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The Minty Cousin: Spearmint Essential Oil's Uses & Benefits

Mentha spicata or Spearmint is a herb that falls under the mint family. Spearmint plants got their name from the tips of their leaves that are shaped like spears. Everybody knows mints! Spearmint is one of the 18 species of mint plants that is native to the Mediterranean region and is found in Asia, Europe, Northern and Western Africa, North America and South America. It is a source of a very powerful and beneficial essential oil. The oil is extracted from the leaves of the spearmint herb by the conventional process of steam distillation.

A BRIEF OVERVIEW

Spearmint essential oil is widely known around the world and has been popular for a very long time. Its use has been documented in Ayurvedic medicine, Chinese medicine, was used by the Greeks and is even mentioned in the Bible for its benefits. The Romans were also known to bring mints into the then Great Britain similar to Englishmen who would take spearmint to their settlements in America in the late 1500s where it was often used in the treatment of scurvy. Now that’s ancient!

Spearmint essential oil can be highly beneficial to one’s physical and mental health. The oil is known for relieving various ailments that include asthma, sinusitis, congestions related to the respiratory system, constipation, acne, dental problems including problems relating to the gums, headaches or migraines, stress and because of its mood-boosting properties, even depression! From its use as an antiseptic, as an insecticide to its abilities to help maintain a healthy digestive system, the oil gives us many reasons to be more aware of the benefits it can bring into our life so that we can reap them.

Here are some of the properties of Spearmint essential oil that can bring great benefits in your life and relieve you of many ailments:

Antiseptic Properties:

Antiseptics are antimicrobial substances that inhibit the growth of germs and therefore reduce the chances of infections occurring on the skin or affected areas on the skin such as wounds or cuts. We often depend on store bought antiseptics. The problem with that is that those antiseptics or antiseptic soaps contain things that could harm our skin in the long run. In 2016, the US Food & Drug Administration issued a rule that confirmed that over the counter consumer antiseptic wash products contain ingredients that can no longer be marketed, in other words meaning they are harmful. So why bother with these store-bought antiseptics containing harmful substances instead of a natural and side-effect free solution? Maybe it’s the lack of awareness!

The presence of Myrcene, Caryophyllene, and Menthol in the composition of Spearmint essential oil gives it its antiseptic properties. What’s even better is that it’s a completely natural antiseptic and will induce no side effects when used!

If you’re dealing with ulcers or have been wounded, applying Spearmint oil can do wonders for you. Wounds are especially dangerous because if left untreated, they could quickly turn into infections that would require a more prolonged healing than if they were taken care of immediately. Not only will the oil protect your wound or ulcer from infections, it will help you heal faster and relieve all the associated pain!

Antispasmodic Properties:

Spasms, especially muscle spasms can be very painful! Spasms can affect muscles in various parts of your body and can occur for a variety of reasons and can affect different muscles and parts in the body. Spasms aren’t usually a long term issue but can hinder your everyday life and make it more difficult to conduct everyday activities properly.

The menthol that Spearmint essentially contains gives it its antispasmodic properties which act as a relaxant and is great for the muscles and nerves in your body. Due to the menthol, the oil also has a cooling effect on the affected areas and helps relieve spasmodic such as pains from spasmodic coughs, body aches and pain from muscle pulls, muscle cramps, pain in the abdominal region, pain in the intestinal region and even pain from spasmodic cholera.

Antibacterial properties:

Flatulence usually isn’t a big problem, but sometimes it could get a little more severe when they become uncontrollable or are causing pain or a bloated feeling in the abdominal region. Carminatives help in preventing the formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract and also helps easily release the gas that is present.

Spearmint essential is a natural carminative and its relaxing properties can keep soothe out any problems in the intestine and abdominal region which in turn helps the smoother passing of gases from the stomach which reduces many of the problems associated with flatulence such as stomach aches, indigestion, cramps and other uncommon issues such as loss of appetite, restless feeling, insomnia, chest pain, headaches and vomiting. Forget all those digestive pills, grab some Spearmint essential oil to keep your digestive system running smoothly and pain-free!

Stress Relieving Properties:

Stress is a bigger problem than it is acknowledged to be. It may be temporary, or it may be something that lingers on in our everyday lives for long periods at a time depending on the circumstances. Sometimes stress can be so overwhelming that we can’t carry out basic functions because our mind is just not “into it” and our bodies follow suit. Stress is especially common among city dwellers due to the highly robotic and hectic city life which involves busy weekdays and heavy traffic that could easily trigger stress. Stress affects a lot of adults and needs to be addressed more seriously rather than being brushed off as something that a good’s night sleep can fix.

Spearmint essential oil is an amazing natural stress reliever! It acts as a relaxant for our mind, being cephalic; it can relieve you of problems that occur as a consequence of stress such as headaches or other such neural problems that occur for the same reason.  It’s also a mood booster! Inhaling the aroma is known to induce positive thoughts and feelings and can help you fight any feelings of anxiety or nervousness. We all have days when we’re feeling down; aromatherapy with some Spearmint essential oil is a great way to lift your spirits in those circumstances. This is one of the properties oil that exhibits the oil’s ability to be beneficial to both the body and mind. So why not indulge in the great benefits of spearmint oil which could naturally relieve you of your stresses of the day and keep your brain happily balanced!

