Spearmint is a herbaceous, rhizomatous, perennial plant growing 30-100 cm tall, with variably hairless to hairy stems and foliage, and a wide-spreading fleshy underground rhizome. The leaves are 5-9 cm long and 1.5-3 cm broad, with a serrated margin. The stem is square-shaped, a trademark of the mint family of herbs. Spearmint produces flowers in slender spikes, each flower pink or white, 2.5-3 mm long, and broad.
Spearmint grows well in nearly all temperate climates. Gardeners often grow it in pots or planters due to its invasive, spreading rhizomes. The plant prefers partial shade, but can flourish in full sun to mostly shade. Spearmint is often cultivated for its aromatic and carminative oil, referred to as oil of spearmint.
Spearmint essential oil is favored for:
- Skin – Spearmint is a strong antibacterial and is often used to treat acne prone skin, dermatitis, itching, ringworm and scabies. Add two or three drops of Spearmint oil in a facial steam to cleanse congested skin and kill bacteria.
- Digestion – Like Peppermint, Spearmint oil is one of the most beneficial oils for treating problems of the digestive system, it is said to encourage bile production, strengthen the liver, ease nausea, stomach cramps, indigestion and aid the body in expelling gas.
- Antibacterial – Due to its antibacterial properties, Spearmint is often used to treat colds, bronchitis and influenza, the oil serves to aid in loosening and removing mucus from the respiratory tract.
- Muscles – Spearmint oil has strong pain-relieving properties, soothing hot, tired, achy feet and legs.
- Headaches – Spearmint may be used to ease mental fatigue, promote focus, reduce nervousness, dizziness and headaches.
- Focus – Spearmint promotes mental clarity and encourages positivity enabling one to overcome negative thoughts and stress.