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 L. (Lamiaceae)
How is this product usually used?

The aboveground parts of the plant (called aerialaerialplant parts appearing above ground parts) are used in preparing the oral supplements. The dose is usually 1 g to 12 g per day. It is taken orallyorallyto be taken by mouth (swallowed) as the dried aerial parts, an infusioninfusionthe process of steeping or soaking plant material in hot or cold water to isolate its active ingredient, and as a fluid extractextractto get, separate, or isolate a desired active ingredient.

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

  • dried aerial parts: 1 g to 4 g, taken 3 times daily
  • infusion: prepared with 1 g to 4 g of dried aerial parts, 3 times daily
  • fluid extract: 1 g to 4 g dried equivalent (1:1 alcohol, 45% ratio 1 mL to 4 mL), taken 3 times daily
  • fluid extract: 2 g to 4 g dried equivalent (1:1 fluid ratio, 1 mL to 4 mL), taken once daily

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:

People have also used European pennyroyal to start menstrual periods or terminate a pregnancy. However, the dose needed to terminate a pregnancy could cause death or permanent liver or kidney damage to the mother.

There are not enough studies to support these uses.

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?

European pennyroyal can cause serious and permanent damage to the liver, kidneys, or nervous system (including brain damage). It can also cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, burning of the throat, seizures, dizziness, confusion, problems with vision and hearing, lung failure, high blood pressure, and abortion.

European pennyroyal may interact with medications that can damage the liver (such as acetaminophen) or kidneys (such as ibuprofen). Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any medications.

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. (Accessed 10 June 6, 2014)
  2. European pennyroyal (monograph). Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. (Accessed 06 June 2014)  
  3. European pennyroyal (monograph).  Natural Standard Database. (Accessed 06 June 2014)


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