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Pennyroyal - Mentha pulegium

Pennyroyal is an aromatic member of the mint family that soothes the stomach and relieves gas, bloating.

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, and pennyroyal has been used as a natural insect repellant for centuries. Pennyroyal tea is often used to treat digestive complaints, but its most well-known folk medicine use is as an abortifacient. Pennyroyal is widely used in both Europe and North America, where Native Americans used it as a ïhousehold remedy' for digestion, colds, fever, painful menstruation and childbirth. Recently, 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.

Pennyroyal tea is the use of an infusion made from the herb. The infusion is widely reputed as safe to ingest in restricted quantities. It has been traditionally employed and reportedly successful as an emmenagogue (menstrual flow stimulant) or as an abortifacient. In 1994 a young woman died from an undetected ectopic pregnancy while performing a self-induced abortion using pennyroyal tea; reports say that she had consumed the tea for longer than the recommended five days.

Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) is a plant in the mint genus, within the family Lamiaceae. Crushed Pennyroyal leaves exhibit a very strong fragrance similar to spearmint. Pennyroyal is a traditional culinary herb, folk remedy, and abortifacient. The essential oil of pennyroyal is used in aromatherapy, and is also high in pulegone, a highly toxic volatile organic compound affecting liver and uterine function

Like many herbs, it should be used with caution by pregnant women, and in recommended doses. The volatile oils can be toxic, and large doses of pennyroyal should be avoided.
This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.