The Health Properties of Pennyroyal and Much More
Pennyroyal, also known as pennyroyal mint, is an aromatic plant. Its origins date back to Western Asia, in the Mediterranean basin. Its scientific name is Mentha pulegium which derives from the Latin pulex, “flea” in English. This term refers to the ancient custom of burning it to repel these insects.
Furthermore, it can measure up to 11 to 15 inches (30 to 40 centimeters). Its leaves are dark green and its flowers small and purple.
Nowadays, pennyroyal is an herb and people often use it as infusion. It contains minerals such as potassium and phosphorus, and it also has medicinal properties. You can enhance its exquisite flavor with a few drops of lemon and a little honey, among other ingredients.
Benefits of pennyroyal
- A pennyroyal infusion can relieve digestive problems
- It’s used as a relaxant, expectorant, and antimicrobial and helps you slim down
- You can use it to heal wounds
- It’s an antioxidant
- Finally, it can stimulate the appetite
This article may interest you The Health Benefits of Mint Oil
The uses of pennyroyal
- Pennyroyal is common for relieving pain and stomach problems. The tea is digestive thanks to its antispasmodic properties, according to this study conducted by the National Research Center in Egypt. This is why it helps control colic and flatulence.
- A cup of pennyroyal tea is an ideal relaxer, according to this study by the Federal University of Ceará in Brasil. Not only does it calm down your stomach, but it will also destress you. The delicious aroma and taste of this mint can help reduce nervousness. It’s perfect for just before bed and to get the best rest.
- This tea acts as a natural cough expectorant, according to this study by the Research Center of Barij Essence Pharmaceutical Company in Iran. It’s recommended to prevent the spreading of respiratory viruses. It helps to disinfect and alleviate the secretions that build up in your lungs. Therefore, it’s ideal if you have bronchitis.
- It helps relieve colds.
Calming, antimicrobial, and slimming effects
- One of the most renowned characteristics of this tea is that it helps you slim down. It’s one of the herbs that fewer calories contain. Thus, it’s recommended that you drink it if you want to lose weight or if you’re on a diet. Of course, without a diet and workout routine, this infusion won’t be very helpful. There’re no such a thing as miracle cure-alls.
- You can apply this plant topically. You can use it to clean cuts and wounds, thanks to its healing properties, according to this study conducted by the Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz in Brazil.
- Pennyroyal is an antifungal and its essential oil has antimicrobial action on different strains of bacteria. In infusion and topically it acts as a skin antiseptic.
- Also, it’s believed it can help relieve menstrual cramps and cure vaginal infections thanks to its antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Traditionally, pennyroyal has been used to promote childbirth and expel the placenta. Also, as an emmenagogue — a menstruation stimulant.
- Given its organoleptic properties, people often confuse it with other mints that don’t have pulegone. But they share the digestive properties that help the expulsion of stomach gases.
How to make pennyroyal tea
It’s very simple to make an infusion with this herb. The first thing you should know is that there are two ways to do it: you can use store-bought tea bags or natural leaves. The latter is better to maximize the health properties of this plant.
Read about Tea and Infusions: What Each is Used For
- First of all, boil water, either in a tea kettle or a pot. It’s better if you use drinking water.
- Then, put in the tea bag or four or to five leaves from the plant.
- After that, turn off the burner and wait five minutes for the temperature to lower so that you can taste and enjoy it.
- Finally, add some sugar. However, if you drink it to lose weight, it’s better if you don’t add any kind of sweetener.
It’s important to keep in mind that consuming too much of this infusion can lead to unwanted side effects. In fact, pregnant women shouldn’t drink it as it has a high content of pulegone (85.4 percent), a potentially toxic natural compound.
It can also cause throat pain, excessive sweating, thirst, headaches, and diarrhea so, drink it in moderation. Consult your doctor immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Allama, S., Kruegera, D., Demirb, I. E., Ceyhanb, G., Zellerc, F., & Schemanna, M. (2015, November 15). “Extracts from peppermint leaves, lemon balm leaves and in particular angelica roots mimic the pro-secretory action of the herbal preparation STW 5 in the human intestine”, Phytomedicine, 22(12), 1063-1070
McKay DL, Blumberg JB., “A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.)”, Phytother Res. 2006 Aug;20(8):619-33.
Masoumi SZ, et al., “Evaluation of mint efficacy regarding dysmenorrhea in comparison with mefenamic acid: A double blinded randomized crossover study”, Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2016 Jul-Aug;21(4):363-7. doi: 10.4103/1735-9066.185574.
- Requena, J. (1908) Estudio de la menta pulegium Boliviana. Disponible: https://repositorio.umsa.bo/xmlui/bitstream/handle/123456789/17859/BC-F-1908-52.pdf?sequence=1
Torossi Baudino, F. D. (2021). Reacciones destinadas a disminuir el contenido de (R)-(+)-Pulegona en aceites esenciales de menta de uso alimenticio. Disponible en: http://e-spacio.uned.es/fez/eserv/bibliuned:master-Ciencias-CyTQ-Fdtorossi/Torossi_Baudino_FavioDaniel_TFM.pdf