Botanical Name: Mentha pulegium Family: Labiatae

Common name(s): Pennyroyal, European pennyroyal


  • Perennial; herbaceous | Zone 7-9 | 10-12 inches tall | Lavender flowers in whorls mid to late summer
  • Full sun to partial shade| Well-drained soil | Propagate via root divisions or cuttings. Can also start from seed.


Harvest the aerial parts during the growing season


Infusion: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of the dried leaves and let steep for 10-15 minutes. Drink 3x/day.

Tincture: 1-2ml 3x/day


Constituents: Alkaloids, bitters, essential oil, flavone glycosides, tannin

Actions: Carminative, diaphoretic, digestive tonic, emmenagogue, stimulant

Uses: Stimulates menstruation, strengthens uterine contractions, flatulence, colic (due to air), easing anxiety, flea repellent (should not be used on cats)

Cautions: Avoid during pregnancy and do not use the essential oil which is highly toxic


Spicy, bitter, warm


  • The Way of Herbs, Michael Tierra
  • Holistic Herbal, David Hoffmann
  • Homegrown Herbs, Tammi Hartung
  • Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, Andrew Chevallier
  • photo credit: Jordi Bosch Janer via wikipedia (cc license)

I haven’t posted this on all my materia medica (plant profiles), but I present all this information via research and have no personal experience with some of these plants. I am not recommending any medical treatment. I also feel like this plant – part of the mint family – is a stronger herbal medicine than mint, so it’s not something I envision using. Work with a professional herbalist when using a plant like this.