Can you eat spearmint leaves?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat spearmint leaves?” and discuss its health benefits?

Can you eat spearmint leaves?

Yes, you can eat spearmint leaves. Mint is pungent in taste with post digestive effect. Its distilled oil is still used to flavor toothpaste, confectionery, and chewing gums.

Mint leaves is an aromatic herb that has been used in traditional medicine due to its therapeutic properties, acting as cramp relieving, antiemetic, antipyretic, analgesic, nervous system boosting, antiseptic and others.

What are the health benefits of eating spearmint leaves?

There are many health benefits related to the consumption of spearmint leaves in the form of tea and oil extracts, including benefits on memory skills. 

Recent research shows that rosemary and spearmint extracts increase memory. Spearmint is widely used as a memory enhancer and nerve sedative in Arabian Medicine (5). 

 A study shows that supplementation with dried aqueous spearmint extract at 900 mg/day for 90 days significantly improved quality of working memory and spatial working memory versus placebo in healthy subjects with age-associated memory impairment (6).

Is it safe to eat spearmint leaves?

Yes, it is safe to eat spearmint leaves. Vitamins, antioxidants, and other essential elements may be found in spearmint leaves. 

Spearmint, whether taken fresh or utilized as an essential oil, has a long list of health advantages. Spearmint may be used to treat a variety of ailments, including nausea, indigestion, gas, headaches, toothaches, cramps, and sore throats, among other things. 

Spearmint has antifungal, antiviral, antimicrobial, insecticide, antioxidant, antiamoebic, antihemolytic, allergenic, central nervous system depressant, anthelmintic and anti-ancylostomiasis activities (2).

Spearmint may also be used topically on the skin to treat edema caused by nerve or muscular discomfort (5). Spearmint extract, according to studies, has “high total phenolic and flavonoid levels and excellent antioxidant activity. Plant extracts were used to prevent lipid oxidation in meat (4)

The antifungal activities of spearmint essential oil are known and reported in the scientific literature.With its ability to calm stomach muscles and reduce sensations of nausea and other digestive difficulties, spearmint may aid with digestive problem symptoms (2).

What is the risk of eating spearmint leaves in large quantities?

The risks of eating spearmint is that, in large quantities, spearmint has nephrotoxic effects and may cause apoptosis. It has been reported that M. spicata L. tea consumption has detrimental effects on the reproductive system, causes degenerative changes in the germinal epithelium and interrupts spermatogenesis (7).

Spearmint tea ingested in high quantities may also exacerbate liver and kidney damage in people with liver/ kidney diseases (8). Any medicinal plant should be taken with care and moderation. In the case of occurrence of adverse effects, professional health is to be requested.

Who should eat spearmint leaves?

Women suffering from Hirsutism are recommended to ingest spearmint leaves. There is some evidence that drinking two cups of spearmint tea daily for five days will help lower testosterone levels in women who have hirsutism, according to studies. 

Twenty-one women suffering from hirsutism were included in the study. They were treated with a cup of herbal tea which was steeped with spearmint for 5 days twice a day in the follicular phase of their menstrual cycles. After treatment with spearmint teas, there was a significant decrease in free testosterone and increase in luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone and estradiol (3).

Hirsutism is defined medically as excessive terminal hair that appears in a male pattern in women.

Who should not eat spearmint leaves?

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not eat spearmint leaves. In addition, raw plant consumption is not recommended, especially in people with a history of liver illness (5).

Large doses of spearmint consumed orally during pregnancy may be harmful to the mother-to-be. Spearmint tea in very high doses may cause harm to the uterus. When pregnant, use just a little quantity of spearmint. A study suggests that spearmint tea consumed during gestation has adverse effects on postnatal development, especially of females, based on animal studies (7).

In addition, there isn’t enough credible information to say whether or not spearmint is safe to use during breastfeeding. Therefore, it should be avoided by breastfeeding women.


In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat spearmint leaves?” and we discussed its health benefits?


  1. Irshad, Muhammad, et al. Biological importance of essential oils. Essential Oils-Oils of Nature 1 (2020).
  2. Choudhury, R. Paul, A. Kumar, and A. N. Garg. Analysis of Indian mint (Mentha spicata) for essential, trace and toxic elements and its antioxidant behaviour. J Pharmaceut Biomed Anal, 2006, 41, 825-832.  
  3. Akdoğan, Mehmet, et al. Effect of spearmint (Mentha spicata Labiatae) teas on androgen levels in women with hirsutism. Phyto Res Int J Devoted to Pharmacol Toxicol Eval Nat Prod Deriv, 2007, 21, 444-447.
  4. Kanatt, Sweetie R., Ramesh Chander, and Arun Sharma. Antioxidant potential of mint (Mentha spicata L.) in radiation-processed lamb meat. Food chem, 2007, 100, 451-458.
  5. Mahalik, Gyanranjan. A Review on Effectiveness and Biological Activities of Different Mentha Species. Ind J Nat Sci, 2022, 13, 71. 
  6. Herrlinger, Kelli A., et al. Spearmint extract improves working memory in men and women with age-associated memory impairment. J Altern Complement Med, 2018, 24, 37-47.
  7. ŞENER, Emine Hilal, et al. The effects of mint tea (Mentha spicata labiatae) consumed during pregnancy on postnatal morphometric development. Mehmet Akif Ersoy Üniversitesi Sağlık Bilimleri Enstitüsü Dergisi, 2019, 7, 29-40.  
  8. Posadzki, Paul, Leala K. Watson, and Edzard Ernst. Adverse effects of herbal medicines: an overview of systematic reviews. Clin med, 2013, 13, 7.

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