The medicinal parts are the steamed distillation of the fresh, flowering, aerial parts, and the leaves collected during the flowering season and dried.
Flower and Fruit
The spikelike inflorescence consists of false whorls in the axils of the bracts. The 5-tipped calyx is campanulate, glabrous, or pubescent and is surrounded by a 5-tipped, pale lilac, pink, or white corolla, which is almost half as long again as the calyx. The nutlet is reticulate in pubescent plants and smooth in glabrous plants.
Leaves, Stem, and Root
The plant is 30 to 60 cm during the flowering season. Runners grow from the buds at the base of the stem. The quadrangular stem is ascendent or erect and usually thickly pubescent. The leaves are oblong-ovate or lanceolate, decussate, smooth or wrinkled, regularly serrate, and glabrous to thickly pubescent. The upper leaves are sessile, the lower ones short petiolate.
The plant probably originates from the Mediterranean region and is now naturalized in large parts of Europe and North America.
Spearmint is the aerial part of Mentha spicata. Spearmint oil is the essential oil extracted from the plant.
Curled Mint, Fish Mint, Garden Mint, Green Mint, Lamb Mint, Mackerel Mint, Our Lady's Mint, Sage of Bethlehem, Spire Mint,
Actions & Pharmacology
Compounds: In the Foliage
Volatile oil (0.8-2.5%)
Caffeic acid derivatives: including among others rosmaric acid in the volatile oil
Chief components: L-carvone (40-80%, aroma-carrier), (-)-limonene (5-15%), additionally including among others beta-bourbonene, cis- and transcarvylacetate, caryophyllene, 1,8-cineole, dihydrocarveol, trans-sabinene hydrate
The oil produced contains a high proportion of carvon, which produces the spearmint smell. It has antispasmodic, carminative, and stimulant effects.
In vitro, an antimicrobial effect was observed. The drug is insecticidal and shows a neurodepressive effect in animal experiments (increased duration of sleep).
Indications & Usage
Spearmint is used for digestive disorders and as a remedy for flatulence. The essential oil is used as an aromatic preparation. Spearmint leaves are used as carminative.
Precautions & Adverse Reactions
No health hazards or side effects are known in conjunction with the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages. The volatile oil possesses a weak potential for sensitization due to its menthol and L-carvone content.
Mode of Administration
Spearmint is mainly used internally in the form of an oil or concentrate.