Known and revered for centuries, Spearmint (or Mentha spicata) is native to Europe and Southeast Asia, and is found to be an invasive species in the Great Lakes region of the United States. Herbalists often grow spearmint in pots and planters, as the roots can be intrusive and disruptive of the soil around where they grow. Perhaps most famously used in culinary applications, Spearmint is common to a wide range of foods, desserts, and beverages, and has been used to flavor liquors, teas, confectionaries, and even toothpaste. Of old, the Romans used it to invigorate the mind and stir the appetite, and even used it in a fashion similar to the way that we use smelling salts.
Herbalists today prescribe Spearmint for a wide variety of medical ailments, particular among children. Among children it is often used as a gentle aid in treating stomach aches, hiccups, and flatulence. It is also sometimes used in creating a gargle that is used to prevent gum disease, and whiten teeth. Some herbalists also use it as a mild diuretic and anti inflammatory, or even a fever reducer.