Also Known As: Spearmint, Spear mint

Spearmint or spear mint (Mentha spicata) is a species of mint native to much of Europe and southwest Asia, though its exact natural range is uncertain due to extensive early cultivation.

Spearmint tea may be used as a treatment for hirsutism in women. Its antiandrogenic properties reduce the level of free testosterone in the blood, while leaving total testosterone and DHEA unaffected.[10] However, administration of spearmint tea to rats causes dose-dependent, temporary or permanent negative effects on the reproductive system of the male rat and leads to lipid peroxidation that results in histopathologies in the kidney, liver, and uterine tissues;[11] more research into the toxic effects of the tea in humans is warranted. It can also be used to treat a variety of digestive ailments.[12]

Spearmint has been studied for antifungal activity; its essential oil was found to have some antifungal activity, although less thanoregano.[13] Its essential oil did not show any evidence of mutagenicity in the Ames test.[13] It can have a calming effect when used for insomnia or massages.[12] Spearmint has also been described as having excellent antioxidant activity, comparable to the syntheticBHT.[14] Due both to its antioxidant activity and its common use to season lamb in Indian cuisine, it has been studied as an additive to radiation-processed lamb meat, and was found effective in delaying oxidation of fats and reducing formation of harmful substances, which can be detected using thiobarbituric acid as a reagent.[14]

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