Mentha spicata L. of Labiateae family is popularly known as Mint is mainly used for its aromatic characters. And is widely found in Eurasia, Australia, South Africa, USA, and China. Spearmint essential oils are widely used in the food, cosmetics, confectionery, chewing gum, toothpaste, mouthwashes and pharmaceutical industries (1). Some of the spearmint essential oil uses are as a mosquito repellent, in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Constitutes of spearmint oil
Spearmint oil contains oxygenated monoterpenes (90%) followed by sesquiterpene and monoterpene hydrocarbons (6 and 3%, respectively). The aroma and flavor of spearmint oil are due to the presence of carvone (22%–73%). It also contains limonene (8%–31%), with smaller quantities of 1,8-cineole (4%–7%), menthone (1%–5%), menthol, eucalyptol, and other minor compounds (2).
Spearmint essential oil benefits
Some of the spearmint essential oil uses and benefits are as follows
1. Spearmint oil as Mosquito repellent
Spearmint oil contains carvone (48.60%), cis-carveol (21.30%), and limonene (11.30%) which show toxic effect against Culex quinquefasciatus, Aedes aegypti, and Anopheles stephensi thus protect from mosquito biting (3).
2. Treat Obesity, Alzheimer’s Disease, Dermatophytosis
Spearmint oil contains a high amount of carvone which inhibits the activity of an enzyme that causes Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and overweight diseases (cholinesterase and porcine pancreatic lipase) and also shown strong antidermatophytic activity against Microsporum canis, Trichophyton rubrum, mentagrophytes, and Epidermophyton floccosum. Furthermore, spearmint oil help to fight against Staphylococcus aureusthat cause drug-resistant infection. Therefore the application of spearmint oil may use to treat obesity, Alzheimer’s disease and dermatophytosis (4).
3. Treat arthritis
Spearmint oil is a good source of carvone, limonene, and menthol which exhibit analgesic effects therefore massage with spearmint oil reduces the pain severity in osteoarthritis patients (5).
4. Radioprotective properties
Intake of spearmint oil (10%) protects the gastric mucosa caused by gamma radiation thus prevent radiation-induced damages (6).
5. Keep oral healthy
A combination of Spearmint and red gum essential oil inhibits the growth of Streptococcus mutants and Streptococcus pyogenes by affecting biofilm formation thus prevent tooth decay (7).
6. Treat neurodegenerative disorders
Spearmint oil contains 1, 8-cineole which show a wonderful effect on the treatment of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease (8k).