Spearmint is a species of mint that grows throughout North America, Europe, Africa and parts of Asia. Like most mints, spearmint has a variety of culinary and practical uses. The leaf, fresh or dried, is used to flavor beverages, most notably the mint julep cocktail and the sweet tea enjoyed in summer in the southern U.S. Spearmint is also tinctured and used to make a flavoring extract for baked goods and beverages. The dried leaf is also a common ingredient in tea blends and is used to season foods, especially Middle Eastern dishes. Powdered spearmint is used to make a variety of cosmetic preparations, as well as herbal toothpaste, tooth powder and mouthwash.