Mentha spicata L.

Last updated: 26 July 2016

Scientific Name

Mentha spicata L.


Mentha atrata Schur, Mentha balsamea Rchb. [Illegitimate], Mentha brevispicata Lehm., Mentha cordato-ovata Opiz, Mentha crispa L., Mentha crispata Schrad. ex Willd., Mentha glabra Mill., Mentha hortensis Opiz ex Fresen., Mentha inarimensis Guss., Mentha integerrima Mattei & Lojac., Mentha lacerata Opiz, Mentha laciniosa Schur, Mentha laevigata Willd., Mentha lejeuneana Opiz, Mentha lejeunii Opiz ex Rchb., Mentha michelii Ten. ex Rchb., Mentha ocymiodora Opiz, Mentha pectinata Raf., Mentha piperella (Lej. & Courtois) Opiz ex Lej. & Courtois, Mentha pudina Buch.-Ham. ex Benth., Mentha romana Bubani, Mentha romana Garsault [Invalid], Mentha rosanii Ten., Mentha rubicunda Heinr.Braun & Topitz, Mentha sepincola Holuby, Mentha tauschii Heinr.Braun, Mentha tenuiflora Opiz, Mentha tenuifolia Opiz ex Rchb., Mentha tenuis Michx., Mentha undulata Willd., Mentha viridifolia Pérard, Mentha viridis (L.) L., Mentha walteriana Opiz [1]

Vernacular Name

English Garden mint, mint, spear mint [2]
China Liu lan xiang, xiang hua cai, zhou ye liu lan xiang [2]
India Bettada pudina, bon podina, menthi, nungshi-hidak, pahari pudina, podina, podinaka, pudina, putiha, rocani [2]
Japan Midori-hakka [2]
Arab Hana, na’na’, naanaa, nemdar [2].

Geographical Distributions

No documentation

Botanical Description

No documentation


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

Mentha spicata  has been reported to contain carvone, limonene, and 1, 8-cCineole. [3][4]

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data



Spearmint oil enhanced the antibacterial action of nitrofurantoin against Enterobacteriaceae [5]. Antibacterial activity has been shown against Helicobacter pylori, Salmonella enteritidis, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) [6]. In addition, in a study involving 45 essential oils, spearmint oil showed antimicrobial activity against the broadest group of viruses, fungi and bacteria [7]. In an in vivo setting, spearmint oil inhibited biofilm pathogens that could potentially lead to dental caries [8].

Antifungal activity

The antifungal activity of M. spicata oil was demonstrated against food born, animal and human pathogens. This shows that it could be used as a natural preservative. [9]


M. spicata oil was examined in an animal model established to review the oil’s gastroprotective and calcium channel antagonist properties. Radiation therapy often results in conditioned taste aversion (CAT) which is a behavioral side effect that affects patient perceived outcomes. In this analysis, Spearmint oil could be an effective addition to radiation therapy. [10]


Using fumigation, twenty essential oils were tested against various larvae. Spearmint essential oil showed good insecticidal activity against Lycoriella ingénue. [11]

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing

No documentation


  1. Plant List. Ver1.1. Mentha spicata L.[homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 Jul 26] Available from:
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms and etymology. Volume IV M-Q. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 113-114.
  3. Lis-Balchan M. Aromatherapy science: A guide for healthcare professionals. London: Pharmaceutical Press, 2006; p. 312-313.
  4. Gershenzon J. Biochemical and Histochemical Localization of Monoterpene Biosynthesis in the Glandular Trichomes of Spearmint (Mentha spicata). Plant Physiol. 1989;89(4):1351–1357.
  5. Rafii F. Comparison of essential oils from three plants for enhancement of antimicrobial activity of nitrofurantoin against enterobacteria. Chemotherapy. 2007;53(1):21-25.
  6. Imai H. Inhibition by the essential oils of peppermint and spearmint of the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Microbios. 2001;106(1):31-39.
  7. Chao SC. Screening for inhibitory activity of essential oils on selected bacteria, fungi and viruses. J Essent Oil Res. 2000;12(5):639-649.
  8. Rasooli I. The effect of Mentha spicata and Eucalyptus camaldulensis essential oils on dental biofilm. Int J Dent Hyg. 2009;7(3):196-203.
  9. Soković MD. Chemical composition of essential oils of Thymus and Mentha species and their antifungal activities. Molecule.2009;14(1):238-249.
  10. Haksar A. Mint oil (Mentha spicata Linn.) offers behavioral radioprotection: a radiation-induced conditioned taste aversion study. Phytother Res. 2009;23(2):293-296.
  11. Park IK. Toxicity of plant essential oils and their components against Lycoriella ingenua (Diptera: Sciaridae). J Econ Entomol. 2008;101(1):139-144.