You are on a road trip with your cousins and all of a sudden your 7-year-old niece says her stomach is upset! Oh no. You remember hearing that Peppermint is helpful for for motion sickness so you ask if anyone has any mints or gum, and your cousin pulls out her bottle of doterra Spearmint essential oil. She tells you its like peppermint, but milder, and that it’s safe for kids. She takes out a tissue and places a drop of Spearmint on it and has your niece inhale the aroma for a little while, and low and behold her nausea subsides! You now want to know more and how to get a bottle of your own!! Many people have this reaction after a positive experience with a pure and natural essential oil for the first time. How exciting!
Spearmint essential oil is a great alternative for kids or adults who find Peppermint oil to be too strong. Both have similar benefits including nausea support due to motion sickness, improved focus, and uplifiting mood. However the natural chemistry of these plants differ. The main chemical constituents of Peppermint are: Menthone and Menthol and Eucalyptol, which give it soothing, cooling and uplifting effects. Contrastingly, Spearmint’s main chemical constituents are Carvone and Limonene, which give it soothing, uplifting and cleansing effects. Spearmint lends itself to being more gentle, as it doesn’t contain high concentrations of cooling menthol, and has different chemistry than Peppermint. People wonder if and how essential oils work, and the key is the unique chemical makeup of each plant, responsible for the dozens of beneficial effects its essential oil. If you are curious, there are over a hundred published studies on the benefits of Spearmint essential oil, according to PubMed. Check them out!
Essential oils give the Spearmint plant its scent, protect it from hazardous environmental conditions, and even assist it with pollination, along with other important benefits and functions. Spearmint essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves of the 'Mentha Spicata' plant. DoTERRA Spearmint is sourced in India, an ideal climate for this plant to grow, which gives it the best chemical profile, verified by vigorous testing to ensure 100% purity and potency, which means the oil will provide the benefits we are looking for. Co-impact sourcing guarentees farmers and distillers and their families are supported in their local communities and compensated fairly, which isn't often the case. The name 'Spear' mint come from the plant's spear-shaped leaves. Also, it takes 3.5 pounds of raw plant material to produce 15mL bottle of Spearmint essential oil. Wow! One drop is concentrated and potent, and a little goes a long way at just pennies per dose. Spearmint (like Peppermint) also can uplift your mood and help provide a sense of focus, which makes it helpful while studying or driving long distances. Both oils are soothing, can promote a sense of calm, help with digestion, cleanse the mouth, promote fresh breath, and more.
Carvone, the main chemical in Spearmint, is easy and inexpensive to make synthetically in a lab. “Carvone was traditionally isolated by fractional distillation of caraway or Spearmint oils, but the chemical (and biotechnological) synthesis from limonene has been the preferred method (Surburg and Panten 2006). Because cost is frequently most important, you will find that the spearmint flavor and odor of many oral hygiene products, mouthwash, toothpaste, mints, gum, air fresheners, beverages, etc. come from synthetic Carvone. I did not have this on my radar until I began researching essential oils, and what I have learned is that so many personal care products are made with synthetic chemicals-flavors and fragrances. Additionally, Carvone forms two mirror image forms (called enantiomers): L-carvone, has a sweetish minty smell, like spearmint leaves, and it's mirror image, D-carvone, has a spicy aroma with notes of rye, like caraway seeds. I love chemistry!
It's fascinating what we can do with technology, such as creating synthetic versions of natural compounds, both cheaply and easily, but do they interact with our bodies the same? Do all of these chemicals add to our toxic load and adversely affect our health? Definitely a topic for future exploration. Given the choice, I prefer to use natural stuff; it intuitively feels better to me. Each with a unique chemical makeup, essential oils have dozens of benefits and if these natural chemicals are properly extracted, they can be beneficial in our daily life and our health. Note: be mindful of where you are getting your essentail oils and do your research. They are not all created equal, especially when it comes to quality and being naturally derived.
So, the next time you are on a road-trip, bring your doterra Spearmint or Peppermint oil, just in case a bout of motion sickness arises or you need a pick-me-up! Also, check out this simple natural mouthwash recipe below... with Spearmint EO at aound $0.11 per drop, this will cost you a little over a dollar. Enjoy!
2 cups water
- Add water and essential oil to a 16 ounce dark glass bottle.
- Shake well before each use. Take small sips and swish. Do not swallow.
- As this is simply water and essential oil, this should last for a while. Feel free to cut the recipe in half, if you'd like.
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