Spearmint is one of the less well known essential oils. Most people think of peppermint when it comes to oils, but spearmint is also a very valuable oil with a wide range of uses.
Where Does it Come From?
Spearmint is a plant, again not a fact a lot of people know. The plant, Mentha spicata has flowering tops, and these are used to extract the oil by using the process of distillation.
Coming from the mint family the smell of spearmint is similar to that of peppermint, but it is considered a milder aroma, perhaps less overpowering for those who struggle with peppermint. Many of the properties are identical though so it can be a substitute in some cases.
Because it is an antiseptic oil, it is useful for wound care and healing. It supports the tissue and prevents any infection or sepsis setting in. It is not suitable to be applied neat to a wound but diluted it can be used under dressings to form a protective layer and support the healing process.
This is also an antispasmodic oil making it popular with sportsmen and women. Often found in the toolkit of the sports masseuse, spearmint is great for rubbing down the muscles and helping them to relax after a workout. It can also be applied in a carrier oil to the chest when one has a cough or cold as it can also ease spasms in the chest and lungs which cause the nagging coughs. Massaged clockwise into the stomach area it can also be useful at relieving stomach cramps.
The fact that it is antibacterial and antifungal also make this a great candidate for cleaning and disinfecting. It can be used around the home to ensure that surfaces are free from bacteria. In a spray bottle diluted with water, you have an effective surface cleaner, which is great for things like door handles and toilet flushes. It can be added to floor cleaning solutions to enhance the cleaning power there. It can also be
Used as a wash for the body when diluted to target skin conditions like athletes for and dermatitis to disinfect the area and promote skin healing.
Another use of this multipurpose oil is the ability to help relieve anxiety. It is a cooling oil so useful when treating headaches and generally helps the mind to relax. It could be really helpful for teenagers during exam season, mainly if applied to a tissue so that they can inhale the oil and gain the benefits that way, without drawing attention to themselves.
Finally, this is an excellent oil for repelling insects. It works on mosquitoes which is attractive as getting bitten is not nice, and the smell is not unpleasant. You could use it as a body spritz when diluted in water, or mix with suncream to ensure that you are protected against these annoying bugs. It can also help repel ants so could be used around door or window frames to protect the house.