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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Dietary Supplements >>  Pennyroyal


Pennyroyal is a small aromatic herb and belongs to the mint family. Due to its medical properties, the herb has being used since ancient times, but has become a subject of controversy today involving death and government regulations.
The active ingredient in pennyroyal plant is the volatile oil and pulegone is the primary constituent of the oil, which is converted to menthofuran in the body. This essential oil of pennyroyal is considered toxic and overdose of it can even lead to death.

Health and pennyroyal

  1. Leaves of pennyroyal plant have a mint like odor and are used for culinary purposes.
    They can even be used as a potent insect repellent.
  2. Low intake of pennyroyal have mild, smooth, muscle relaxing effects that helps in indigestion, stomach cramps and cough.
  3. Essential oil from pennyroyal is a good menstrual blood flow stimulant and induces abortion.
  4. Pennyroyal is used as folk medicine for acne treatment, fever, dizziness, certain cancers, burns, cold, cough, cramps, diarrhea, digestion, diuretic, gall bladder disorders, gas, gout, headache, muscle pain and toothache. But pennyroyal should be used with a word of caution for all these as the safety and effectiveness to treat this is not being proved scientifically.

Side effects of pennyroyal

  1. There are various healthy ways to improve menstrual flow and induce abortion. Use of pennyroyal can not be recommended for this purpose as lethal or near-lethal doses of this may cause unpredictable effects and can be dangerous. Thus its use is strictly avoided during pregnancy or lactation due to the risk of uterine contractions, increased menstrual flow and abortion.
  2. Pennyroyal herb consumption is associated directly with multiple adverse effects and toxicity like loss of consciousness, seizures, or even death.
  3. Pennyroyal oil toxicity can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, difficulty in swallowing, diarrhea, excessive sweating, chills, fever, headaches, muscle spasms, organ failure, altered heart rate, altered blood pressure, slow breathing and coma.
  4. Pennyroyal may reduce iron absorption by the body from the meals and may also lower blood sugar levels.
For better safety always read the contents of the dietary supplements you take and discuss them with your health care provider if it contains pennyroyal as one of the ingredient.
Compared to pennyroyal other herbal plants from mint family ensure more safety.
Pennyroyal as an herb and dietary supplements containing pennyroyal should be administered under strict observation by your health care provider or an herbalist as no safe dose has been established till date.
Submitted on January 16, 2014