Health Benefits Of Spearmint

Are you aware of the health benefits of spearmint? This aromatic herb can be found in various products such as toothpaste, essential oils, perfumes, chewing gum, foods, and teas. Beyond its refreshing flavour, spearmint has a long history of use in traditional medicine for its therapeutic properties. In this article, we'll explore some of the remarkable health benefits of spearmint that you may not know about!

What is spearmint

Spearmint, which is also known as Mentha spicata, is a type of mint that is closely related to peppermint (Mentha piperita). It is a hardy, perennial herb that grows in temperate climates and is known for its aromatic leaves and pleasant, refreshing flavour.1

Spearmint is widely used in cooking and is a common ingredient in beverages, especially tea, to create light, fresh, and slightly sweet flavour. Compared to other mint teas, spearmint tea has a smoother taste due to its lower menthol content and higher limonene content.2 Whether made from fresh or dried leaves steeped in hot water, spearmint tea is a popular way to enjoy the various benefits of the herb. Additionally, spearmint is also used in the production of essential oils, which are commonly employed in aromatherapy and perfumery.

In traditional medicine, spearmint has been used for its antiseptic, analgesic (pain relief), and anti-inflammatory properties. It has also been used to relieve symptoms of digestive problems, such as nausea, indigestion, and bloating.2

Health benefits of spearmint

Spearmint has the potential to improve your health and well-being in numerous ways, and we have compiled a list of 12 surprising health benefits of spearmint. 

Digestive health benefits

Spearmint is a natural way to promote digestive health and alleviate symptoms such as indigestion, nausea, vomiting, bloating, and discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome. These benefits may be due to the presence of carvone in spearmint, which has been shown to inhibit muscle contractions in the digestive tract and promote relaxation.3

Respiratory health benefits

Spearmint relieves congestion and cough, helps soothe a sore throat, and eases breathing difficulties due to its menthol content.4 Menthol is a natural decongestant and expectorant that helps to break up phlegm and mucus, making it easier to expel.5,6 In addition, spearmint reduces respiratory inflammation and helps to alleviate symptoms of asthma and other respiratory conditions due to the presence of rosmarinic acid, which has anti-inflammatory effects.7

Oral health benefits

Spearmint has several oral health benefits, including freshening breath, preventing tooth decay, and reducing gum inflammation.8 The essential oils in spearmint have antibacterial properties that help to fight against harmful bacteria in the mouth. Moreover, spearmint is known to have a cooling effect that helps to soothe and heal gum irritation, making it a popular ingredient in mouthwash and toothpaste.9

Skin health benefits

The natural antiseptic and antimicrobial properties of spearmint help to reduce skin infections and inflammation.10 It is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and cooling effects that help to soothe and heal skin irritations, such as insect bites, burns, and rashes. Additionally, spearmint contains antioxidants that help protect the skin against damage from free radicals, which can cause premature ageing and wrinkles.11 Spearmint can be a great way to combat acne due to its anti-androgenic effects, which may help to reduce excess sebum production that can lead to breakouts.12

Arthritis pain relief

Arthritis is a common condition characterised by joint inflammation, pain, stiffness, and swelling. The most prevalent form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which typically occurs with ageing and is caused by cartilage damage due to wear and tear over time.

Although research on the use of spearmint for arthritis pain relief is limited, some studies suggest that it may offer benefits for managing arthritis symptoms. For example, a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that daily ingestion of high-rosmarinic acid spearmint tea and commercial spearmint tea significantly improved stiffness and physical disability in individuals with knee osteoarthritis, while; spearmint tea with high romantic acid reduced the pain significantly.13

Although these findings are promising, more research is needed to fully understand the effectiveness and safety of spearmint for arthritis pain relief in humans.

Stress and anxiety reduction

Spearmint has been traditionally used for its calming and soothing effects. It promotes relaxation and improves sleep quality due to the presence of menthol, which can refresh the senses, calm the body, and promote gentle relaxation. Menthol present in spearmint leaves can stimulate the GABA receptors in the brain, which helps to calm down the nervous system and induce a state of relaxation.14,15 This makes spearmint a natural and effective way to reduce stress levels and promote better sleep.

Cognitive function enhancement

Spearmint has shown potential cognitive-enhancing effects, which may improve cognitive function, including memory, attention, and focus.14

Research has suggested that spearmint extract can positively impact memory and cognitive function in individuals with age-associated memory impairment. Participants who consumed spearmint extract had improved working memory and spatial working memory accuracy compared to those who didn't.16

Another study found that spearmint extracts improved cognitive performance in a young and active population, suggesting that it may have benefits for people of all ages.17

While more research is needed to fully understand the cognitive-enhancing effects of spearmint, these preliminary findings suggest that spearmint may help to improve cognitive function and mental performance.

