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Pennyroyal is an aromatic herb related to mint and is used extensively in aromatherapy and traditional herbalism. It has been used for medicinal purposes, and in colonial times, it was popular for repelling insects. The oil of the plant is extremely toxic, so it is most often consumed in the form of tea, which has a strong minty flavor and aroma. This method yields one 8-ounce cup of pennyroyal tea.

Bring 8 ounces of spring or distilled water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat as soon as boiling is achieved to prevent excessive evaporation.

Place one teaspoon of dried pennyroyal in a coffee mug or other heat-proof drinking container. Pour the boiling water over the herbs. Allow the mixture to stand for 10-15 minutes.

Place a fine mesh strainer over the top of a second clean coffee mug. Pour the liquid through the strainer to separate from the herbs. Discard the spent pennyroyal in the garbage bin or compost pile.

Sweeten the pennyroyal tea with honey if desired. Stir well to combine until the honey is thoroughly dissolved. Drink the tea immediately while warm. Do not exceed 3 cups per day.

Tip

Alternatively, a fresh stalk or bouquet of pennyroyal may be used to stir a cup of boiling water for several minutes. The liquid may then be sweetened and consumed for the same effect. If the taste of pennyroyal tea is too strong, it may be combined with hot chocolate to create a mint-flavored chocolate tea. Simply add one part of pennyroyal tea to two parts prepared hot chocolate.

Warning

Never take pennyroyal tea when pregnant or nursing. It can reduce milk flow or even cause spontaneous abortion when taken in excess. Always consult a qualified medical or herbal practitioner before taking pennyroyal tea or any other herbal tea you are not familiar with to make sure it is safe for you.

About the Author

Willow Sidhe

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.