Not yet rated Add your review
Standardized: European pennyroyal
Mentha pulegium L.
Plant Family: Lamiaceae
Pennyroyal is the smallest of the mint family, and has some very distinctive properties. The taste and odor of pennyroyal is stronger and far more pungent than other mints, which makes it disagreeable to many people. It's also disagreeable to insects.
The use of pennyroyal oil in products has become controversial when products using the oil were implicated in the deaths of two women. The herb is known to be toxic when taken in large doses, and skin contact with the pure oil can cause dermatitis.
The entire aerial portion, preferably in the flowering stage.
Usually as a tea but sometimes in extract and seldom in capsules. Topically the oil or fresh herb can be used.
Pennyroyal is a good herb to plant in gardens to keep bugs away.
Pennyroyal, (Hedeoma pulegioides (American Pennyroyal), Mentha pulegium (European Pennyroyal)) Cut and Sifted Bulk
Lamiaceae (Mint Family)
The species names of the European and American varieties derive from the Latin pulex, "flea," in reference to the plant's insect-repelling properties. The genus name of American pennyroyal, Hedeoma, derives from the Greek hedys, "scented." The genus name of European pennyroyal, Mentha, is taken from that of Minthe, in Greek mythology a nymph taken by Pluto as a lover; Pluto's jealous wife, Persephone, turned Minthe into a peppermint plant. The common name pennyroyal derives from an old Anglo-French name for this plant, puliol real.
Range of Appearance
European pennyroyal is a perennial that grows to 2 feet in height. The small leaves are opposite, ovate, serrate, and fuzzy to the touch. The flowers are lavender hued and grow from the leaf axils. The plant is often found in the wild in moist areas. It can tolerate full sun or shade and spreads readily. American pennyroyal is an annual that grows from 6 to 18 inches in height. The leaves are opposite and lance shaped and can be toothed or entire. The two-lipped, hermaphroditic, bluish flowers have three short and two long teeth and grow from the leaf axils. The plant is often found in the wild in sunny locations with moderately fertile soil.
Abortifacient, antispasmodic, antiseptic, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, nervine, parturient, refrigerant, rubefacient, stimulant, stomachic, sudorific, uterine vasodilator
Pennyroyal was an official herb in the United States Pharmacopoeia from 1831 to 1916. It fights infection, increases circulation to the uterus, and promotes tissue healing. When used as a digestive aid, it stimulates digestive secretions. It can be used to treat amenorrhea, colds, colic, convulsions, cough, delayed labor, delayed menses, dysmenorrhea, dyspepsia, fever, flatulence, flu, headache, hysteria, indigestion, measles, nausea, nervousness, placenta retention, stress, and whooping cough. Topically, pennyroyal can be used as a wash to treat chicken pox, diaper rash, hives, itching skin, measles, mumps, poison ivy or oak, psoriasis, scabies, and shingles. It also can be prepared as a soak to treat gout or itchy skin or as a compress or liniment to relieve the symptoms of arthritis and rheumatism. As a bath herb it has a stimulating effect and can help relieve the symptoms of rheumatism; in a footbath it helps bring on menses that are delayed.
Pennyroyal is not generally considered edible, though the tea is refreshing and is sometimes used as a culinary flavoring.
In ancient Greece pennyroyal was believed to purify bad water; in the Middle Ages it was used as a strewing herb. Pennyroyal is an excellent bug repellent. The plant is rubbed on or the diluted essential oil dabbed onto the skin, providing protection against ants, chiggers, fleas, flies, gnats, mosquitoes, and ticks. The essential oil is sometimes used in dog and cat shampoos and flea collars to repel these pests. Smudging (burning the dried herb) or sprinkling the dried plant around is another method of repelling insects. The dried herb is also sometimes included in sachets to repel moths from stored clothing and is sometimes used in cleaning products.
Beta-carotene, essential oils (pulegone, ketone, puylegone, isopulegone, menthol, pinene, limonene, piperitone, thymol), flavonoid glycosides (diosmin, herperidin), bitters, tannins
Although pennyroyal has abortifacient properties, it is not recommended as an abortifacient, because it is not reliable for this purpose, and using it can cause fetal damage or the placenta to implant dangerously low. Several deaths of young women who ingested the essential oil of pennyroyal as an abortifacient have been reported; of course, using any essential oil internally in quantities of more than a drop or two can be dangerous. Excessive use of pennyroyal can irritate the kidneys or bladder. Avoid large doses of pennyroyal in cases of kidney disease or heavy menstrual bleeding. Large doses may cause dizziness and lethargy. Topical use may cause an allergic reaction on those with especially sensitive skin. American pennyroyal is higher in pulegone than the European variety and is considered more toxic.
Plant details were provided by iPlant by Brigitte Mars.
Hyperlink it to https://brigittemars.com/iplant-app/