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Pennyroyal tea is an herbal infusion made from the leaves of the pennyroyal plant. Pennyroyal is a low-growing perennial herb in the mint family. The tea infusion is most commonly used as an abortive herb or to bring on a late period. As a medicinal tea, pennyroyal is often used by alternative medicine practitioners to treat digestion problems, asthma, bronchitis, premenstrual syndrome, toothache, headaches, colds, and some believe it may help treat certain types of cancer.
Pennyroyal tea has long been used by herbal medicine practitioners as an abortion herb. When steeped in water and mixed with other abortive herbs, pennyroyal can be used to cause the body to reject an early pregnancy. The strong oils in pennyroyal contribute to this herbs abortive effects by causing muscles in the uterus to contract.
All herbs are natural, but that does not mean safe. Using pennyroyal to induce abortion is dangerous, as too much of the herb can be toxic and even fatal. Pennyroyal essential oil should never be used internally, as it can cause organ damage and death.
Another use for pennyroyal tea is bringing on delayed menstruation not related to pregnancy. Sipping pennyroyal leaves steeped in water causes the same contractions in the uterus that can stimulate menstruation. An infusion of this minty herb can also help relieve premenstrual symptoms. When using pennyroyal tea, it is best to work with an herbalist.
Tea made from infused pennyroyal leaves can be used to treat other ailments as well, as long as it is used in moderation. A common use of pennyroyal tea is the treatment of indigestion and digestive problems. The oils in the leaves can stimulate the stomach and digestive juices to help treat a variety of digestive problems.
This herbal infusion is also used in the treatment of respiratory problems such as bronchitis and asthma. Other uses for pennyroyal tea include the treatment of headaches, common colds, and toothaches. Pregnant women should avoid pennyroyal tea, as it can cause a miscarriage.
Pennyroyal is a perennial herb native to Europe and Asia. It grows in cool, damp climates where it spreads by self seeding and through underground runners. It is closely related to the mint plant and has the same growing pattern and aromatic leaves. Pennyroyal grows 1 to 2 feet (about 30 to 60 cm) tall and blooms in late spring and summer.
The leaves can be harvested at any time during the spring, summer, and early fall. Once harvested, they can be used fresh or dried on a drying screen in the sun and stored for later use. Pennyroyal dies back with the cold weather, but it regrows in the spring from hardy underground root systems.