What Is Pennyroyal Oil?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 11 July 2019
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Pennyroyal oil is extracted from a green, leafy herb with purple flowers, called pennyroyal. The plant is also referred to as mosquito plant, pudding grass, or Mentha pulegium. The oil has many different medical uses, ranging from treatment for upset stomach to rheumatism to colds to skin diseases. It also has non-medical uses, such as repelling insects and even snakes. It is highly toxic, and can cause severe liver and kidney damage and miscarriages in pregnant women. It is most commonly blended with other oils, in small amounts, and applied to the skin.

If taken properly, pennyroyal oil can help people with a wide range of ailments. For example, it aids in digestion, treating stomachaches and nausea. It also works as a decongestant and an antimicrobial, helping with the respiratory symptoms associated with colds, influenza, and pneumonia. For women with irregular menstrual cycles, it also may help induce menstruation. Some people even believe it will treat the symptoms related to hepatitis A.

Among the most common uses of pennyroyal oil include the treatment of the symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis. It is believed to create numbness in the joints and nerves that are affected by the diseases. In addition, it is thought to circulate the blood better and prevent the build-up of uric acid, working to eliminate the arthritic and rheumatic symptoms. Some people claim that they feel results within a few days or less.


Pennyroyal oil is thought to calm a person suffering from hysteria as well. It is believed to treat convulsions and fainting, relating to the hysteria. Often, a few drops of pennyroyal tincture is placed in a bathtub for a fully calming effect.

If applied topically, pennyroyal oil is thought to repel insects, such as mosquitoes and no-see-ums, or small biting flies. Other people believe it will repel snakes as well. It can also be used on pets to repel fleas, though many researchers fear that because of its toxic properties, it may cause the pet to become seriously ill or even die.

Many scientists, medical doctors, and other health professionals use strong words of caution for people using pennyroyal oil. If the extract is consumed, it can be fatal. In fact, it has been known to cause severe disease in the kidneys and liver, leading to death. Also, it is known to cause miscarriages and should not be used in any form by pregnant women. If the oil is used as a form of aromatherapy, it can cause respiratory damage as well.



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