Jamaican black mint is one of the more than 20 varieties of Spearmint. This variety is scientifically known as Mentha verdis.
Other common names for Mentha verdis are black spearmint, black peppermint, garden mint, mackerel mint and lamb mint. In Jamaica it is simply called black mint.
The herb is called black mint because of its appearance. This variety of Spearmint has dark green leaves with purple looking veins and stems.
But the flavor and aroma are definitely similar to that of other spearmint varieties.
Like peppermint, black Spearmint is native to Europe and Asia. However different species can be found globally.
Jamaican Black Mint Uses
A cup of Jamaican black mint tea is the go to treatment for nausea and vomiting. It is also used to clear the sinuses and relieve congestion.
Jamaican Black mint tea is also used to cure tension headaches and stomach cramps and help with indigestion, and bloating.
The effectiveness of these traditional uses have been validated by some scientific research.
5 Benefits of Jamaican Black Mint
Relieve Pain. One study involving 62 human subjects concluded that the rosemaric acid found in spearmint, including Jamaican black mint, reduces the severity of osteoarthritis pain.
Study participants were given commercially available Spearmint tea twice a day for 16 weeks. At the end of the trial the subjects reported significant improvement in pain and stiffness.
Improve Memory. A human trial to detect the effect of Spearmint extract on memory and learning made this report:
“Spearmint extracts improve the working memory of men and women with memory impairment.” Source: National Library of Medicine
Boost Immunity. Scientific research of the Jamaica black mint species identified antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties in the herb.
Those findings suggest that black mint tea may help your body fight viruses such as the cold and flu virus.
It may also help reduce disease causing inflammation and build your body’s resistance to diseases.
Interestingly one study found that the anti-microbial properties of spearmint exceeded those found in amoxicillin, and streptomycin.
Balance Hormones. Black mint tea is reported to have anti-androgen effects. Anti-androgens are compounds that block the effects of male hormones such as testosterone in the body.
Black spearmint tea may help control the growth of hair on the face or other part of the body where hair is not wanted.
Relieve Abdominal Pain. One chemical in mints-Carvone-is reported to have antispasmodic effects.
What this means is that this compound may alleviate muscle stomach muscle spasms in the digestive tract. The result is that Spearmint tea may help ease digestive issues.
(NOTE Jamaican black mint should not to be confused with the Peruvian black mint)
Health Benefits of Black Spearmint
A number of researchers isolated chemical compounds in spearmint and came up with some interesting findings. The compounds identified include:
Carvone. This compound is found in essential oils. However it is most plentiful in oils from the seeds of spearmint, (51.7%), caraway and dill.
Limonene. It is another chemical that is also found in other herbs such as rosemary, fennel and other species of mint. This compound is abundant in lemon, lime and other citrus products.
Cis-carveol (24.3%). This is the second most abundant of the chemical compounds found in spearmint oil. The chemical has been linked to the prevention of breast cancer.
Interestingly spearmint only has 0.5% menthol in comparison to 40% found in peppermint. This makes spearmint the least fragrant mint.
How to Make Jamaican Black Mint Tea
Jamaican black mint is most commonly used as a hot beverage served mainly at breakfast time. This is how to make Jamaican black mint tea
- Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan
- Place 10 to 15 peppermint leaves in a cup
- Pour the boiled water over leaves and cover
- Let sit for 5 minutes
- Strain and sweeten with sugar or honey.
- Serve hot or cold
For years mint tea has been used in traditional medicine. It is used to treat symptoms of digestive disorder, fevers, nausea and vomiting, and gouts.
Black Mint Tea Benefits
- Gas and Bloating
- Mensural Cramps
Black Spearmint Nutrition
The average cup of black spearmint tea contains Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamins B12.
Several minerals are also found in the same cup of tea. These include Calcium, Zinc, Folate, Potassium and others.
These are all nutrients the body need to function at an optimal level.
Peppermint vs Spearmint
Both Spearmint and Peppermint are members of the same mint family. The major difference between Peppermint and Spearmint is the menthol content.
Peppermint has a more intense minty flavor because it contains 40 percent menthol while spearmint only has 0.5 percent.
Jamaican black mint may be one of the most mildly favored mints, nonetheless, it is a quite popular choice.
Black Spearmint Side Effects
The herb has been known to lower blood sugar levels, therefore people who suffer from diabetes should not use it excessively.
Always bear in mind that natural products are not always safe and doses are important. Also they can have adverse interactions with other medications you take.
Otherwise there have been no side effects of mint including (Jamaican black mint reported). So go ahead and relax with a calming cup of mint tea.
Pregnancy Warnings and Precautions
Pregnancy. Spearmint is generally considered SAFE. However, there have been reports of spearmint causing damage to the lining of the uterus. So pregnant women should avoid using spearmint products in large quantities.
Breastfeeding. There is currently no data to determine whether spearmint is dangerous for breastfeeding women. But to err on the side of cause it may be wide to limit the amount of spearmint tea you drink.
Some interactions may occur if you drink excessive amounts of mint tea while taking medication for treatment of kidney and liver conditions.
Also spearmint is known to cause drowsiness. So be careful if you take sedative medications.
Jamaican black mint is the same as the Mentha verdis variety of Spearmint. It is also known as black Spearmint and black Peppermint.
Although it is a lightly favored mint but it packs all the nutrients and benefits of other varieties of Spearmint.
Jamaican black mint is mainly used to make mint tea which can be enjoyed hot or cold.
Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes only. Nothing stated on this site should be viewed as medical advice. Please consult with a professional healthcare provider about matters relating to your medical care.