“Spearmint vs peppermint?” While peppermint has a sharp bite, we use spearmint to pep up a blend’s taste and benefits—perfectly sweet without an overpoweringly minty flavor.
The sweeter, milder mint.
What are the Benefits of Spearmint?
If you’re a fan of Wrigley’s spearmint gum, you probably already know this herb for its easy-going minty flavor. But do you know the benefits of spearmint? The carvone compound in this herb makes for a slightly sweeter taste. That’s why you can find it in our herbal tea formulas as a flavor brightener.
Folklore & Historical Use of Spearmint
Beyond the tea mug, spearmint leaves can be nibbled on directly as a quick palate cleanser. You can usually use spearmint instead of mint when cooking, too. It just will have a lighter minty flavor. Traditionally used in oral care and confectionary, this herb has a cooling, rejuvenating quality and is the perfect way to freshen and brighten up your meals, cocktails, syrups, and more.
Botanical Description & Habitat
Much like other mint plants, spearmint loves water. It’s likely native to Europe and the Mediterranean and was brought across Europe by the Romans. It has now spread across the globe and can be found thriving in temperate climates growing under full sun to partial shade with well-drained soil.
Spearmint is a great windowsill herb, and an easy to addition to a home garden—just know that different mints grown in close proximity can create hybrids, which can be kind of fun! Spearmint can be identified by its long, yet rounded, pointy leaves with tiny tooth-like edges or spikes, much like its species name spicata implies.
The Business of Sustainable Plants
Our business is rooted in plants, and for us, it’s a business imperative that we care for the ecosystems where these plants live and thrive. We believe that everything is interconnected, which means supporting ecosystems and the farmers and collectors who harvest and gather our herbs. Finding opportunities to reduce or eliminate emissions at the source, we support organic and regenerative farming practices as well as voluntary certifications like Organic and FairWild. These ensure the absence of pesticides, herbicides, as well as the ongoing sustainability of wild collection, and the health and livelihoods of the collectors who forage. Josef Brinckmann, Traditional Medicinals’ Research Fellow, Medicinal Plants and Botanical Supply, asserts, “Everyone has a role to play in preserving biological diversity. One way of doing that is by equitably supporting the local people to serve as stewards of the land.”
It Starts with Organic
We choose to source organic because we believe in the positive impacts it has on environmental sustainability, biodiversity, and overall ecosystem health. Organic helps us increase transparency while prioritizing consumer well-being and farmer success, which is key to producing the high-quality herbs we source. In 2021, we procured 2.73 million pounds of certified organic herbs, over 99.7% of our total botanical herbs purchased. Volumes were down slightly from FY20 due to timing of inventories received.
The impact from organic farming creates a vital ecosystem through improved soil health, water quality, pollinator habitats, and biodiversity. Organic farms also have increased carbon sequestration potential through long-term carbon storage in the soil, helping to mitigate climate change.
One of the benefits of organic that we most value is farmer health. We care deeply about the people who produce our herbs, ensuring that they are not exposed to synthetic chemicals found in conventional agriculture.
We believe that everyone deserves a fair wage for hard work. That’s one of the reasons why we’re committed to fair trade. Traditional Medicinals® is a registered Fair Trade “brand holder”, “licensee” and “manufacturer,” and our products are certified by Fair Trade USA, an independent third-party certifier. We were an early adopter of Fair Trade, having launched our first fair trade tea product in 1998, just one year after Fairtrade International (FLO) was established. We continue to work closely with our network of producers to help them to implement fair trade standards and get certified.
Consult your healthcare practitioner prior to use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
The information and other content in this article are designed to provide a general overview of the botany, cultural history, and traditional uses of this herb. It is not intended and should not be construed as health advice. Every person is unique and you should consult with your health care provider before using any herbal product or supplement.