In this article, you will learn about the two main types of mint: peppermint and spearmint. Let’s see the differences in their growth pattern, benefits, and uses. So, let’s put these two in the ring and see what happens..boom spearmint vs peppermint.
Almost everyone regards mint as only one herb. What you might not know is that there are over 600 different kinds of mints. Out of these 600, the two most famous are peppermint and spearmint. And for good reasons, their flavors are amazing and are used in candies, gum, and sweets.
Now, you must have thought that they might be the same, looking precisely alike from a distance, but they’re not.
From the seeds to their flavors, they are completely different. Let’s take a deep dive into the differences between spearmint vs peppermint.
Basic Differences – Spearmint vs Peppermint
Spearmint and peppermint are known to have their unique differences. Let’s take a closer look:
Although they are both members of the mint family (Lamiaceae), they are of distinct species. Spearmint is a mentha spicata species, whereas peppermint is a mentha piperita species.
Spearmint has bright green, pointed leaves, and a gorgeous purple blossom on the shrub. In perfect conditions, the plant may grow up to 24 inches tall and broad.
Did you know that back in 1750, watermint and spearmint were combined to produce a hybrid called; you guessed it…peppermint?
There are two types of peppermint: black and white. White peppermint has a richer taste and contains more oil than black peppermint.
In addition, black peppermint is a dark purple-green color, whereas white peppermint is a pale green color.
Spearmint is a fragrant herb that is well-known for its medicinal, culinary, and cosmetic properties. Spearmint is a herb that can help with digestion as well as memory.
Peppermint has grown in popularity because of its therapeutic properties, rich flavor, and pleasant scent. Peppermint is frequently used to help with digestion and to treat colds. It is said it can be used as a headache treatment, peppermint oil is commonly put on the temples.
How to Grow These Mints at Home
It’s simple to grow spearmint! Spearmint is a hardy perennial that comes back year after year. It’s a low-maintenance plant that you only need to trim regularly. Allow trimmings to air dry before storing them in an airtight container for later use.
Spearmint loves the sun, but be cautious about growing spearmint in direct sunlight if you live in a hot region.
Leaves will only be damaged by direct sunlight during the warmest portion of the day. It is easier to grow from a plant, although it may also be grown from seed.
It is challenging to grow spearmint from seed; nevertheless, if you want to start with a seed, wait until the earth warms up before planting, and then keep the seeds moist until they germinate.
Peppermint is not tricky to grow, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, peppermint requires a lot of moisture and thrives in direct sunlight.
Every three to four years, you must move it. While peppermint isn’t as invasive as spearmint and other mint species, it’s still a good idea to grow it in a pot or a bed with some edging.
Benefits of Spearmint
- Natural Insect-Attracting and repelling
Pollination is critical to the success of any garden. When grown in an outdoor garden, spearmint can attract insects that aid in pollinating other plants.
Other insects that you don’t want nearby, such as ants and flies, can be driven away by it.
To generate a fresh scent in your home while cleaning, add spearmint to household cleaners. The leaves of spearmint make an excellent breath refresher as well.
Spearmint is used in a variety of dishes, including goat, lamb, and various fruits. It’s also in multiple drinks, such as the mojito and the mint julep.
Spearmint has a variety of therapeutic properties.
Benefits of Peppermint
Peppermint has a pleasant scent that may be both energetic and relaxing, similar to spearmint.
- Pest Repellant
Peppermint repels various household pests, including mice and ants, so utilizing it in your home can be helpful.
It has a lovely flavor and is frequently used in a variety of dishes, especially around the holidays.Some popular treats are peppermint mocha and peppermint bark.
Peppermint may offers several health benefits. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health…
“Peppermint has been used for health purposes for several thousand years. Records from ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt mention that it was used for digestive disorders and other conditions.
Today, peppermint is promoted for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), other digestive problems, the common cold, sinus infections, headaches, and other conditions. Peppermint oil is promoted for topical use (applied to the skin) for problems like headache, muscle aches, joint pain, and itching. In aromatherapy, peppermint oil is promoted for treating coughs and colds, reducing pain, improving mental function, and reducing stress.” (source)
How to Use Peppermint and Spearmint Fresh
Although both are considered mints, you can use them in different ways.
Let’s discuss a few of these uses:
- Combine fresh mint and a couple of fresh berries in a bowl of greek yogurt.
- Fresh spearmint, thyme, and wormwood can be bundled and placed in a cloth near your pet’s resting location to help them with fleas.
- Combine lime, club soda, mint, and a pinch of stevia to make some fast and delightful mojitos, with or without rum.
- Do you want a protein smoothie with a unique twist? Add some fresh mint to the mix!
- Combine spearmint, basil, and balsamic vinaigrette with a few strawberries. This fast concoction is delicious on its own or as a salad greens topper.
- Make a simple Mediterranean salad with watermelon, basil, mint, and feta cheese.
- To keep domestic pests at bay, place some fresh leaves in the back of cupboards.
- Add fresh peppermint to an inch of boiling water in a big saucepan to make a natural decongestant. Removing the saucepan from the stove, place a cloth over your head to trap the steam within. Simply inhale. Add a spoonful of Epsom salt if your sinuses are bothering you.
- Make your own mouthwash using peppermint leaves.
- Infuse honey with peppermint leaves.
- For a unique twist, add some chopped leaves to your chocolate brownie batter.
- Salads with chopped peppermint are delicious.
- Summertime calls for iced cocktails with chopped peppermint.
- It goes well with iced tea, lemonade, water, and many other drinks.
Final Thoughts – Sisters, Not Twins
When comparing spearmint vs peppermint, it’s clear to see that these mints aren’t interchangeable. Although many people think they are alike, mints have different tastes, flavors, and uses.
Both these mints are unique in their own way. We hope that you will find the above information helpful and I encourage you to try growing these wonderful herbs in your garden.