Believed to have been known for its medicinal properties for 10,000 years, curiously Mentha piperata was only first recognized in the UK in the Synopsis Stirpium Britannicorum of 1696.
In Greek mythology Mentha was a water nymph who became dazzled by Hades’ golden chariot and sought to seduce him. Before this could happen however Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, turned the naiad into the sweet smelling water mint herb that we have today. Piper itself is Latin for “pepper”.
Spearmint has been one of the most revered of essential oils – the Egyptians, Romans and Greeks took it for indigestion and stomach disorders and it has proved to be one of the most effective agents against the common cold, if taken early, usually as a tea.