Greek Spearmint Organic Essential Oil
Greek Spearmint Organic Essential Oil
Common name: garden or common mint
Other names: lamb mint and mackerel mint
Latin name: Mentha spicata(various synonyms: Mentha crispa, Mentha viridis, etc.)
Botanical family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Method of extraction: steam distillation
Plant part used to extract the oil: fresh flowering tops and leaves
Cultivation method: organic farming
Area of origin: Central Macedonia, Greece
Historical notes: Spearmint is native to Europe and southern temperate Asia and naturalized in many other temperate parts of the world such as northern and southern Africa, as well as North South Americas.
First described scientifically by Carl Linnaeus in 1753,it has been used by the ancient Greeks in the bath water! Mint has been mentioned in the Bible and in the writings of the famous naturalist Pliny the Elder (1st century AD). References to mint can also be found in ancient Greek and Roman mythology, please see more in our Peppermint oil decryption.
The Latin epithet ‘spicata’ in the botanical name stands for ‘spiked’ or 'bearing a spike' and might be a reference to the shape of the leaves of the flowers.
Biochemical group: ketone
Main chemical constituents: carvone, trans-dihydrocarvyl acetate, menthol, beta-bourbonene, cis-dihydrocarvone, menthone, limonene, sabinene trans-hydrate, cis-carvyl acetate, 3-octanol
Colour: pale yellow
Aroma strength: strong
Perfumery note: top/middle
Aroma: minty, sweet, strong, herbaceous, green, penetrating, warm
Traditional Aromatherapy Uses:
Traditionally in aromatherapy treatments spearmint is associated with the following therapeutic properties:
anti-bacterial, anti-depressant, anti-emetic, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, anti-spasmodic, anti-septic, carminative, cephalic, cholagogue, digestive stimulant, digestive tonic, hepatic, insecticidal, restorative, stimulant, stomachic, uplifting. studies suggest that at low concentration spearmint might be anti-inflammatory
Qualified aromatherapists may use spearmint essential oil for common complaints such as:
- skin care: acne, congested skin but rarely used (spearmint extracts are traditionally associated with toothpastes and chewing gum, its aroma synonymous with such products)
- digestive issues such as nausea, bloating and flatulence, indigestion and hepatobiliary disorders; might help with hiccups
- nervous system and emotional issues such as irritability, fatigue, stress, lethargy, depression, lack of focus, mental/emotional confusion, exhaustion; gentle stimulant, promotes alertness / focus
- respiratory system problems such as sinus congestion and associated headache, catarrh
How we use it:
Inhalation / Vapourisation:
- Vapourise a couple of drops or use in an aroma inhaler for stress and stress-related issues such as irritability, fatigue, depression. Try blended with lavender, geranium, mandarin, sweet orange or bergamot.
- Vapourising a couple of drops of spearmint might also help to temporarily ease sinus congestion. Try in combination with a drop of aniseed, pine, eucalyptus globulus, cajeput, tea tree or niaouli.
- Sniff from a personal inhaler to ease nausea. Try with ginger or peppermint.
- For digestive issues such as flatulence and indigestion, blend a drop with a few drops of other suitable oils such as cardamom, black pepper, ginger, mandarin or sweet fennel and dilute in a foxed/carrier oil. Gently massage over the stomach in clockwise direction.
Please, also see our How to Use Essential Oils Safely page for more information
Tisserand and Young do not indicate any contraindications when using Spearmint Essential Oil. However, they inform that it may cause skin sensitisation and irritation of the mucous membranes. The maximum dermal use level for spearmint is 1.7%.
Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, 'Essential Oil Safety' (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 427.]
Please, also see our How to Use Essential Oils Safely page for more information.
Research and studies:
- Mentha spicata as natural analgesia for treatment of pain in osteoarthritis patients
- Chemical composition, antioxidant, antimicrobial and Antiproliferative activities of essential oil of Mentha spicata L. (Lamiaceae) from Algerian Saharan atlas
- Phytochemical Profile and Evaluation of the Biological Activities of Essential Oils Derived from the Greek Aromatic Plant Species Ocimumbasilicum, Mentha spicata, Pimpinella anisum and Fortunella margarita