Emenagogue Properties:

Menstruation is a regular part of a lady’s life which usually occurs without any major complications but can be uncomfortable at times. Problems can be relating to cramps or feelings of fatigue which are usually temporary, sometimes problems can be severe such as heavy and atypical bleeding. Regardless, to be able to relieve any issues relating to menstruation can be great for women physically and mentally and will leave them with less pain to worry about.

Spearmint essential oil has the properties of an emenagogue and henceforth induces the secretion of estrogen which helps maintain the health of the uterus. This allows the oil to deal with issues associated with menstruation such as early menopause, irregularities with periods or blocked menses and other problems such as feelings of pain in the abdomen, feelings of nausea or fatigue.

Restorative Properties:

Our bodies are far from simple, they contain various organs and systems that all coordinate and work together to keep us healthy. Any problems with any parts or systems in our body can hinder the performance of our body when it comes to certain functions and affect our general health. This is why it’s important to make sure every system, whether the respiratory or digestive system, is well maintained along with our organs!

Spearmint essential oil is a natural and powerful restorative, which means when your general health isn’t great, it can help restore the balance and bring you back to being healthy again. The oil helps maintain the general functions of organs and other systems that keep you going in the body to ensure that everything is tip top. If your body has faced any health issues or injuries, the oil can help repair such damages. When we are in a state of bad health, we also tend to have illness or feelings of illness; spearmint oil is great for recovering from such feelings and rejuvenating one’s health!

Insecticidal Properties:

Our homes are sacred to us all, especially on the weekends after a rough and stressful week at work. When we’re in our homes, we want to be comfortable and in a state of relaxation, the time spent indoors is really important and we don’t want any disturbances. One of the biggest disturbances when in the house (in our opinion) is insects. Those dreadful flying or crawling creatures that always seem to get on our nerves all the time and invade the sanctity of our houses!

Insects aren’t really a big problem, but the problem is how we get rid of them. We all usually use some aerosol sprays to either kill or repel any insects or mosquitoes. What we often forget to consider is the fact that these sprays contain lots of chemicals, many of which are harmful. When sprayed indoors, we are all exposing our bodies and our lungs to these potentially harmful chemicals! If more people were aware of essential oils like Spearmint oil, which has insecticidal properties, they would be able to opt for a natural and harmless solution to get rid of any insects from their houses.

Spearmint essential oil is a great insect repellant and is also an ingredient in many such repellant creams. The best part is you could use the oil how you want, you can spray the oil in the affected areas or you can apply the oil onto your skin directly so you can ensure no bugs land on your skin! Spearmint oil is a completely organic essential oil that brings no baggage of any harm with it.

Fun Facts

  • The spearmint herb from which we extract the potent oil from is natively from Europe, but it’s highly popular across the world and is also largely cultivated in the United States and in Asia.
  • Ancient Greeks were known to bathe in water containing spearmint oil. This not only made them smell great due to its minty fragrance, but the oil was also known to cure sexually transmitted diseases or sexually transmitted infections. Yep, even the Ancient Greeks were worried about STDs!
  • During the Middle Ages which were between the 5th and the 15th century, markets and other such public places would have spearmint leaves on the floor; this was done to symbolize good health and to repel any rodents that might try to enter Even back then the herb was also a popular solution for various dental problems including gum problems.
  • Spearmint is a fairly popular additive to toothpaste and chewing gum, most popularly known as an ingredient In Wrigley’s Spearmint chewing gum.
  • You can blend Spearmint oil with a bunch of other essential oils including Lemon Essential Oil, Bergamot Essential Oil, Grapefruit Essential Oil and Lavender Essential Oil for a variety of uses.
  • The current world’s largest producer of Spearmint essential oil is the capital city of the United States of America, Washington DC.

Spearmint essential oil is among the most useful and beneficial of essential oils. Although spearmint is far from unpopular, often a lot of its various uses become overshadowed by mass produced products. Many times, due to the lack of knowledge about natural solutions, we blindly choose to resolve our physical or mental problems with pharmaceutical drugs that may come with side effects. In the case of repelling mosquitoes, we’re quick to grab a bottle of aerosol to get rid of insects but we forget the harm those chemicals in the air can cause to our body and our lungs when we breathe. The many benefits and uses of Spearmint essential oil are definitely something we should be more aware of so that we can apply it to our everyday lives. This will not only help us stay healthier, it can help uplift your spirits to promote a happier lifestyle completely naturally!

 

 

Bibliography

  1. “Everything You Need to Know About Spearmint Oil” Essential Oils Informer, http://essentialoilsinformer.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-spearmint-oil/.
  2. “Spearmint Essential Oil: Uses, Benefits, and Precautions” Sustainable Baby Steps, http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/spearmint-essential-oil.html.
  3. “Spearmint” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spearmint.
  4. “10 Surprising Benefits Of Spearmint Essential Oil” Organic Facts, https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/spearmint-essential-oil.html.
  5. “Spearmint Plants – Spearmint Essential Oil” Experience Essential Oils, http://www.experience-essential-oils.com/spearmint-plants.html.
  6. “Spearmint essential oil information” Esoteric Oils, http://essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/spearmint.htm
  7. “Spearmint Oil: The Gentler Mint Oil” Mercola, http://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/spearmint-oil.aspx

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