Pennyroyal tea is a tea made from the pennyroyal herb. Pennyroyal tea is a folk medicine most famously used to induce abortions. The tea is said to cause the uterine muscles to contract.
Traditionally pennyroyal tea is also used for colds, fevers, coughs, indigestion, kidney and liver ailments and headaches.
The pennyroyal herb is found throughout the Appalachian Mountains and western Kentucky in the United States. It is a small, branching plant with small tubular lavender flowers.
Pennyroyal tea has a pungent and acrid taste, similar to pennyroyal's relations, the spearmint or peppermint. The tea can be made with either the fresh or dried herb.
Preparing pennyroyal tea
Pennyroyal tea is often combined with blue cohosh root. Usually two tablespoons of blue cohosh root is used in combination with three tablespoons of pennyroyal leaves and two tablespoons of dried tansy.
The blue cohosh root is boiled in a quart of water for five minutes, while the pennyroyal tea and tansy is placed in a separate jar. After the water has boiled, it is poured into the second jar and allowed to steep for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, the herbs are strained and the liquid is reheated.
It is recommended that a hot cup is given every four hours, up to five days or until bleeding occurs. To enhance the effectiveness of pennyroyal tea, a tablespoon of brewer's yeast is added to every cup.
Health warnings with pennyroyal tea
Pennyroyal Tea may cause nausea in drinkers. It is recommended that drinkers should be careful when standing or sitting, as this may cause dizziness.
When making pennyroyal tea, only the pennyroyal herb should be used. The essential oil of pennyroyal should NOT be used, as it is a poison. Death from untreatable organ failure can result if the essential oil is used.
Drinking pennyroyal tea can be taxing on the body after any length of time as it encourages the body to purge. Users should take care of their bodies afterwards by drinking nourishing teas and eating a balanced diet.
Pennyroyal tea should not be consumed by those with kidney disease or a past history of kidney stones. Pennyroyal tea should not be drunk for longer than a week, as it may cause damage to the central nervous system, kidney and liver.