Penny Royal

Penny Royal

Also known as- Mentha pulegium, Mosquito Plant, Squaw Balm, Squawmint, Tickweed, Run by the Ground, Lurk in the Ditch, and Pudding Grass


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 Ís 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 household 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.


pulegone, isopulegone, menthol, isomenthone, limonene, piperitone, neomenthol, bitters and tannins

Parts Used

Aerial parts, especially young leaves and flowers


Typically used as a tea infusion, and seldom found in extract and capsule form. The oil be used in cosmetics and for topical application.

Pennyroyal has been used for centuries in teas and infusions to help treat digestive disorders and relieve flatulence. It is still often used in salads and as a flavoring herb, though less often than other mint herbs. 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.

Benefits of Penny Royal

  • Digestion and Stomach
  • Pain
  • Respiration
  • Relaxation
  • Menstruation

Tea: Add between one and two teaspoons of dried pennyroyal leaves to a large cup. Add boiling water to the leaves and let the tea infuse for at least 10 minutes. You can drink up to three cups each day.

Infusion: pour 1 cup of boiled water onto 1-2 teaspoonfuls of the leaves and let it infuse for around 10 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day. Tincture: take 1-2 ml of the tincture three times a day.

Pennyroyal Tinctures
A tincture is also available. According to the manufactures’ instructions, you should take between two and 5 drops with juice or water up to three tomes each day


  • Since it induces contractions, pennyroyal should not be used by pregnant women.
  • In addition, pennyroyal products have been implicated in at least two deaths due to liver malfunctions, which leads some authorities to strongly suggest that pennyroyal oil should not ever be taken internally.
  • The use of pennyroyal in any of its forms is extremely controversial and it is likely unsafe.
  • Pennyroyal should never be used by pregnant women or nursing mothers. It can cause uterine contractions and an increase in menstrual flow and significantly increase the risk of abortion.
  • Consumption of the herb has been linked to numerous adverse side effects including seizures, loss of consciousness, and even death.
  • Pennyroyal essential oil has been linked to many severe side effects. These include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, swallowing difficulties, fever, chills, muscle spasms, organ failure, increased heart rate, irregular blood pressure changes and coma.
  • Pennyroyal should never be taken by people with kidney or liver diseases. It may irritate the organs and make the disease worse.

This herb is sold by the ounce is Copyright © 2000-2023