Spearmint (binomial Mentha spicata, synonym Mentha viridis), also known as garden mint, common mint, lamb mint and mackerel mint
Parts used: Leaves
Spearmint leaves can be used fresh, dried, or frozen. They can also be preserved in salt, sugar, sugar syrup, alcohol, or oil. The leaves lose their aromatic appeal after the plant flowers. It can be dried by cutting just before, or right (at peak) as the flowers open, about one-half to three-quarters the way down the stalk (leaving smaller shoots room to grow).
Spearmint is used for its aromatic oil, referred to as oil of spearmint. The most abundant compound in spearmint oil is R-(–)-carvone, which gives spearmint its distinctive smell. Spearmint oil also contains significant amounts of limonene, dihydrocarvone, and 1,8-cineol. Unlike oil of peppermint, oil of spearmint contains minimal amounts of menthol and menthone. It is used as a flavoring for toothpaste and confectionery, and is sometimes added to shampoos and soaps.
Spearmint - Health Benefits
Some of the most important health benefits of spearmint and spearmint tea include its ability to improve digestion, boost respiratory health, optimize hormonal levels, relieve stress, increase circulation, maximize heart health, and protect the integrity and strength of the immune system.
Stress Relief - Menthol that is naturally present in the tea is a muscle relaxant; the relaxation of the muscles can be an enormous component of natural stress and anxiety relief. Drinking spearmint tea before bed has been proven to give you a more restful sleep. Not only does the relaxation of the muscles lead to more restful sleep, the tea has properties that can even help you dream more vividly.
Weight Loss - There’s no all-natural miracle. But you can get some help from spearmint! Spearmint can act as an appetite suppressant, making it easier to stick to your healthy eating goals. Drinking a blend of spearmint tea and green tea can help increase your metabolism as well, making it easier to shed extra pounds. We recommend buying spearmint tea in bulk to save money and so that you have enough to last for daily use.
Circulation: The iron content in a single serving of spearmint is more than 100% of the daily recommended amount, which can stimulate the production of red blood cells and hemoglobin. This not only prevents anemia, but also increases circulation to the body’s extremities, boosting energy levels and wound healing.
Heart Health: The high potassium levels found in spearmint are crucial to maintaining healthy blood pressure; potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it relieves the stress on blood vessels and arteries, therefore helping to prevent atherosclerosis, strokes, and heart attacks.
Sinus Relief - Let peppermint tea become part of your evening routine. Not only does the consumption of any warm liquid, such as tea, help you clear your sinuses and soothe sore throats, peppermint tea in particular is a known natural decongestant.
Stomach Problems - Peppermint tea is also a great natural remedy for certain stomach ailments, including bloating and gas. Having a cup of tea in the evening before bed can help soothe these problems, making it easier to digest and fall asleep.
How To Brew:
Take a teaspoon of tea (2 for a mug) drop it into an infuser. Boil freshly drawn water then leave to cool to 100 celicus. Place the infuser into the water and infuse the leaves for 5 - 7 minutes, remove from the water and enjoy without milk.