CROATIA. Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium), Cut and Sifted, Certified Organic
Common names: Cunila Pulegoides, Squaw Balm, Stinking Balm, Pudding Grass, Hedeoma, Herbe do Saint-Laurent, Herbe aux Puces, Mosquito Plant, Piliolerial, Run by the Ground, Dictame de Virginie, Lurk in the Ditch, Mosquito Plant, Tickweed
Pennyroyal is a low-growing flowering plant native to cool, damp climates in Europe, the Near East, China, and North Africa, and introduced in North and South America, often found growing in shady locations near streams and ponds. It is considered the smallest of the mint family, and its crushed leaves exude a powerful minty fragrance.
Pennyroyal’s botanical name, pulegium, refers to pulex, Latin for flea, and its leaves or tea can be used externally to repel fleas, lice, gnats, and mosquitoes. While it has a long history as a culinary and medicinal herb, it is currently recommended for topical use only, and concentrated extracts like Pennyroyal oil are best avoided altogether.
Pennyroyal was often added to flavor dishes in Greek, Roman, and Medieval European cooking. Traditional uses for Pennyroyal tea include headaches; colds, flus, and coughs; vertigo; gout; leprosy; indigestion and abdominal cramps; smallpox; tuberculosis; and to induce perspiration (sudorific). Research has confirmed significant antibacterial activity in Pennyroyal extracts.
It has a reputation for bringing on delayed menstruation, and should not be consumed during pregnancy or breastfeeding, or given to children.
Some of Pennyroyal’s active components include menthol, pulegone, piperitone, flavonoids, tannins, and polyphenolic acids.
Pennyroyal should be used cautiously, under the guidance of a practitioner, as pulegone in particular breaks down in the body to form compounds that can have toxic effects on the nervous system, liver, and other organs.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.