Pennyroyal is scientifically known as Mentha pulegium. It is in the Lamiaceae family, which is also called the mint family. It is also known as European pennyroyal, pennyrile, squaw mint, mosquito plant, and pudding grass. The plant is native to the Middle East, Europe, and some parts of Asia. Along with Australia and New Zealand, it was brought to places in Africa. Pennyroyal is the name for both the American plant Hedeoma pulegioldes and the European plant Mentha puleguim. Both of them grow along the ground and have small lilac flowers and grayish-green leaves. Pennyroyal is rare in most of California, but it grows in the Sierra foothills, the Central Valley, and most coastal counties from the border with Mexico to Oregon. It is common as a sign of a wetland in soils that flood seasonally in valley bottomlands, usually below an elevation of 1,640 feet (500 m).
Early use of Pennyroyal:
The Romans used Pennyroyal and other herbs like oregano, coriander, and lovage to add flavour to their food. During the Middle Ages, pennyroyal was still used as a culinary herb. It was usually used to flavour wine and pudding. However, its use as a flavouring agent slowly decreased, and it is now mostly used as a medicine. It is a traditional folk remedy, an emmenagogue, an abortifacient, and a herb used in cooking. However, it is toxic to the liver and has caused some deaths.
Plant description of Pennyroyal:
Pennyroyal is a low, prostrate, expanding, short-lived, perennial herb that grows between 0.4 and 0.6 metres tall. The plant grows in grassland, freshwater wetlands, valley bottoms, damp, shady places, cultivated or waste places near dams or waterways, flooded or seasonally wet areas, stream sides, vernal pools, marshes, and ditches. Instead of clayey soil, the plant seems to do best in soil that is rich, soggy, and loamy. When they are in the air, stems have hairs, but when they are underwater, they don't. They are 10–40 cm tall and have four branches. When you crush Pennyroyal leaves, they smell strongly like spearmint. European pennyroyal is a plant that bees, butterflies, and hoverflies like to visit. It is grown in some parts of India for its essential oil.
Health benefits of Pennyroyal:
Pennyroyal is a good insecticide and insect repellent. Because of its strong smell, it gets rid of most pests very quickly. Make sure to only use small amounts of it.
A drop of pennyroyal oil in a glass of water can make you go to the bathroom more often, which can help stomach problems go away.
If you drink a weak version of pennyroyal tea, it can help reduce inflammation in your respiratory system and soothe coughs and sore throats.
This herb's oil has been used for a long time as a topical treatment for inflammation, especially when put on sore joints and muscles. People often get skin irritation, so start with a small amount.
When used in small, safe amounts, a pennyroyal tincture can help ease the symptoms of eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and other skin diseases.
Drinking this tea is known to give you more energy and wake up your body, which can help you get over feeling weak, especially when you are getting better from an illness or injury.
Pennyroyal is sometimes used to treat pneumonia because it is very good at killing viruses and bacteria. As always, though, you need to be very careful and talk to a doctor before using this herb.
Pennyroyal tea was a popular drink that was given to women who wanted to get rid of their pregnancy. This is no longer a good idea, because too much of it can be dangerous or even kill you.