primarily digestive, used to treat nausea and other stomach ailments
As most of our medicinal herbs have, spearmint also has a long history. It was first discovered in St. Pierre, France and was first brought to North America in the early 1500’s by settlers who used this herb to prevent and treat scurvy due to its high vitamin C content.
Spearmint is a perennial herb first found in Central Europe. The herb is easily grown in moist soil and prefers a sunny location to develop its essential oils but can tolerate partial shade.
Spearmint is a hardy perennial up to USDA plant hardiness Zone 5 that grows best in partial shade with well-draining, rich, moist soil. Mint is easiest to grow from plants, but you can sow seeds once the ground has warmed in the spring. Keep seeds moist until they germinate and thin plants to 1 foot apart.
As with most types of mint, the care of spearmint is easy. “Mint in the garden should be mulched annually to keep the roots cool and moist. Potted mint does best when fertilized monthly during the growing season with a liquid fertilizer. Divide plants every two years to keep them healthy. Prune potted plants regularly to keep neat and tidy. If you live in an area with very cold winters, it is best to bring potted spearmint indoors and place in a sunny window.”
Spearmint is most useful when made into a tea by infusing its leaves or as an essential oil. If using to make tea, the leaves should be cut prior to herb’s flowering to achieve maximum benefit.
Part of the mint family, Spearmint has been used to treat stomach and bowel ailments for its tendency to increase bile production to aid digestion. Spearmint, however, has also been used as a remedy for nausea and vomiting, especially during pregnancy. There is some evidence that it can also be used to treat the imbalance of testosterone that sometimes occurs in women resulting in masculine hair growth.
WebMD also says Spearmint can be used to treat, “sore throat, colds, headaches, toothaches, cramps, cancer and inflammation of respiratory tract. Some people use it as a stimulant, germ-killer, local pain-killer, and anti-spasm medication. Spearmint is applied directly to the skin for swelling inside the mouth, arthritis, local muscle and nerve pain, and skin conditions including pruritus and urticaria.”
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. Always consult with your physician before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.
Medicinal Herb Garden Series:
Below is a list of posts we’ve compiled on common herbs found in historic medicinal gardens. Each post contains information of the herb’s medicinal uses, growing tips, and more.