What is it?
A popular and tasty herb—native to Europe and Asia but naturalized throughout most of the world—that’s stocked with antioxidants and antifungal components.
Use it for:
Spearmint extract (900 mg per day) might boost short-term memory and the ability to fall asleep, suggest a few studies, including a recent one with older adults, published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. A few preliminary studies also hint that drinking two cups of spearmint tea a day could reduce hormones that lead to excessive male-pattern hair growth in women. Various research also indicates that mint can relax stomach muscles, relieve nausea and possibly provide other digestive benefits.
How to take it:
Spearmint is available in capsules, as an extract or essential oil, and in the form of tea.
Spearmint vs. peppermint
The peppermint plant is a hybrid of spearmint and the lesser-known water mint. Peppermint has more menthol, which makes it a stronger anti-inflammatory but also irritating to some.
The name derives from the plant’s pointy leaves.