There are two types of pennyroyal:
- European: Mentha pulegium
- American: Hedeoma pulegioides
The American variety is sometimes called false pennyroyal. Both plants can be used interchangeably. While the leaves and extracts made from the leaves are considered to be safe, used in proper doses. The essential oil however, should never be taken internally as it is highly toxic.
Pennyroyal contains the compound pugelone. A compound that in high doses is extremely toxic and can cause coma and death. This compound is also found in mint and catnip.
Pennyroyal is a midwife’s herb. It has powerful emmenagogue properties that stimulate the uterus. It is not recommended as an abortifacient, as in large doses is highly toxic, but is used by midwives, along with other herbs, to help stimulate the birthing process.
Used properly this herb can help treat stomach disorders, colds and flu, coughs, and externally is useful for treating arthritis and preventing flea bites!
Find out more about this powerful and ancient healing herb, even the Egyptians used it!