Jamaican black mint is one of the more than 20 varieties of Spearmint. This variety of mint is scientifically known as Mentha verdis.
The herb is called black mint because of its appearance. The plant has dark green leaves with purple looking veins and stems.
Other comon names for Jamaican Black mint are: black spearmint, black peppermint, garden mint, mackerel mint, and lamb mint. In Jamaica it is simply called Black mint.
However, Jamaican black mint the flavor and aroma are definitely similar to other Spearmint varieties.
Like peppermint, black Spearmint is native to Europe and Asia.
(NOTE Jamaican black mint should not to be confused with the Peruvian black mint)
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.
Black mint tea is also used to relieve tension headaches, and stomach cramps, and help with indigestion, gas, and bloating.
Some researchers have confirmed the effectiveness of Black mint for alleviating some of these health issues.
5 Jamaican Black Mint Benefits
- Relieve Pain. In one human study 62 participants were given commercially available Spearmint tea twice a day for 16 weeks. At the end of the trial they reported significant improvement in osteoarthritis 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. Researchers identified antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties in Mentha verdis. Those findings suggest that black mint tea may help your body fight viruses such as the cold and flu virus.
- 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. This is an important benefit for women in particular. Drinking Black spearmint tea may help control the growth of hair on the face or other parts of the body where hair is not wanted.
- Relieve Abdominal Pain. One chemical in mints-Carvone-is reported to have antispasmodic effects. This compound may alleviate muscle stomach muscle spasms in the digestive tract to help ease digestive issues.
Black Mint Tea Benefits
- Gas and Bloating
- Mensural Cramps
Jamaican Black Mint Tea Recipe
In Jamaica, black mint is most commonly used as a hot beverage served mainly at breakfast time. It is also used to treat indegestion, fevers, nausea, vomiting, and gouts.
Follow these simple steps to make black mint tea at home:
- Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan
- Place 10 to 15 peppermint leaves in a cup
- Pour the water over leaves and cover
- Brew for 5 minutes
- Strain and sweeten with sugar or honey.
- Serve hot or cold
What is black mint tea good for? The average cup of black spearmint tea contains Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Vitamins B12 along with these minerals: Calcium, Zinc, Folate, and Potassium.
The human body needs these nutrients to thrive.
Black Mint Health Benefits
A number of researchers isolated chemical compounds in Spearmint and came up with some interesting findings. They extracted the following compounds from the herb:
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.
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.
Although Jamaican black mint may be one of the most mildly favored mints, it is a quite popular choice among herbal tea lovers.
Black Mint Tea Side Effects
The herb has been known to lower blood sugar levels, therefore people who suffer from diabetes should limit consumption.
Otherwise there have been no other reported side effects of Jamaican black mint .. So go ahead and relax with a calming cup of mint tea.
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 large quantities of black mint.
Breastfeeding. There is currently no data to determine whether spearmint is dangerous for breastfeeding women. Therefore they may want to limit the amount of spearmint tea they consume.
If you take medication to treea kidney and liver conditions consumig excessive amounts of black mint tea may cause problems .
Also spearmint is known to cause drowsiness. So individuals who take sedative medications should exercise caution when consuming Jamaican black mint.
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, it packs all the nutrients and benefits of other varieties of Spearmint. Jamaican black mint is mainly used to make an herbal tea that can be enjoyed hot or cold.
Keep in mind that natural products are not always safe and doses are important. And they can have adverse interactions with medications you take.
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.