Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate. The effectiveness ratings for SPEARMINT are as follows:
Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for…
- The decline in memory and thinking skills normally occurs with age. Early research shows that taking an extract daily might help with thinking skills in older adults who have started to notice problems with thinking.
- Memory and thinking skills (cognitive function). Taking spearmint extract might improve attention in some people. But any benefit seems to be small. Extract doesn’t seem to improve most other measures of memory and thinking skills. Chewing flavored gum doesn’t appear to improve any measures of memory or thinking skills in healthy adults.
- Male-pattern hair growth in women (hirsutism). Early research shows that drinking tea twice daily for up to one month can decrease levels of male sex hormone (testosterone) and increase levels of female sex hormone (estradiol) and other hormones in women with male-pattern hair growth. But it doesn’t seem to greatly reduce the amount or location of male-pattern hair growth in women with this condition.
- A long-term disorder of the small intestines that causes stomach pain (irritable bowel syndrome or IBS). Early research shows that using 30 drops of a product containing lemon balm, spearmint, and coriander after meals for 8 weeks reduces stomach pain in people with IBS when taken along with the drug loperamide or psyllium.
- Osteoarthritis. Early research shows that drinking tea reduces pain and stiffness by a small amount in people with knee osteoarthritis.
- Nausea and vomiting after surgery. The use of aromatherapy with oils of ginger, spearmint, peppermint, and cardamom seems to reduce symptoms of nausea in people after surgery.
- Gas (flatulence).
- Muscle pain.
- Skin conditions.
- Sore throat.
- Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of spearmint for these uses.
Side Effects Of Spearmint
- When taken by mouth: Spearmint and spearmint oil are LIKELY SAFE when eaten in an amount commonly found in food. Spearmint is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth as a medicine, short-term. Side effects are very uncommon. Some people might have an allergic reaction to spearmint.
- When applied to the skin: Spearmint is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin. It might cause an allergic reaction in some people. But this is rare.
Warnings & Precautions
- Pregnancy: Spearmint is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large amounts during pregnancy. Very large doses of spearmint tea might damage the uterus. Avoid using large amounts of spearmint during pregnancy.
- Breast-feeding: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if spearmint is safe to use when breastfeeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid using in amounts greater than those found in food.
- Kidney disorders: Spearmint tea might increase kidney damage. Higher amounts of spearmint tea seem to have greater effects. In theory, using large amounts of spearmint tea might make kidney disorders worse.
- Liver disease: Spearmint tea might increase liver damage. Higher amounts of tea seem to have greater effects. In theory, using large amounts of tea might make worsen liver disease.
Dosage Of Spearmint
The appropriate dose of spearmint depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Consult your doctor or pharmacist.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.