Regulate hormonal imbalance

Spearmint has been shown to balance androgen levels which can help to regulate hormonal imbalances, particularly in women with conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hirsutism (high levels of unwanted hair growth on the face, chest, and back).18,19

Women with hormone imbalances may find relief from spearmint tea. Studies have reported the potential for this herb to help balance hormones by decreasing testosterone and increasing important reproductive chemicals like LH, FSH, and estradiol.12

Menstrual health improvement

Spearmint has been suggested to have antispasmodic properties, which means it can help to relax smooth muscles in the body, including those in the uterus.20 This may potentially help to reduce menstrual cramps and other menstrual-related discomforts.4

Reduce blood pressure

Spearmint contains several compounds that have been found to have potential health benefits, including reducing blood pressure and improving cardiovascular health. In addition to the antioxidants mentioned earlier, spearmint also contains other beneficial compounds such as flavonoids, thymonin, caffeic acid, rosmaric acid, carvone, and limonene, which have been found to have antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory effects. These effects can help to reduce smooth muscle spasms in blood vessels, relax blood vessels and improve blood circulation, leading to a reduction in blood pressure.2

Reduce blood sugar

Research has demonstrated that certain phenolic compounds found in spearmint, including rosmarinic acid, caffeic acid, protocatechuic acid, resveratrol, catechin, catechol, coumaric acid, and quercetin, possess potent α-glucosidase inhibitory activity. This inhibition has the potential to be utilised as an effective treatment for postprandial hyperglycemia.2

Further, studies conducted on diabetic rats have shown a decrease in blood sugar levels after being treated with spearmint. In a laboratory experiment that involved both healthy and diabetic rats, the rats were given spearmint extract daily. The diabetic rats showed lower blood sugar levels compared to the healthy rats.22

Weight loss

Although there is no direct evidence showing that spearmint has a significant impact on weight loss, it may offer some advantages that support weight loss efforts when paired with other healthy practices. For example, spearmint tea is low in calories and can be a healthy alternative to sugary drinks.23 Drinking spearmint tea instead of high-calorie beverages like soda or juice may help to reduce overall calorie intake and support weight loss goals.

While spearmint is not a magic weight loss solution, incorporating spearmint tea or extract as part of a balanced, healthy diet and regular exercise routine may potentially provide some benefits that support weight loss efforts. 

Nutritional facts

Spearmint is a low-calorie herb that can be a healthy addition to any diet. Here are the nutritional facts of 100 g of fresh spearmint:23

  • Energy: 44 Cal
  • Protein: 3.3 g
  • Fat: 0.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 8.4 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Fibre: 6.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Potassium: 458 mg
  • Sodium: 30 mg
  • Calcium: 19.9 %
  • Iron: 65.9 %
  • Vitamin A: 81.1 %
  • Vitamin C: 22.2 %

Spearmint is also a rich source of antioxidants and volatile oils, which provide various health benefits.

Uses of spearmint

  1. Culinary: Spearmint is a popular herb used in cooking to add flavour to a variety of dishes, including salads, soups, stews, and sauces. It is often used in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and North African cuisine
  2. Medicinal: Spearmint has several medicinal properties and is used in traditional medicine to treat digestive problems, nausea, and respiratory issues. It is also used as a natural remedy for menstrual cramps and relieves stress and anxiety
  3. Personal care: Spearmint is a common ingredient in many personal care products, including toothpaste, mouthwash, and soaps. It is often used for its refreshing, cooling and antimicrobial properties
  4. Cosmetics: Spearmint oil is used in cosmetics for its soothing and refreshing properties. It can be found in products like facial toners and creams
  5. Aromatherapy: Spearmint essential oil is used in aromatherapy to promote relaxation, relieve stress, and improve mental clarity. It is believed to have a calming and uplifting effect on the mind and body
  6. Pest control: Spearmint oil is a natural insect repellent and can be used to prevent ants, flies, and other pests from entering your home or garden24

Side effects and other concerns

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Consuming excessive amounts of spearmint during pregnancy is potentially unsafe, as it may cause damage to the uterus. Thus, it is recommended to avoid using large amounts of spearmint tea during pregnancy. On the other hand, the safety of taking spearmint while breastfeeding is uncertain, so it's best to stay on the safe side and avoid consuming it in amounts greater than those found in food.25

  • Kidney disorders

Using large amounts of spearmint could potentially worsen kidney disorders and increase kidney damage.25

  • Liver disease

Consuming excessive amounts of spearmint may have adverse effects on the liver. Additionally, certain medications have the potential to harm the liver. Combining large amounts of spearmint with these medications could potentially increase the risk of liver damage.25

  • Sedative medications (CNS depressants)

Spearmint contains a chemical that may cause sleepiness and drowsiness. If you are taking sedative medications, using spearmint along with them could cause excessive sleepiness. It is important to be cautious and consult with your healthcare provider before combining spearmint with sedative medications.24

  • Allergic reactions

Some people may be allergic to spearmint. When spearmint is topically applied to the skin, it could cause symptoms such as itching, rash, and swelling.24


Spearmint has several potential health benefits. It may help to relieve digestive issues, such as nausea and bloating, and it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may be beneficial for overall health. Spearmint may also have anti-androgenic effects and could potentially help to regulate hormone levels. Additionally, spearmint may have a calming effect and could help to promote relaxation and improve sleep.


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This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Mayasah Al-Nema

PhD Pharmaceutical Sciences – MSc Pharmaceutical Chemistry – BSc Pharmacy, UCSI University, Malaysia

Mayasah is a skilled and experienced scientific researcher and writer with over seven years of experience in writing scientific articles and books. In addition to her expertise in research, she has three years of experience as a teaching assistant at UCSI University, providing her with valuable insights into effective teaching practices. Mayasah has participated in numerous international conferences, where she has presented her research findings to peers and colleagues. She is also a respected peer-reviewer for three prominent scientific journals, providing expert analysis and feedback on articles submitted for publication. presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
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