Monday, February 22, 2021

Magical and Medicinal Uses of Pennyroyal

magic, witch, witchcraft, herb, herb magic, greenwitch, pagan, wicca, wican, green witchcraft, herdcraft

Gender: Masculine or Feminine (depends on tradition)
Planet: Mars or Venus (depends on tradition)
Element: Fire or Earth (depends on tradition)
Powers: Protection, Peace, Strength
Magical Uses and History: A member of the mint family, pennyroyal was historically used in Ancient Rome and Greece as a cooking herb. Many old recipes call for its use alongside other herbs such as oregano, coriander, and lovage, especially in pork recipes. Its culinary uses endured into the Medieval period, but fell out of use shortly after, maybe due to its less than pleasant taste and abortive properties. However, due to its strong abortive properties as an emmenagogue (a menstruation stimulant), pennyroyal is deeply associated with midwifery. As such, it can be used in spells related to encouraging menstruation, blood magic, and protection from unwanted pregnancies, especially for those in the sex industry. Do not, however, ingest pennyroyal without proper medical guidance as the plant is toxic. Its toxic nature, however, makes it a great herb for general protection.

The scientific name Mentha peluqium is believed to originate from the Latin pulex meaning flea, alluding to its use as a flea repellent. It was historically rubbed on the body to repel fleas and has been used in modern times around the home to prevent fleas from entering. (Do not spray directly on your pets or allow your pets to ingest the plant). Furthermore, pennyroyal is said to protect against the Evil Eye. Charms and herbal sachets of pennyroyal were worn or hung in the home to protect the wearer from ill-will, hexes, and curses. The herb can also be used in hex or curse-breaking spells and the oil to anoint candles for similar magical purposes. In Medieval Europe, boughs of pennyroyal were hung in sickrooms to heal and protect those within from disease. In other folklore, pennyroyal was placed in one's shoes prior to traveling to protect the wearer and prevent their feet from tiring.

Finally, pennyroyal is associated with peace. Pennyroyal carried in the pocket is said to prevent quarrels while hanging it in your home is said to bring peace, even when tempers run high. 

Pennyroyal can be used in a number of spells including:
    Blood Magic
    Protection Spells
    Hex & Curse Breaking
    Peace Spells

Medicinal Uses: Pennyroyal is rich in aromatic volatile oil which helps ease flatulence and abdominal colic as well as anxiety and spasmodic pain. Its main use, however, is as an emmenagogue to stimulate menstruation and uterine contractions. As such, it should be avoided during pregnancy. Due to its toxic nature, pennyroyal oil should not be taken internally.

Preparation and Dosage: Despite its toxicity, pennyroyal can be taken in small doses internally as a tea or tincture. However, use at your own risk. Its use is highly discouraged by all medical websites. To create an infusion, pour one cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of dried leaves and allow it to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink up to three times a day. As a tincture, 1-2 milliliters can be taken up to three times a day.

Want to print a copy of this for your Book of Shadows? Click below for your free copy!

Herbarium: Magical and Medicinal Uses of Pennyroyal

If you liked this post and would like to support future content, please consider leaving a small tip in the jar. 


  1. That is thoroughly fascinating regarding pennyroyal's long association with fleas. Knock wood, that isn't an issue we're contending with, but one never knows in life - especially when furry friends share one's home. I really appreciate learning about this use that I wasn't previously familiar with for pennyroyal and will tuck it away for future reference. TYFS.

    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life

    1. I didn't know much about the herb prior to writing this post to be honest. It was requested per a reader. I have a long list of requests at the moment and I can't seem to find the time to actually write any of them!

  2. I drank 3-4 cups of organic Penny royal tea and experienced major mental distortions and extreme anxiety. Along with body cramps, spasms, and experiencing a full on mental trance. My hearing and mental processes literally began to feel as though they were collapsing. I’m fine now, after a long 4 hours in the emergency ward and damn near 100 ounces of water later but this herb as a tea is EXTREMELY TOXIC to those who haven’t been exposed to it at all before. After scanning the internet, no one speaks on the mental and psychedelic properties of this herb if drank in the form of a strong tea. Please be aware that you may experience hysteria, hearing problems, issues thinking correctly or efficiently, issues with balance, and/or body spasms. It’s extremely toxic in my opinion to ingest at all, especially after the experience I had.

    1. My goodness! Thank you for sharing your story. This is why I put the warning that all medical resources say to avoid using pennyroyal unless directed by a physician. Plants take a while to build up in your system then take a while to be removed, which is why it can be difficult to track symptoms early on. We drink a cup of pennyroyal tea and feel fine, but a week later we are in the hospital! What's most surprising to me is that you can buy pennyroyal tea at most grocery stores for menstrual help! I am so sorry you had such an awful experience and I am thankful you are doing better now.


This witch loves to hear from her readers, so please share your thoughts below!