Mentha spp./M. spicata
Few herbs produce as many variants as the Mint family and each tastes, smells and acts a little bit different. Spearmint is delightful - much less harsh and pungent than the more commonly used Peppermint. This is due to the fact that it contains very little menthol. Spearmint is thus the preferred species for culinary purposes, while Peppermint is favoured for medicinal uses. However, that does not mean to suggest that Spearmint does not have any therapeutic uses. The ancients valued it highly as an herb for students and scholars. They thought a wreath of Spearmint a fitting crown for academics and poets, which was thought to aid concentration and keep the mind clear. The Romans liked it as a strewing herb and sprinkled their quarters to scent the air with its nice, fresh aroma. Spearmint also lends itself better for cosmetic use than the more pungent Peppermint. It is very refreshing, relaxing and uplifting, for example when added to the bathwater, where Peppermint would make one feel cold, even if the water was hot. Spearmint is not as stimulating as Peppermint, which makes it also suitable for use at night and it is said to bring happy dreams and restful sleep.
Spearmint can be used much like Peppermint. It is relaxing and antispasmodic. It aids digestion and alleviates nausea. It may be a useful calming and soothing remedy for PMT. In general its medicinal action is not as strong as that of Peppermint and its taste is milder, which is why it is usually preferred for culinary uses. Due to its milder action it is also generally thought more suitable for children's troubles, such as 'rumble-tum', nausea, insomnia, colic or feverish conditions. Added to the bathwater it is relaxing and restorative, soothing and clearing for the mind.
Spearmint can be used when studying and at times of intense mental concentration. It can be used for cleansing and protection rituals, for healing and aura cleansing. It protects the practitioner on his astral journeys and during dream work. It enhances mental clarity, concentration and focus.