Natural Health Products

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European Pennyroyal

General Information

European pennyroyal is a plant in the mint genus within the Lamiaceae family. It grows in moist areas such as near ponds and beside stream banks. Crushed pennyroyal leaves produce a very strong scent similar to spearmint.

Common Name(s)
European pennyroyal, pennyroyal, pulegium, pudding grass, mosquito plant
Scientific Name(s)

Mentha pulegium

How is this product usually used?

The aboveground parts of the plant (called aerial parts) are used in preparing the oral supplements. The dose is usually 1 g to 12 g per day. It is taken orally as the dried aerial parts, an infusion, and as a fluid extract.

The following doses and preparation methods of pennyroyal have been used:

  • dry extract, fluid extract, decoction or infusion: 1 g to 4 g, taken 3 times daily of dried herb top per day.
  • tincture: 0.6 g to 1.2 g of dried herb top per day.

Your health care provider may have recommended using this product in other ways. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What is this product used for?

European pennyroyal has been used to help:

  • improve digestion
  • relieve gas and heartburn
  • relieve intestinal spasms

There are not enough studies to support the use of European pennyroyal in any of these cases.

Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have any questions with this product.

What else should I be aware of?

Herbal teas prepared from pennyroyal leaves have mild side effects. European pennyroyal essential oil can cause serious and permanent damage to the liver, kidneys, or nervous system (including brain damage).  European pennyroyal can also cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, seizures, confusion, problems with vision and hearing, and lung failure.

European pennyroyal may interact with medications that can damage the liver, such as acetaminophen. It may decrease iron absorption when taken at the same time as iron supplements. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any medications.

Talk to your doctor prior to taking European pennyroyal if you have liver or kidney problems. Do not use European pennyroyal if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. European pennyroyal is not recommended for children. Do not use European pennyroyal if you are allergic to it, its constituents (including pulegone), or to any plants from the Lamiaceae family.

Consult a health care provider before using this herb if you have liver or kidney problems.

Consult a health care provider if symptoms persist or worsen.

Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.

  1. Health Canada. License Natural Health Products Database.  European pennyroyal.
  2. European pennyroyal (monograph). Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.