Peppermint vs. Spearmint: Can They Be Substituted For Each Other?

We usually say peppermint essential oil, its Latin name is Mentha piperita, usually, peppermint essential oil is referred to it.

When a variety is influential enough, it takes over the name of the category. I say this because of course there are other mint varieties, and Spearmint is one of them.

Spearmint essential oil Spearmint, its Latin name is Mentha spicata.

They belong to the same genus Peppermint in the Labiatae family and are close relatives. So, do they have similar properties?

Not really.

Peppermint vs. Spearmint fragrances have different scents

Peppermint and spearmint have similarities in their fragrances, but when you put them together and identify them carefully, you can still feel the obvious differences.

The main source of the spearmint fragrance is Tibetan aniseed ketone, while the main source of the peppermint fragrance is menthol with menthone.

  • Spearmint mild, peppermint sharp.
  • Spearmint sweet, peppermint spicy.
  • Spearmint fresh, peppermint crisp.
  • Spearmint uncool, peppermint crisp.

Peppermint vs. Spearmint essential oils have different chemical compositions 

Peppermint essential oil: 

The three chemical components with the highest content are

  • Monoterpene alcohol: menthol (Menthol 46%)
  • Monoterpene ketone: Menthone (Menthone 21%)
  • Menthyl acetate (Menthyl acetate 6%)

Spearmint essential oil:

The two main components are

  • Monoterpene ketone: Tibetan anise ketone (Carvone 66%)
  • Monoterpene: Limonene (Limonene 18%)

From the point of view of the chemical composition’s irritation to the skin, peppermint essential oil containing menthol is more irritating than spearmint essential oil.

And from the perspective of monoterpene content, peppermint essential oil is safer than spearmint essential oil.

Peppermint vs. Spearmint essential oils have different healing properties

Overall peppermint has a wide range of applications, helping the body’s digestive, musculoskeletal, nervous, respiratory, and skin systems.

Not only does peppermint essential oil have its own healing properties, but it also has a very synergistic effect, helping other essential oils to be more effective, for example, it is often added to a combination of essential oils, and it is often used as a finishing oil in aromatherapy massage, so its value as a supplement is evident.

Spearmint is used primarily for digestive and emotional balance. Of course, like many essential oils, spearmint has antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties and is not irreplaceable.

Personally, I think the greatest value of spearmint is its fragrance. It has an attractive, fresh fragrance that really lifts your mood and incidentally helps you improve your oral and digestive health in the most natural way possible.

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