Last update Nov. 19, 2022



Safe substance and/or breastfeeding is the best option.

Mentha is a genus of herbaceous plants of the Lamiaceae family. There are several species with differences in composition and properties.

Spearmint (Mentha spicata) and Scottish spearmint (Mentha cardiaca, Mentha gracilis) are very aromatic varieties, used in gastronomy, perfumery and traditional medicine. The dried leaves and flowering tops that contain essential oil, very rich in carvone, are used. It also contains more limonene, much less 1,8-cineole (eucalyptol) and barely traces of menthol and menthone, unlike Menta Piperita (Wu 2019, de Groot 2016). It has carminative properties and is used as flavoring and insecticide.

In folk medicine, spearmint has been used for gastrointestinal upset, respiratory problems, and as a sedative, abortifacient, and emmenagogue (menstruation promoter). (Ulbricht 2010)

At the date of the last update we have not found published data on its excretion in breast milk.

Plant widely used in many cultures (Mehrnia 2021, Ulbricht 2010) and with practically no toxicity or clinical effects or hormonal or other analytical parameters. (Lasrado 2017, Ulbricht 2010)

Given its lack of toxicity at correct doses, moderate consumption would be compatible with breastfeeding. Culinary and flavoring uses are compatible with breastfeeding.

There is little solid scientific evidence for its traditional medicinal properties. (Mahendran 2021, Ulbricht 2010)

Antiandrogenic properties have been observed in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (Grant 2010, Akdoğan 2007), but the evidence is insufficient. (Poswal 2019, Ulbricht 2010)

Precautions when taking plant preparations (Anderson 2017, Powers 2015, Posadzki 2013, Efferth 2011, Kopec 1999, Hsu 1995):

  • Make sure they are from a reliable source: poisonings have occurred due to confusion of one plant with another with toxic properties (Hsu 1995), poisonings due to containing heavy metals extracted from the soil, and food poisoning due to contamination with bacteria or fungi. (Anderson 2017)
  • Do not take in excess; follow the recommendations of expert phytotherapy professionals. “Natural” products are not good in any quantity: plants contain active substances from which much of our traditional pharmacopoeia has been obtained and can cause poisoning or act as endocrine disruptors if consumed in quantity or for an exaggerated time because they contain phytoestrogens. (Powers 2015, Zava 1998)

See below the information of these related products:

  • Pennyroyal (Unsafe. Moderate/severe adverse effects. Compatible under certain circumstances. Follow-up recommended. Use safer alternative or discontinue breastfeeding from 5 to 7 T ½ . Read Commentary.)
  • Peppermint (Fairly safe. Mild or unlikely adverse effects. Compatible under certain circumstances. Follow-up recommended. Read Commentary.)

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Spearmint is also known as

Spearmint in other languages or writings:


Spearmint belongs to these groups or families:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Spearmint in its composition:


  1. Mahendran G, Verma SK, Rahman LU. The traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology of spearmint (Mentha spicata L.): A review. J Ethnopharmacol. 2021 Oct 5;278:114266. Abstract
  2. Poswal FS, Russell G, Mackonochie M, MacLennan E, Adukwu EC, Rolfe V. Herbal Teas and their Health Benefits: A Scoping Review. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2019 Sep;74(3):266-276. Abstract
  3. Wu Z, Tan B, Liu Y, Dunn J, Martorell Guerola P, Tortajada M, Cao Z, Ji P. Chemical Composition and Antioxidant Properties of Essential Oils from Peppermint, Native Spearmint and Scotch Spearmint. Molecules. 2019 Aug 2;24(15). pii: E2825. Abstract
  4. Lasrado JA, Nieman KM, Fonseca BA, Sanoshy KD, Schild AL, Herrlinger KA. Safety and tolerability of a dried aqueous spearmint extract. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2017 Jun;86:167-176. Abstract
  5. Anderson PO. Herbal Use During Breastfeeding. Breastfeed Med. 2017 Abstract
  6. de Groot AC, Schmidt E. Essential Oils, Part III: Chemical Composition. Dermatitis. 2016 Jul-Aug;27(4):161-9. Abstract
  7. Powers CN, Setzer WN. A molecular docking study of phytochemical estrogen mimics from dietary herbal supplements. In Silico Pharmacol. 2015 Mar 22;3:4. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  8. Posadzki P, Watson LK, Ernst E. Adverse effects of herbal medicines: an overview of systematic reviews. Clin Med (Lond). 2013 Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  9. Posadzki P, Watson L, Ernst E. Contamination and adulteration of herbal medicinal products (HMPs): an overview of systematic reviews. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2013 Abstract
  10. Efferth T, Kaina B. Toxicities by herbal medicines with emphasis to traditional Chinese medicine. Curr Drug Metab. 2011 Abstract
  11. Ulbricht C, Costa D, M Grimes Serrano J, Guilford J, Isaac R, Seamon E, Varghese M. An evidence-based systematic review of spearmint by the natural standard research collaboration. J Diet Suppl. 2010 Jun;7(2):179-215. Abstract
  12. Kopec K. Herbal medications and breastfeeding. J Hum Lact. 1999 Jun;15(2):157-61. Review. No abstract available. Abstract
  13. Zava DT, Dollbaum CM, Blen M. Estrogen and progestin bioactivity of foods, herbs, and spices. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1998 Abstract
  14. Hsu CK, Leo P, Shastry D, Meggs W, Weisman R, Hoffman RS. Anticholinergic poisoning associated with herbal tea. Arch Intern Med. 1995 Abstract

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