Pennyroyal: Health Benefits, Uses, and Precautions

Pennyroyal is scientifically known as Mentha Pulegium. It is a perennial herb known for its medicinal properties and aromatic properties. It has been used for centuries for various medicinal benefits. In this article, we will learn about it in detail.
Pennyroyal: Health Benefits, Uses, and Precautions
Table of Contents

Scientific Name

Mentha pulegium


Pulegium vulgare, Hedeoma pulegioides

Habit and Natural Habitat

It is a perennial herb. Which is basically found in Europe, North Africa, and parts of Asia. It thrives in moist, marshy areas, river banks, and grasslands.

Other Common names


Chemical Composition

Pennyroyal contains pulegone, menthone, menthol, and limonene.

Plant Parts Used

The aerial parts of the plant, above the soil, include the stems, leaves, petioles, flowers, fruit, and seeds.

Properties of Pennyroyal 

Ayurvedic Properties

In Ayurveda, Pennyroyal is known to have pungent (Katu) and bitter (Tikta), heating (Ushna) and light (Laghu) properties. It is believed to balance vata and kapha doshas and increase pitta when used in excess.

Therapeutic properties

It has been used traditionally for its antispasmodic, carminative, emmenagogue, and insecticide properties.

Health Benefits of Pennyroyal

It offers a variety of health benefits:
  1. Helps enhance digestive health: It has carminative properties that help relieve digestive problems like bloating, gas, and indigestion. It promotes proper digestion by stimulating the secretion of digestive juices.
  2. Helps with menstrual disorders: It is often used to regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce symptoms of menstrual cramps and irregularities. Its emmenagogue properties help promote menstruation.
  3. Enhances respiratory health: Inhaling pennyroyal vapor or its extract can help ease respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, and congestion. Its antispasmodic properties help in relaxing the bronchial muscles.
  4. Use as insect repellent: Due to its strong aromatic properties, it is used as a natural insect repellent. Its essential oil can help deter mosquitoes, fleas, and other insects.
  5. Provides pain relief: It has analgesic properties that can help reduce pain associated with headaches, muscle aches, and joint pain. For this, it can be applied topically or consumed as an infusion.

Uses of Pennyroyal

To take advantage of the medicinal properties of this herb, it can be used in different forms:
  1. Infusion: Infusion can be prepared by soaking dried pennyroyal leaves in hot water for 10-15 minutes. It can be consumed to promote digestive health, ease menstruation, or reduce respiratory problems.
  2. Essential Oils: Pennyroyal essential oil can be diluted with a carrier oil and applied topically to relieve pain, and inflammation, or as an insect repellent.
  3. Poultice: A poultice made from fresh leaves can be applied directly to the skin to relieve pain, swelling, or insect bites.
  4. Tincture: Its tincture can be taken orally to promote digestive health, regulate the menstrual cycle, or relieve respiratory conditions.

Precautionary Measures for Pennyroyal 

While pennyroyal provides many health benefits the following precautions should be taken while using it:
  1. Pennyroyal is known to stimulate uterine contractions and may be harmful during pregnancy. Therefore, pregnant and lactating women should avoid consuming it.
  2. Overdosage can cause toxicity, resulting in nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and liver damage, so it should be used under a doctor’s guidance.
  3. Some individuals may experience allergic reactions or skin irritation when using it topically or internally. Do a patch test before using its products.
  4. It may interact with some medications so be sure to consult a doctor before using it with other medications.


Pennyroyal is a valuable herb that has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. It is used in many situations but it is necessary to be careful and consult a doctor before using it.

Remember, before starting any new wellness regimen, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure it is suitable for your specific needs and circumstances.

Frequently Asked Question
There is no safe way to ingest Pennyroyal.
No, pennyroyal is an herb with a strong aroma and flavor. Although both are members of the mint family, mint is safe to consume in moderation.
Yes, it is toxic to dogs and can be fatal for them.
You should not drink Pennyroyal tea at all.
Yes, this herb is toxic.

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