This is a strongly aromatic low or erect perennial with stems
cloaked in small whitish hairs. It has short stalked oval leaves which
are scarcely toothed and lilac flowers arranged in whorls appearing from
June to August. The fruit is a nutlet.
Common by stream sides and on marshy ground from sea-level to 1,000 ft.
Uses and Properties
A nutritious salad can be made from fresh pennyroyal
leaves dressed with vinegar and olive oil. The antiseptic properties of
pennyroyal make it useful in cases of mouth infections and chewing leaves
is also a good way to rid the mouth of garlic and onion smells. It is
rich in the essential oil, "olio menthae" which consists of menthols,
alcohols, tannins, picric compounds and aldehydes. Widely used in medicine
of the past with similar actions to peppermint. It is a good tonic and
has remarkable stimulating action particularly to the uterine muscles and
should therefore be avoided during pregnancy. It is said to act as an
aphrodisiac in high doses. It can be used as an infusion, extract or raw
vegetable. This is a good bee plant yielding nectar freely.