Pennyroyal is an essential oil from the mint family, making it useful in many of the same ways that we use peppermint and spearmint. It gives off that familiar minty scent when crushed and has the same warming sensation when used topically. It can be found in pennyroyal tea and can be useful when applied to the skin. It may not be the most common oil, but there are several proven benefits and uses of pennyroyal essential oil.

Top 6 Benefits and Uses of Pennyroyal Essential Oil

1. Flea Control

Fleas are not only pests, biting and leaving itchy red marks on our skin, they are also carriers on dangerous diseases. Many times it is our pets who suffer from flea infestations in their fur, but this means that the pest is carried into our house and people begin to suffer from flea bites as well. Pennyroyal oil was used by the Roman army to control flea infestations among the soldiers and animals. The menthone constituent of the oil creates an undesirable environment for insects to continue to live, including killing eggs and causing fewer eggs to be laid. Along with peppermint, pennyroyal is among the top essential oils for fleas in the house. (1)

2. Ease Muscle Aches

The same chemicals that make peppermint feel so good on your aches are also present in pennyroyal essential oil. Menthone causes a warming sensation on your skin, improving circulation and reduces inflammation at the site. It is also a topical analgesic so after the warming sensation fades, the pain is reduced as well. This may be helpful for inflammatory conditions like arthritis or even just general muscle aches. (2)

Add 1-2 drops of pennyroyal with 1-2 drops of mint such as peppermint or wintergreen to a carrier oil and apply to aches or inflamed joints.

3. Disinfectant

It seems like I can’t say enough about the disinfectant powers of essential oils for cleaning the surfaces of your home. So many chemicals found in over the counter cleaners are not only harsh on germs but also on your skin and respiratory system as well. Pennyroyal contains several chemical constituents which can help control bacteria and fungus such as listeria, e. coli, and salmonella. This is also why it was traditionally used in foods to prevent these germs from forming in food. (3)

Combine pennyroyal with peppermint oil in a mix of distilled water and vinegar to clean your kitchen surfaces. If you don’t mind the smell of mint and lemon together, you can also use it with lemon or orange to create a cleanser for your house. Use this spray on the hard surfaces of your kitchen or your rugs to kill molds and bacteria.

4. Insect Repellent

This seems to be a condition of warmer weather: pollen and mosquitoes. Controlling infestations of pests such as mosquitoes and fleas is particularly important when trying to control the spread of blood-borne infectious diseases like dengue fever or the zika virus. Using a spray that includes pennyroyal may help control a mosquito population by preventing egg laying or killing the insect in the larval stages. (4)

Pennyroyal should be part of an essential oil mosquito repellent recipe that may include other oils like citronella or many citrus oils. This may keep these pests away from your family, including your pets.

5. Control Yeast

Yeast is present in the human body, usually in quantities that do not have any effect on your health. However, there are certain conditions which may cause yeast overgrowth in the body including using antibiotics, birth control pills, or diabetes. Overgrowth can then become infections like oral thrush or vaginal yeast infections in women. Pennyroyal has been shown to be effective at control the growth of yeast in the body, which may prevent the evolution of yeast that is resistant to medical therapies. (5)

Along with other oils like thyme and lemon, you can apply a dilution to the parts of your body where yeast infection is visible, including places such as under the breasts in women.

6. Regulate Menstruation

Many women suffer from conditions such as dysmenorrhea, which is the absence of their monthly period or even from irregular periods. These conditions can impact a woman’s life by being painful, affecting the hormones in the body, or even interfering with the ability to conceive children since the monthly cycle is hard to predict. Oils like pennyroyal have been shown to induce uterine contractions and may lead to the beginning of the monthly cycle when it is late or non-existent. Topical application of the oil in a carrier such as sweet almond may be the most effective way to promote more regular uterine function or drinking a diluted pennyroyal tea. However, this should not be done if you are already pregnant since the causing early contractions can be harmful to an unborn baby. (6)

My Experience With Pennyroyal Essential Oil

Having pets seems like a right of passage for children. The responsibility of feeding, bathing, and playing with are all excellent ways to teach children life lessons along with the joy of having an animal become part of your family. However, animals also come with a few things that are not so pleasant.

I’m not sure what caused this particular infestation. Our pets are indoor pets with limited time outside, and we use and replace our flea collars frequently. However, our animals were covered in fleas, ones that survived even the strongest medication from our vet and what is available in a flea collar. Not only did the animals itch all the time, but the fleas also took up residence in our thick carpets, and our ankles were also covered in red flea bites. Everyone was in misery.

Pennyroyal and peppermint essential oil came to our rescue. I used a spray on our rugs to help control the bugs living there. It was a gradual process since it took a while for the living ones to either die or move on, but the oils prevented any new critters from being born. This also helped our pets by preventing re-infestation after baths and medical treatments. I also used the spray around the perimeter of the house to repel any from coming near.

Recommended Pennyroyal Oil Based Products

1. Pennyroyal Herb Cut & Sifted Organic

Pennyroyal Herb Cut & Sifted Organic - Mentha pulegium, 4 Oz,(Starwest Botanicals)
  • Botanical Name: Mentha pulegium
  • Origin: Croatia
  • USDA Certified Organic

Buying the dried and cut herb instead of manufactured tea bags allow you to create your own unique brew, even mixing it with other favorites for a one of a kind flavor. You can also add it to warm bath water to help with your skin by killing any germs or bacteria as well as reducing inflammation in skin eruptions. It may also help reduce aches and pains. Using pennyroyal as a tea allows you to experience the benefits in a diluted manner.

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2. PetGuard, Shampoo & Conditioner for Dogs and Cats

PetGuard, Shampoo & Conditioner with Coconut Oil and Essential Oils for Dogs and Cats, 12 oz
  • Combination Shampoo and Conditioner cleans and conditions preventing...
  • 12-oz all-in-one shampoo conditioner made with Natural coconut oil for...
  • For dogs and cats. Does not contain artificial colors, artificial...

Pennyroyal has been used for centuries to help repel insects and control flea infestations. Overuse of chemicals to keep your animal pest free can result in not only your pets become ill, but also in insects that become resistant to the chemicals. Using a natural oil like pennyroyal may help control the fleas and will prevent them from returning by preventing them from laying new eggs or killing any eggs left behind.

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Caution of Pennyroyal Essential Oil

  • Do not consumer pennyroyal essential oil by mouth. It can cause nausea, vomiting, or liver damage.
  • Do not use pennyroyal if you are pregnant as it causes uterine contractions and may harm the unborn baby.
  • Test a small patch of skin on your inner arm before applying topically. This will inform you if you have any sensitivities to the oil.
  • Use only 100% therapeutic grade essential oil to prevent any interactions

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed learning about the uses and benefits of peppermint’s cousin, pennyroyal essential oil. Please share with anyone who may be looking for a more natural way to help their pets and keep their homes pest free.