Benefits Of Spearmint Extract
Spearmint is an herb found in food products, medicine, cosmetics, toothpastes, and other consumer goods. But Spearmint Extract is more than just a flavor: it also has some surprising health benefits.
What is Spearmint Extract?
Spearmint Extract is a purified and concentrated form of the spearmint herb. The spearmint plant is already packed with nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants, so by condensing the plant into a more purified form, manufacturers believe they can create some surprising benefits.
Spearmint, like other members of the mint family, has a square shaped stem. Spearmint gets its name from the fact that its leaves are shaped like spears. It’s traditionally grown around the Mediterranean, where spearmint plants can grow to be about 3 feet tall.
Health Benefits of Spearmint Extract
Spearmint has a wide range of uses as an antifungal and antioxidant herb.
Here’s what you need to know about spearmint extract and its unique health benefits:
According to one research paper published in Food Chemistry in 2007, spearmint extract exhibits “excellent antioxidant activity” due to its high levels of total phenolic and flavonoid contents. This antioxidant activity can neutralize free radicals throughout the body, leading to reduced risk of disease and illness. Antioxidants have also been shown to boost cognitive health and reduced the signs of aging on the skin.
Spearmint was traditionally used to treat bacterial infections and fungal growths. One 2011 study presented at the International Conference on Environmental and Agriculture Engineering indicated that spearmint essential oil acts as a particularly powerful antifungal agent.
Improve Digestive Health
Spearmint extract has been shown to improve digestive health and relieve digestive problems. A study published in Phytotherapy Research showed that spearmint extract can reduce symptoms of nausea and other digestive problems. Out of all the benefits listed here, this is the one backed by the least amount of science. The one study on spearmint’s effect on digestive health was performed with spearmint tea, and researchers explained that more research needed to be done to confirm these benefits.
Reduce Unwanted Hair Growth in Women
One of the most surprising benefits of spearmint extract is that it’s been shown to reduce symptoms of hirsutism, which is a disorder that leads to abnormal hair growth. Women with hirsutism have unwanted hair growth on the face, breasts, and stomach, which can lead to a great deal of distress. In one study, women who drank two cups of spearmint tea every day for five days were observed to have lower levels of androgens. Women with hirsutism often develop abnormal hair growth because of high levels of masculinizing androgen hormones.
Other Overall Health Benefits
Spearmint has also been used as a treatment for a variety of other health conditions, including:
— Sore Throat
— Muscle Pain
— Fatigue And Stress
How Does Spearmint Work?
As mentioned above, spearmint is thought to work due to its high levels of flavonoids and phenolic compounds. But spearmint also contains other vitamins and minerals. Here’s what the nutritional profile of spearmint looks like:
Nutritional Value of Fresh Spearmint Per 100 Gram Serving
— 44 Calories
— 0.73 Grams Of Fat
— 8.1 Grams Of Carbohydrates
— 3.29 Grams Of Protein
— Minerals: Iron (11.87mg), Copper (0.240mg), Potassium (458mg), Manganese (1.118mg).
— Vitamins: Vitamin C (13.3mg), Vitamin B6, (0.041mg), Vitamin B5 (0.061mg)
— Other Compounds: Riboflavin (0.175mg), Pyridoxine (0.158mg).
How to Use Spearmint Extract
Spearmint is commonly used in foods and beverages because it has a weaker “minty” flavor than other similar herbs. This is due to lower levels of menthol.
Here are three easy ways to use more spearmint in your everyday life:
— Chop Leaves And Sprinkle Them On Food
— Use Leaves To Make Mint Sauce
— Make Spearmint Tea
Spearmint Extract Oil
Today, some health supplement manufacturers also sell spearmint extract oil or spearmint oil.
This oil is made by condensing and reducing spearmint leaves into a flavonoid-rich oil. Specifically, manufacturers extract the spearmint oil using steam through the distilling of the flowering tops of the spearmint plant – which can grow to be up to 3 feet in height.
Many people use peppermint oil for general health benefits – like reducing sinus infections. Spearmint oil is used in a similar way.
Here’s what one spearmint oil manufacturer had to say about their product:
“Although not as popular as peppermint oil, this essential oil is far gentler to use with children and has great benefits on the digestive system and relieves flatulence, constipation, vomiting and nausea, as well as the respiratory tract to relieve cough, bronchitis, asthma, catarrh and sinus. On the skin it calms itching and has a stimulant action on the mind.”
You can use the spearmint oil as a topical treatment (apply it to your skin) or ingest it in foods and beverages.