Home DietsHealthy food What is Pennyroyal? properties, contraindications and side effects

What is Pennyroyal? properties, contraindications and side effects

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The benefits of Pennyroyal or Pennyroyal have been known for centuries. It is an aromatic plant belonging to the genus Mentha that grows in humid places. Its scientific name is Mentha pulegium and it is believed to be native to the Mediterranean Sea basin and western Asia.

It is a widely used plant and multiple health benefits are attributed to it. In general, it is taken as an infusion for its relaxing and digestive properties. This plant, like the infusion that is made with it, contains certain chemical compounds responsible for these benefits. Many wonder what it contains.

For this reason, in FastlyHeal we will answer you if Does Pennyroyal have theine?

What is Pennyroyal?

Pennyroyal mint is a plant with lanceolate dark green leaves, with quadrangular stems that can reach between 30 and 40 centimeters. Its flowers are tiny pink. This plant belongs to the genus Mentha, in which are grouped a series of perennial herbaceous plants that have been used for a long time, both in gastronomy and in pharmaceuticals, as they are aromatic plants with beneficial properties for health.

The genus Mentha is very broad and includes a large number of varieties scattered practically all over the globe. It includes some pure species and some hybrids. Among the best known are:

  • Mentha spicata (Spearmint or spearmint).
  • Mentha suaveolens (Mastranto).
  • Mentha pulegium (Poleo, menta poleo o poleo-menta).
  • Mentha piperita (it is a sterile hybrid between M. aquatica and M. Spicata, popularly known as peppermint, monte yuyo, lemon balm or Peppermint ).

In the case of Mentha pulegium, it is a plant with a fresh smell and taste that is used mainly in infusion. It can also be used in the form of essential oil but in this case it is recommended to consult a professional as it is potentially poisonous, so you have to be careful with the amounts used.

Does Pennyroyal have theine?

Theine is a natural alkaloid from certain plants. This derived chemical has stimulating effects on the central nervous system and is present in different concentrations in different types of tea, but it is not present in all plants or in different infusions. Many wonder if Pennyroyal has theine?

Studies on the Mentha pulegium plant show that the active principle of this plant is different and has nothing to do with theine, that is, pennyroyal does not have theine . In fact, the effects of tea and pennyroyal tea are different. According to studies on the composition of the Mentha pulegium plant, it mainly contains:

  • Ketones: Among which the pulegone is the majority component; it is accompanied by others to a lesser extent such as: piperitenone, menthone and isomenthone. These components are responsible for its beneficial properties for the digestive system.
  • Alcohols: menthol, 3- octanol, linalool, isomentol, neomentol, neoisomentol.
  • Esters: methyl acetate.
  • Hydrocarbons: alpha and beta-pinene, limonene, p-cymene, dipentene, can-pheno.
  • Flavonoids : diosmosido and hesperoides. These compounds are attributed antioxidant, antithrombotic, blood purifying and anticancer medicinal properties.
  • In addition, it contains a large amount of acids and mineral salts .

Some studies have determined that the concentrations of the different components vary according to: the stage of development of the plants when they are harvested, physical conditions and environmental factors. But the components also vary depending on the way it is consumed. In the infusion, some elements disappear as they are not soluble in water, as is the case with hydrocarbons. On the contrary, pulegone is concentrated, which is important to remember that in high concentrations it is very toxic.

In addition to pennyroyal, other infusions that do not have theine or caffeine are rooibos , chamomile , horsetail or mate grass.

Pennyroyal mint: properties

The greatest benefit that pennyroyal provides when taken as an infusion is its action on the digestive system. This is a characteristic of practically the entire genus Mentha and that is why its use is very frequent throughout the world. Specifically, Mentha pulegium or pennyroyal taken as an infusion, the following health properties are attributed :

  • Digestive and carminative : Pennyroyal is used mainly to relieve digestive ailments such as heartburn and indigestion, also to eliminate flatulence and treat gallbladder dysfunctions.
  • Antipyretic and Influenza: It is widely recommended to treat cold symptoms and respiratory conditions, as well as to reduce fever. It also helps decongest the airways. In addition, it has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that help to cleanse the entire body of infectious organisms.
  • Diuretic and purifying: It has diuretic properties that help the body eliminate toxins through the urine, so it is also used in slimming regimens. It also helps to cleanse the liver, so it is also often used when you have a hangover.
  • Sedative: Some of the chemical substances present in this plant have a calming effect as they act on the nerves that generate the sensation of pain. It is also used in cases of sleep disturbances. Even the essential oil of pennyroyal is used for hysterical seizures, due to its action on the nerves and the brain.

Pennyroyal Mint: contraindications and side effects

Pennyroyal is extremely poisonous when its chemical components are in very high concentrations, as in the case of essential oil where the active principles are concentrated when the plant is processed. In fact, this has been the reason why we have sought to regulate the quantity and quality of the plants used, since their therapeutic effect depends on it.

Pulegone, which as we have already mentioned is one of the active principles of Mentha pulegium, in high concentrations can be fatal ; it is very toxic. Due to its frequent use in the European food and confectionery industry, the permitted concentrations have been regulated to a maximum of 250 ppm in sweets and 20 ppm in other foods.

In any case, it is important to be attentive to the use of pennyroyal, as it is contraindicated in the following circumstances :

  • During pregnancy and lactation.
  • People allergic to pennyroyal.
  • People with hypoglycemia .
  • Anemic people.

We always recommend consulting with your family doctor before starting any treatment or changing habits.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Does pennyroyal have theine? , we recommend that you enter our Food category .

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