Posted by: thewoobdog | May 2, 2007

Pennyroyal

So apparently pennyroyal is not-so-commonly-used nowadays.  I certainly would not give it the props I gave mustard (4/10 and 4/13/07 blogs).  Hmmph.  Anyway, according to Wikipedia, pennyroyal is a traditional folk medicine abortifacient, but because people have died trying to self-abort using pennyroyal oil, it’s not so much recommended (I am not even going to go into my views on abortion in a blog.  I do not have the time to get that volatile right now).  Oddly enough, the tea (as opposed to the oil) can be safely used to mildly increase menstrual flow (this was according to Wiki – read below for other views on that one). 

Mmmkay, enough of that.  Female reproductive issues aside, the oil can be used on pets as a flea repellent, but it seems that much of what is termed ‘pennyroyal oil’ comes from ‘American Pennyroyal’, which apparently is different.  ??  It also repels ants (but which oil from which plant?  I have no idea), and if you dry it and sprinkle it around it supposedly repels spiders. 

Intellihealth offers this little ray of sunshine:

Abortion
Pennyroyal has been used traditionally to induce abortions. However, pennyroyal is dangerous and has led to serious adverse effects and death. Therefore, pennyroyal should not be used for this or any purpose.
Increased menstrual flow
Although pennyroyal has been used for this purpose, the available scientific data suggest that pennyroyal should not be used to stimulate menstruation. It is dangerous and has led to serious adverse effects and death.

Yahoo gives this little tidbit:

  Since the use of pennyroyal oil has been associated with serious, even fatal, liver and kidney damage, oral or topical use of pennyroyal oil is generally not recommended.

Yeah.  Thanks for that.  So, needless to say, I probably won’t be using my pennyroyal (if you didn’t already, go back and re-read that sentence in the dripping-with-sarcasm way in which it was meant).  I’m kind of bummed.  Why on earth was this one of the meager selection of herbs offered at Lowe’s?  Chives, sage, basil, oregano, peppermint, and, oh, yes, pennyroyal.  Not even any fennel or thyme (and all the dill was dead) – but they carry pennyroyal

‘Hey, honey, go snip me some herbs to put with the chicken.  No, wait, not that herb…’  Geez.

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