Pennyroyal essential oil is extracted from a grass-like herb called Mentha Pulegium, a plant that belongs to the mint family. The leaves of this plant smell reminiscent of mint and its flowers have a purple tint to them. Do not be fooled by its harmless smell and appearance! This oil is a deadly poison due to its high pulegone content. It is indeed quite questionable why pennyroyal was used in folk remedy. However, it is also true that many of our medicines are based on natural poisons.
Origins of Pennyroyal
Pennyroyal is native to Europe, North Africa and the middle east. The earliest documented use of pennyroyal dates back to the ancient Greeks, Romans and Medieval cultures, where the herb was commonly incorporated into food. The Romans also used pennyroyal as a form of contraceptive for women and was used to perform abortions. Due to its highly potent poison, pennywise has also been used extensively as insecticides and to eradicate pests.
Popular Uses of Pennyroyal
Since medieval times, pennyroyal has been used as insecticide and pest repellent. Due to its extremely poisonous properties, its oil makes an excellent insect killer. As repellent, it has been used to keep fleas, mosquitos and gnats away from household animals and humans. Humans have crushed pennyroyal stems and rubbed it against clothing to use as insect repellent. However, when using pennyroyal, low concentration of it would be used to avoid the poisonous effects it brings.
Historically, pennyroyal has also been used in various foods and herbal teas for its mint flavor. Pennyroyal tea has been used to treat the common flu, fevers, coughs, indigestion, headaches and other symptoms. Leaves of the pennyroyal are soaked in boiling hot water in preparation of tea. It is recommended that people drink pennyroyal tea periodically as it can be harmful if one drinks it on a regular basis.
Health Benefits of Pennyroyal
Sufferers of rheumatic diseases or arthritis can benefit from the depurative properties of this ingredient. It promotes the removal of toxins (Such as Uric acid) within the body, aiding in relieving rheumatism. It also stimulates blood circulation and brings warmth to the affected areas. A 2018 study conducted by Heliyon found that this ingredient helped to facilitate digestion by stimulating the secretion of digestive juices. This also resulted in increased absorption in the intestines. Pennyroyal has also been used in treating colds and fevers. The increased blood circulation and the warming effect brought on by drinking pennyroyal tea can help in alleviating flu symptoms.
A Look at Pennyroyal Essential Oils
Used since the medieval era, this type of oil has been essential in pest control and in insect repellent. It also has been excellent in helping gout patients with their symptoms. Due to its poisonous properties, this ingredient has many anti-microbial properties as well. Pennyroyal oil is very poisonous and should never be used in aromatherapy. Utmost care should be taken when using this oil and should never be ingested. Do take extra precautions when taking this type of oil for medicinal use.
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