Pennyroyal mint: properties and benefits of this medicinal and aromatic plant


Pennyroyal or pennyroyal, Mentha pulegium L , is a very interesting medicinal plant for its properties and health benefits. In this article we tell you what pennyroyal is for and how to make an infusion of pennyroyal.

There are multiple medicinal plants that are beneficial to health, one of them is Mentha pulegium , pennyroyal or pennyroyal. This is one of the best known species of mentha, which has been used since ancient times for its many beneficial factors. Get to know it and start taking advantage of its benefits.

What is pennyroyal and what are its active principles?

Pennyroyal, scientifically named Mentha pulegion L, is an aromatic herb, similar to good grass, to which many virtues are attributed. It is found in almost the entire European continent, North Africa and West Asia.

As active principles, the whole plant contains an essential oil, to which most of its properties are attributed, this is mainly composed of ketones, predominantly pulegone (85.4%), an unsaturated ketone whose concentration depends on the quality of the essence. . To a lesser extent it contains piperitenone (1%), beta-pinene (0.4%), l-limonene (0.6%). On the other hand, it has alcohols (menthol, 3- octanol, linalol, isomenthol, neomenthol, neoisomenthol); esters, such as menthyl acetate, hydrocarbons, acids, of which salicylic, butyric, palmitic and acetic and flavonoids stand out, to which various medicinal properties are attributed , such as antioxidants, antithrombotics and blood purifiers .

Properties and benefits of pennyroyal mint

Due to its rich composition, pennyroyal has multiple properties and benefits.

The composition of its essential oil, rich in ketones, provides it with properties:

  • Digestive
  • Carminative (decreasing gas production)
  • Colagoga (facilitating the expulsion of bile from the gallbladder and elimination of stones)
  • Sedative (reducing stomach pain) (1,2) .
  • Antiseptic
  • Antimicrobial
  • Parasiticide (3, 4)

Another benefit of pennyroyal is at the respiratory level, since, it has anti-flu properties and due to its high menthol content, it acts as a decongestant of the respiratory tract , relieving sore throat and aphonia (1)

On the other hand, this herb has long been attributed benefits for its calming and antidepressant properties (1,2) . However, there is little evidence in this regard.

Also, it has benefits in the treatment of joint pain and due to its content in pulegone, properties to cure menstrual disorders , promote childbirth and the expulsion of the placenta. Although this is controversial because it has presented adverse effects (5)

In addition, Mentha pulegium for its aromatic and refreshing properties has been beneficial in the treatment to control halitosis.

What is pennyroyal for?

Internal uses of peppermint

In the digestive system

It has been used internally, for stomach disorders, improving digestion, calming pain and spasms, reducing gas, to treat loss of appetite, meteorisms, biliary colic, cholecystitis, cholelithiasis and headaches associated with these problems (3) . To do this, infusions of this herb are ingested in small proportions, sometimes alone, or combined with other herbs. Another use that is given to this plant mainly in the Mediterranean region, is as a condiment, also in the food industry it is used in the manufacture of sweets and food (6).

In the oral cavity, it is used in mouthwashes or rinses to treat bad breath and infections, due to its aroma and antiseptic properties (2) . It is also associated with dental pain treatments, possibly due to its sedative effect (1)

In the respiratory system

Among its uses is the treatment of flu or cold symptoms, drinking its infusions or inhaling cooking fumes. Against cough , it is used by making a syrup from its leaf. It also has use as an expectorant, as a treatment for bronchitis, for sore throat and aphonia (1,7) It can be alone or combined with other ingredients (1)

In the nervous system

Since ancient times it has been used as a painkiller, sedative and antidepressant due to its suppressive effect on the central nervous system. Also, it has been used in the treatment of headaches (1) However, due to its adverse effects and because there is little evidence in this regard, it is recommended for this case to use other herbs.

External use of mint

Externally, it is used in alcoholic solutions or balms, in stimulating frictions and to wash wounds (7) . Also topically in joint and muscle massages to reduce pain

Other uses of peppermint

Pennyroyal has been used to regulate the menstrual cycle and as an abortifacient. This use is controversial due to reported adverse effects.

On the other hand, it is used as an insect repellent.

How to make an infusion of pennyroyal?

The mint infusion is a very easy drink to prepare at home:

  1. Boil 200 ml of water (one cup) and place 1 teaspoon of dried leaves of this herb.
  2. Add the boiling water to the mug with the mint, cover and let it steep for 3 to 6 minutes.
  3. Finally strain, sweeten according to your preference and enjoy this benevolent plant.

Pennyroyal mint contraindications

  • The use of this plant is totally contraindicated in pregnant or lactating women.
  • Peppermint is also contraindicated in people with: anemia, hypoglycemia, people under medical treatment and children under 2 years of age.
  • In addition, due to its high concentration of pulegone, extreme care must be taken regarding its dose.

Medicinal plants should always be consumed under the supervision of a professional.



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