Also Known As: Spearmint, Spear mint
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. 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; 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.
Spearmint has been studied for antifungal activity; its essential oil was found to have some antifungal activity, although less thanoregano. Its essential oil did not show any evidence of mutagenicity in the Ames test. It can have a calming effect when used for insomnia or massages. Spearmint has also been described as having excellent antioxidant activity, comparable to the syntheticBHT. 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.