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Botanical name: Mentha viridis

Family: Labiatae

Mentha spicata, spearmint

The name 'spear' mint derives from the pointed leaf tips of the plant. Mint descends from the Latin word mentha, which is rooted in the Greek word minthe, personified in Greek mythology as Minthe.The most popular version of the myth states that Hades seduced the nymph, Minthe, and his wife, Persephone, became jealous and turned Minthe into a plant that people would constantly walk on. Outraged by his wife's interference, Hades gave the plant a wonderful aroma. Hades hoped that by doing this, people would remember Minthe and recall how beautiful and full of life she had been. Mint is also dedicated to the god of darkness, Hades.

Plant Description

There are about 26 species of mint. All of them considered as the most fragrant plants with a pleasant taste and many healing properties. Spearmint is a herbaceous rhizomatous perennial plant growing 30–100 cm tall, with variably hairless to hairy stems and foliage, and a wide-spreading fleshy underground rhizome. The leaves are 5–9 cm long and 1.5–3 cm broad, with a serrated margin. The stem is square-shaped, a trademark of the mint family of herbs. Spearmint produces flowers in slender spikes, each flower pink or white.


The main active substances contained in the essential oil of peppermint is menthol (alcohol), the menthone (ketone) and tannins. Its leaves contain vitamins A and C, niacin (vitamin B3), magnesium and iron.


Before scientific methodology occured the efficacy of herbal medicines was spread by word of mouth. The mint tea was a popular nostrum, simply because it was said that it was acting very quickly and effectively relieving a range of disorders including headaches, nasal problems, upset stomach, menstrual cramps. It seems to be antiseptic, preventing the growth of bacteria and microorganisms, but it is also a good analgesic and anti-rheumatic (muscle pains). It helps digestion and breathing fragrance as well as the proper functioning of the liver. The essential oil of mint is aromatic and refreshing and so acts as fighting stress and tension and removing negative thoughts. Mint is a popular ingredient in aromatherapy.


Health benefits of mint tea

For centuries, mint tea was delightful for its refreshing taste, as well as for its medicinal properties. Traditionally it was recommend by botanists and other natural healers to relieve a range of disorders. Most recently, the mint tea was discovered by scientific researchers, who verify increasingly the story elements recognizing the benefits of mint tea for health. What are these benefits? In the past decades people who used mint tea and oils for their beneficial effects were less interested in how or why they acted in a way that seemed to actually be effective. These questions have arisen more recently and most of them were answered. It was discovered that the active substance of mint and peppermint, menthol, has anticonvulsant effects. This explains why relieves stomach upset so quickly. The fact that it is a muscle relaxant helps explain why it works so well in relieving stress. It is important for sufferers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Mint oil, when used clinically, has proven promising in alleviating this condition and it is believed that regular consumption may help alleviate the symptoms of IBS.

More benefits of mint tea for health

The mint has properties that give a range of other potential health benefits. It is known to have antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, so it may be effective in use as a cleaning of the skin helpful to fight bacterial infections. It is also known to have decongestant properties, so it can be a potentially effective treatment for a range of respiratory disorders. Its analgesic properties can help relieve pain.

Also, mint tea can become an ideal tool for the students during the exam period and helps drivers to drive more safely. In one study showed that only the scent of mint tea showed can helps students to stay awake and focused when studying. Another study, concencerning the effect of the consuption of mint team from professional drivers, resulted that drivers appeared to stay alert and relaxed in movement.


Mint oil is also used as an environmentally friendly insecticide for its ability to kill some common pests like wasps, hornets, ants and cockroaches.