Mentha pulegium

  • Plant type: Annual
  • Other names:
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: Yes
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used:
  • Side Effects: Do not use in pregnancy
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About Pennyroyal

Pennyroyal is a medicinal plant, scientifically known as Mentha pulegium, which reaches out from the famous Lamiaceae family. Their aroma is reminiscent of spearmint as they share some common phytochemicals. Due to its fashion of growth, it is hailed as ‘run by the ground’ or ‘lurk in the ditch’.

Pennyroyal is the smallest plant among its other minty relatives and is marked by the presence of weak stems, hairy leaves, and that are arranged in the opposite fashion. The leaves are oval-shaped whereas its flowers like to sit in the form of clusters (each cluster having 10 to 12 flowers).

Pennyroyal is a frequent treat in the wild is mainly used for its medicinal benefits. It serves as an insecticide and keeps the undesirable skin allergies at bay. Externally, pennyroyal is used to treat painful attacks of gout, snake and spider bites, and sores. It also acts as a stimulant to smoke away the fatigue. But pennyroyal is highly toxic, even at small doses. It is better to have it discussed with the doctor/pharmacist before starting up with any therapy that includes pennyroyal.

Pennyroyal sparks the food with its minty flavor. Its principle phytochemicals include menthol, menthone, pulegon, and isomethyl acetate. These ingredients aid in making up the flavor and pharmacological actions of pennyroyal.


Pennyroyal seeds should be sown in early spring; when all the dangers of frost have departed. Good thing is that the plant can be started via both seeds and cuttings. It is both indoor and outdoor-friendly.

Pennyroyal needs moist but well-drained soil, full sun, and medium- water supply. The seeds are supposed to be kept moist until germination comes into play.

Pennyroyal is a bit slow to germinate but once they sprout, the tendrils are quick to grow, all the while rendering true leaves.

Pennyroyal steps into the flowering phase in summer, giving out small lavender blooms. Bees come quickly to pollinate the plant in exchange for the nectar. After pollination, the flowers dry out and are able to produce seeds. These seeds perform a stellar job at keeping up with the lifecycle of pennyroyal.


Pennyroyal stems are harvested when the plant is about to undergo its flowering phase.

The stems and leaves of pennyroyal are harvested simply by hands or sharp scissors.

Pennyroyal is dried in dehydrator, oven, or simply sun to preserve the massive minty flavor for the rest of the year.


Pennyroyal is incorporated in various dosage forms to get the best of its medicinal perks.

  • Tincture - Infuse freshly chopped pennyroyal flowers, leaves and stems in grain alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks. Strain the liquid and place it in a dark and dry place.
  • Tea - Dried pennyroyal leaves are boiled in water for 10 minutes to form a flavorful tea. A bit of honey can be stirred in it to add some sweetness.
  • Decoction - Pennyroyal leaves are boiled in water for an hour to decoct the liquid.
  • Salve - Pennyroyal oil is used in the formulation of analgesic salve.
  • Syrup - Pennyroyal leaves are rolled to boil with white sugar and water to form syrup.
  • Infused oil - Pennyroyal leaves are heated with any carrier oil for an hour to form pennyroyal oil.