Overview

Spearmint is an herb. The leaves and oil are used to make medicine.

Spearmint is used to improve memory, digestion, stomach problems, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

How does it work ?

The oil in spearmint contains chemicals that reduce inflammation (swelling) and change levels of chemicals called hormones, such as testosterone, in the body. Some chemicals might also harm cancer cells and kill bacteria.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Decline in memory and thinking skills that normally occurs with age. Early research shows that taking an extract of a special type of spearmint daily might help with thinking skills in older adults who have started to notice problems with thinking.
  • Memory and thinking skills (cognitive function). Taking spearmint extract might improve attention in some people. But any benefit seems to be small. Spearmint extract doesn't seem to improve most other measures of memory and thinking skills. Chewing spearmint-flavored gum doesn't appear to improve any measures of memory of thinking skills in healthy adults.
  • Male-pattern hair growth in women (hirsutism). Early research shows that drinking spearmint tea twice daily for up to one month can decrease levels of male sexhormone (testosterone) and increase levels of female sex hormone (estradiol) and other hormones in women with male-pattern hair growth. But it doesn't seem to greatly reduce the amount or location of male-pattern hair growth in women with this condition.
  • A long-term disorder of the small intestines that causes stomach pain (irritable bowel syndrome or IBS). Early research shows that using 30 drops of a product containing lemon balm, spearmint, and coriander after meals for 8 weeks reduces stomach pain in people with IBS when taken along with the drug loperamide or psyllium.
  • Osteoarthritis. Early research shows that drinking spearmint tea reduces pain and stiffness by a small amount in people with kneeosteoarthritis.
  • Nausea and vomiting after surgery. Use of aromatherapy with oils of ginger, spearmint, peppermint, and cardamom seems to reduce symptoms of nausea in people after surgery.
  • Cancer.
  • Colds.
  • Cramps.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Gas (flatulence).
  • Headaches.
  • Indigestion.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Skin conditions.
  • Sore throat.
  • Toothaches.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of spearmint for these uses.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Spearmint and spearmint oil are LIKELY SAFE when eaten in amount commonly found in food. Spearmint is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth as a medicine, short-term. Side effects are very uncommon. Some people might have an allergic reaction to spearmint.

When applied to the skin: Spearmint is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin. It might cause an allergic reaction in some people. But this is rare.

Special Precautions and Warnings

Pregnancy: Spearmint is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large amounts during pregnancy. Very large doses of spearmint tea might damage the uterus. Avoid using large amounts of spearmint during pregnancy.

Breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if spearmint is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid using in amounts greater than those found in food.

Kidney disorders: Spearmint tea might increase kidney damage. Higher amounts of spearmint tea seem to have greater effects. In theory, using large amounts of spearmint tea might make kidney disorders worse.

Liver disease: Spearmint tea might increase liver damage. Higher amounts of spearmint tea seem to have greater effects. In theory, using large amounts of spearmint tea might make worsen liver disease.

Interactions ?

We currently have no information for SPEARMINT Interactions.

Dosing

The appropriate dose of spearmint depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for spearmint. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.