Pennyroyal: Herb of the New World

Pennyroyal, true to its name, is a majestic herb with a rich history throughout the world.  One of the first herbs planted by the pilgrims in this country, pennyroyal has a wide variety of uses and applications in both the home and garden.

What to look for:
The mint herb Pennyroyal, according to Botanical.Com, has a number of lush varieties and corresponding appearances.  Its most common type can have hairy leaves and weak stems but bear a plethora of whorled flowers colored vibrant shades of reddish purple and lilac blue.   It can grow wild, as is often does on various continents, or be carefully cultivated in a home garden.  Although its flavor is not as pleasing to the palette as other forms of mint, pennyroyal does have a distinctive aroma pleasing to the senses.

How Mother Nature loves it:
Easily grown from seed, pennyroyal grows best in moist soil, with ample space between the plants and rows.  Water the pennyroyal frequently in instances of dry weather; you also have the option of growing pennyroyal in plant boxes situated in warm homes.  In any instance, new pennyroyal plantings should be made annually.

How to use it:
Although you may not know it, pennyroyal may already have a strong presence in your medicine cabinet, as an ingredient in commonly used pills and preparations.  Known as a natural purifier of everything from water to blood, it has been known to treat headaches, giddiness, hysteria, flatulence, colds and coughs, joint conditions, gout, ulcers, and even venomous bites.  Externally it can help clear up pimples and liver spots, as well as troublesome burns.  Pennyroyal even has been known to remedy the serious condition of leprosy.  Plus a little warm pennyroyal can do wonders for an ill, achy stomach.

Pennyroyal is carminative, diaphoretic, stimulant and emmenagogic, and ranks high as an herb of healing.

Its strong, some say pungent taste may be a deterrent to cooks, who rarely use pennyroyal as an active ingredient in everyday dishes.  Yet because of its therapeutic qualities, this herb is a common ingredient in those soothing teas that serve to calm and lull the senses.  Plus pennyroyal—often in combination with sweeter ingredients such as honey–has been used to make various types of stuffing.

Pennyroyal, interestingly enough, has also been used as a source of unique creative inspiration.  A Christmas carol entitled “Pennyroyal” was penned and released in 1917.

Strong, therapeutic, and—in some instances, apparently—downright inspiring, Pennyroyal is a must for any garden or medicine cabinet; and, in some instances, the kitchen.  Regardless of its use, the pennyroyal herb more than lives up to its worldwide reputation, as well as its majestic moniker.  Pick up some pennyroyal today!

Sonya Lee

Since a child, Sonya has been traveling from the corners of Canada to the far east Asia. Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, she led a normal family life with her brother, mother and dad. A well received job opportunity in Hong Kong for her father put the compass in action from a young age. Sonya loves good food, and I mean GOOD simple food. She loves an occasional drink, be merry and enjoy the good times. Having recently healed herself from a large ruptured cyst, her favorite foods include fresh carrot juice, grilled vegetables, sauteed portabello mushrooms and truffle french fries. Her philosophy? Healthy food makes a healthy body. Read more on the Editor page. When she's not fretting over WAFT, she runs a small design agency called mowie media and shares the good times with her dog, Monster and 3 cats Sabi, Kaeli & Misty.

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