermint, spearmint is also diuretic.

Spearmint has been studied for antifungal activity; its essential oil was found to have some antifungal activity, although less than Oregano. Spearmint has also been described as having excellent antioxidant activity; its antioxidant activity was found to be comparable to the synthetic BHT.

The properties of Spearmint oil resemble those of Peppermint, being stimulant, carminative and antispasmodic, but its effects are less powerful, and it is less used than Peppermint, though it is better adapted for children's maladies. From 2 to 5 drops may be given on sugar, or from 1/2 to 1 teaspoonful of spirit of Spearmint, with 2 tablespoonsful of water.

A distilled water of Spearmint will relieve hiccough and flatulence as well as the giddiness of indigestion. For infantile trouble generally, the sweetened infusion is an excellent remedy, and is also a pleasant beverage in fevers, inflammatory diseases, etc. Make the infusion by pouring a pint of boiling water on an ounce of the dried herb; the strained-off liquid is taken in doses of a wineglassful or less. It is considered a specific in allaying nausea and vomiting and will relieve the pain of colic.

Spearmint is grown for its aromatic and carminative oil, referred to as oil of spearmint. It grows well in nearly all temperate climates. Gardeners often grow it in pots or planters due to its invasive spreading roots. The plant prefers partial shade, but can flourish in full sun to mostly shade. Spearmint is best suited to loamy soils with plenty of organic material. Spearmint leaves can be used whole, chopped, dried and ground, frozen, preserved in salt, sugar, sugar syrup, alcohol, oil, or dried. The leaves lose their aromatic appeal after the plant flowers. Dry it by cutting just before, or right (at peak) as the flowers open, about 1/2 to 3/4ths the way down the stalk (leaving smaller shoots room to grow). There is some dispute as to what drying method works best; some prefer different materials (such as plastic or cloth) and different lighting conditions (such as darkness or sunlight).

Use peppermint, not spearmint, for gallbladder complaints.
This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.