The therapeutic properties of spearmint are similar to peppermint, but as it is much milder, it is to be preferred in disorders of infancy, culinary purposes, confectionery, perfumery, etc. It has a gentle diaphoretic action of mild perspiration, and as a diuretic it is very beneficial to the kidney, bladder (especially for suppression of urine). Spearmint is a very soothing and quieting agent for the nerves and stomach, and it is added to many compounds because of its carminative properties and pleasant taste.
An aromatic perennial. The rootstalk. produces erect 2~4 feet high bright green aerial, square stems. The side branches emerge at a 45 degree angle in pairs from the main stem, with subtending leaves. The leaves are opposite and lighter green than other mints, and a little hairy. Terminal, lavender-pink flowers form long, pyramidal spikes, from several to many branches. Found throughout the world and widely cultivated. Steep 1 teaspoon of the herb in 1 cup water for 30 minutes. Take frequently, a tablespoon at a time.
Origin(s): Egypt, United States.
Latin Name(s): Mentha spicata, Mentha viridis.
Also known as: Mint, brown mint, garden mint, our lady's mint, sage of bethlehem, menthol mint, silver mint, spiremint.
Plant Part(s) Used: Leaf.
Aroma: Minty, refreshing.
GMO Status: Non-GMO.
Additives: Free of any additives or preservatives.
Applications / Preparations: Can be put into capsules, teas, foods, seasonings or infused as an herbal extract. For cosmetic use can be put in Essential Oils, salves, ointments, soaps, lotions, skin & hair formulations. For aromatic use can be used in oils and aroma sprays. For household use can be used in natural cleaning products.
Storage: Store in a sealed container in a cool, dry place.
Shelf Life: It is very difficult to pin down an exact expiration date for most single herbs as they do not really expire, they lose potency or strength over time but will still have value. Unlike synthetic material or drugs, herbs can contain many constituents that contribute to their medicinal effects. Even if when we know what the active constituents are, there are often many of them in a single herb, each with different rates of degradation. Some herbs lose their effect more easily. Other herbs that possess more stable compounds such as alkaloids or steroids will last much longer.
A huge part of the degradation rate of herbs depends also on the storage conditions of the herb, & even on the quality of the herb before storage – how it was grown, harvested, dried & processed. If the product is left in hot places or open to sunlight then it will degrade much quicker than if it was stored in cool, dry place & sealed tightly.
A good rule of thumb is that herbs should be stored no longer than 2-3 years but many herbs will have great strength much longer than that. To determine if a an herb is still good you can check the appearance & aroma. Herbs that are no longer acceptable will have lost much of its vibrant color & will instead appear dull & faded. The bigger key though is to smell the raw materials to see if the potent aroma is still present.
Warning: None known.