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the number of viable eggs in the rats¡¯ ovaries
(PubMed Central).
4. May Reduce Facial Hair in Women
Drinking spearmint tea may help reduce hirsutism,
or growth of dark, coarse hair on the face, chest
and abdomen of women. In fact, it¡¯s a common
herbal remedy for unwanted hair growth in Middle
Eastern countries (PubMed Central).
High levels of male hormones, or androgens, are
linked to an overgrowth of facial hair in women
(PubMed Central). Two studies in women with
facial hair have shown that drinking spearmint tea
may help.
In one five-day study, 12 women with PCOS and
nine women with facial hair due to unknown
causes were given two cups of spearmint tea twice
a day during the follicular phase of their menstrual
cycle (PubMed Central). While the study was not
long enough to determine whether spearmint af-
fected facial hair, the women¡¯s testosterone levels
were reduced.
In a longer, 30-day study in 41 women with PCOS,
women who drank two cups a day of spearmint tea
reported a reduction in their facial hair (PubMed
Central). However, 30 days may not be long
enough to see a definitive difference.
5. May Improve Memory
There¡¯s some evidence that this herb may help
improve memory. Studies have shown that mice
given a spearmint extract experienced improved
learning and memory as shown by their perfor-
mance on a maze test (PubMed Central).
Previous studies in humans found that chewing
mint-flavored gum may help improve memory.
However, later studies have failed to confirm its
beneficial effects. (PubMed Central).
In a more recent study, older adults with memory
impairment who were given daily supplements
containing 900 mg of spearmint extract experi-
enced a 15% improvement in working memory
(PubMed Central).
Therefore, the evidence on the benefits of this type
of mint for memory is limited but promising, espe-
cially for older adults.
6. Fights Bacterial Infections
Spearmint is a popular flavoring agent in tooth-
paste, breath mints and chewing gums. However,
it does more than freshen your breath, it also has
antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, which
may help kill the bacteria in your mouth that cause
bad breath.
Studies have found that spearmint essential oil is
effective against several types of harmful bacteria
(PubMed Central). Additionally, it has been shown
to work against bacteria that cause foodborne
illnesses, including E. coli and Listeria (PubMed
7. May Lower Blood Sugar
Spearmint tea may help lower blood sugar in
people with diabetes. While human-based studies
on this potential effect are lacking, animal studies
have shown promising results.
In one study, rats were given a spearmint extract
equivalent to 9 mg per pound (20 mg per kg) of
body weight per day. While healthy rats appeared
unaffected, rats with diabetes had significantly
lower blood sugar (PubMed Central).
In another 21-day study in rats with diabetes, ani-
mals given 136 mg per pound (300 mg per kg) of
body weight per day of this type of extract showed
a 25% reduction in blood sugar (PubMed Central).
8. May Help Reduce Stress
Spearmint tea may help promote relaxation and
reduce stress. In fact, in South American coun-
tries this tea is commonly used to treat stress and
In one study in rats, a spearmint extract was found
to decrease anxiety and improve sleep (PubMed
Central). Additionally, the leaves of this plant con-
tain menthol, which has a relaxing, sedative effect
on the body.
It¡¯s believed that spearmint promotes relaxation
and alleviates stress by interacting with GABA
receptors in your brain. GABA is a neurotransmit-
ter involved in reducing nerve activity (PubMed
9. May Improve Arthritis Pain
Spearmint may help relieve joint pain caused by
arthritis. A large review study of both animal and
human studies concluded that essential oils made
from this mint had pain-relieving effects (PubMed
Similarly, in one 16-week study in 62 people with
arthritis of the knee, regular spearmint tea con-
sumed twice daily reduced stiffness and physical
Health & Nurturing 2020 August/September
Pg 7 - The Sunshine Express
disability, while a spearmint tea high in ros-
marinic acid relieved the same symptoms and
reduced pain (PubMed Central).
10. May Help Lower Blood Pressure
Though human studies on this potential property
are unavailable, some scientific evidence sug-
gests that this herb may have beneficial effects
in this regard.
A compound in spearmint called (-)-carvone has
been shown to act similarly to calcium-channel
blockers, medications used to treat high blood
pressure (PubMed Central).
In fact, in one animal study, (-)-carvone was
shown to be 100 times more potent at reducing
blood vessel contractions than verapamil, a com-
monly used blood pressure medication (PubMed
11. Easy to Incorporate Into Your Diet
You can purchase spearmint in tea bags or as
loose-leaf tea, or grow your own for brewing. To
make the tea at home:
Boil two cups (473 ml) of water.
Remove from heat and add a handful of torn
spearmint leaves to the water. Cover and steep
for five minutes. Strain and drink.
This herbal tea is delicious hot or cold. It¡¯s also
caffeine and calorie free, making it a naturally
sweet treat you can enjoy at any time of the day.
While spearmint and its oil are likely safe to
ingest in the amounts commonly found in food
or tea, it¡¯s unknown whether pure spearmint oil
taken by mouth is safe ( Undiluted
use of spearmint oil may be irritating to the skin
and mucous membranes.
The Bottom Line
Spearmint is a delicious, minty herb that may
have beneficial effects on your health.
It is high in antioxidants and other beneficial
plant compounds that may help balance hor-
mones, lower blood sugar and improve digestion.
It may even reduce stress and improve memory.
Overall, spearmint makes a great addition to any
diet, particularly in the form of spearmint tea,
which can be enjoyed hot or cold.
Peppermint, (Mentha ¡Ápiperita),
strongly aromatic perennial herb
of the mint family (Lamiaceae)
Peppermint has a strong sweetish odour and a
warm pungent taste with a cooling aftertaste.
The leaves are typically used fresh as a culinary
herb, and the flowers are dried and used to
flavour candy, desserts, beverages, salads and
other foods. Its essential oil is also widely used
as a flavouring.
The plant is a hybrid between watermint (Men-
tha aquatica) and spearmint (M. spicata) and is
cultivated in Europe, Asia and North America.
Peppermint has square stems, stalked, smooth,
dark green leaves, and blunt oblong clusters of
pinkish lavender flowers.
As with other mints, the plant can spread ag-
gressively by means of stolons (underground
Natural hybridization among wild species has
yielded many varieties of peppermint, but only
two, the black and the white, are recognized by
Black peppermint, also called English pepper-
mint or mitcham mint, is extensively grown in
the United States and has purplish stems.
The White pepperment variety is less hardy
and less productive, but its oil is considered
more delicate in odour and obtains a higher
Oil of peppermint, a volatile essential oil dis-
tilled with steam from the herb, is widely used
for flavouring confectionery, chewing gum, denti-
frices and medicines.
Pure oil of peppermint is nearly colourless. It
consists principally of menthol and menthone.
Menthol, also called mint camphor or pepper-
mint camphor, has long been used medicinally as
a soothing balm.
[Author Tip: Drop a few drops of peppermint oil
in your bath for amazing pain relief. - Thank you
(By KingDaddy, sources: Encyclopedia Brittanica,
PubMed Central, others as referenced)
A man boasts to a friend about his new
hearing aid.
¡°It¡¯s the most expensive one I¡¯ve ever
had, it cost me $3,500!¡±
His friend asks, ¡°What kind is it?¡±
To which he proudly replies, ¡°It¡¯s half
past four.¡±
Healthful Humor