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Pennyroyal, the smallest member of the Mint family, is a world renowned medicinal herb with a pungent aroma and acrid flavor. Preferring moist, low laying areas this herb is also known as "Lurk in the Ditch" because of its fondness of ditches and swamps.
Pennyroyal has been highly regarded throughout traditional medicine for its effectiveness in treating colds, bloating and spasms. Used as a repellent for fleas in Ancient Rome, Pennyroyal was thought to purify air and water and was hung in the rooms of sick people because of its strong aroma. Still used in modern herbal medicine as an abortificant when brewed to create Pennyroyal Tea, Pennyroyal affects the uterine muscles which contract to cause an abortion. Because of this outcome, pregnant women and people who suffer from kidney or liver problems should not handle or use Pennyroyal.
The more concentrated essential oils of the Pennyroyal plant should never be ingested or taken internally as it is highly poisonous even in small doses. When taken in this manner, the oils cause organs and bodily functions to cease, resulting in an unpleasant death. Consult an herbalist or doctor before using Pennyroyal to avoid bodily harm.
Pennyroyal grows similarly to Mint and produces pretty lavender blooms.
***PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD NOT HANDLE OR USE PENNYROYAL***
Characteristics: Low-growing mint with glossy, egg-shaped leaves with insect-repelling properties.
Light: Full sun to partial shade.
Water: Keep moist, but never soggy.
Soil: Well-draining garden loam of average quality.
Use: Pennyroyal is ideal for carpeting paths and filling between bricks and rocks, where mild root traffic releases its pungent scent.
Extras: Not to be used or handled by pregnant women!