pennyroyal

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pennyroyal

pennyroyal, name for two similar plants of the family Labiatae (mint family), usually distinguished as true, or European, pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) and American, or mock, pennyroyal (Hedeoma pulegioides). Both have small bluish or purplish flowers in the leaf axils. The European pennyroyal is perennial and prostrate; the American is annual with numerous erect branches. Both contain a pungent oil said to be repellent to insects, especially fleas. The oil, obtained chiefly from the American pennyroyal, is used medicinally. Pennyroyal tea was an old domestic remedy. Other species of Hedeoma are sometimes called pennyroyal, but the false and bastard pennyroyals are different plants. Pennyroyals are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Lamiales, family Labiatae.
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pennyroyal

pennyroyal

In mint family. The plant can be consumed fresh or as a tea but NOT the essential oil, which is highly toxic. Used as insect repellant. Tea has same properties as other plants in mint family. Increases digestive juices, decreases gas and digestive issues, respiratory infections, gout, worms, menstruation, eczema, antiseptic. Do not take if pregnant.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz

pennyroyal

1. a Eurasian plant, Mentha pulegium, with hairy leaves and small mauve flowers, that yields an aromatic oil used in medicine: family Lamiaceae (labiates)
2. a similar and related plant, Hedeoma pulegioides, of E North America
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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