Spearmint is grown for its aromatic and carminative oil, referred to as oil of spearmint. It grows well in nearly all temperate climates. Gardeners often grow it in pots or planters due to its invasive spreading roots. The plant prefers partial shade, but can flourish in full sun to mostly shade. Spearmint is best suited to loamy soils with plenty of organic material. Spearmint leaves can be used whole, chopped, dried and ground, frozen, preserved in salt, sugar, sugar syrup, alcohol, oil, or dried. The leaves lose their aromatic appeal after the plant flowers. Dry it by cutting just before, or right (at peak) as the flowers open, about 1/2 to 3/4ths the way down the stalk (leaving smaller shoots room to grow). There is some dispute as to what drying method works best; some prefer different materials (such as plastic or cloth) and different lighting conditions (such as darkness or sunlight).
Spearmint is an ingredient in several mixed drinks, such as the mojito and mint julep. It is used as a flavoring for toothpaste and confectionery, and is sometimes added to shampoos and soaps. In herbalism, spearmint is steeped as tea for the treatment of stomach ache.
Recent research has shown that spearmint tea may be used as a treatment for mild hirsutism in women. Its anti-androgenic properties reduce the level of free testosterone in the blood, while leaving total testosterone and DHEA unaffected.