Botanical Name: Mentha pulegium
Pennyroyal has been used for centuries in herbal medicine. Its main value is as a digestive tonic where it increases the secretion of digestive juices and relieves flatulence and colic. Pennyroyal also powerfully stimulates the uterine muscles and encourages menstruation, thus it should not be prescribed for pregnant women since it can procure abortions, this is especially the case if the essential oil is used. The herb is antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, sedative and stimulant.
A tea made from the leaves has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, minor respiratory infections, digestive disorders, menstrual complaints and various minor ailments. It is occasionally used as a treatment for intestinal worms. Externally, an infusion is used to treat itchiness and formication, inflamed skin disorders such as eczema and rheumatic conditions such as gout. The leaves are harvested in the summer as the plant comes into flower and are dried for later use. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses.
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