Mentha pulegium, commonly pennyroyal, or pennyrile, also called wild mint, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae, native to Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
Crushed pennyroyal leaves emit a very strong fragrance similar to spearmint. Pennyroyal is a traditional folk remedy, emmenagogue, abortifacient, and culinary herb.
Pennyroyal is frequently used as an insecticide and pest repellent.
Mentha pulegium has been used in herbal medicine for centuries, its main value being as a digestive tonic, where it increases the secretion of digestive juices and relieves flatulence and colic. Mentha pulegium also powerfully stimulates the uterine muscles and encourages menstruation. A tea made from the leaves has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, minor respiratory infections, digestive disorders, menstrual complaints and various minor ailments. Externally, an infusion is used to treat itchiness and formication, inflamed skin disorders such as eczema and rheumatic conditions such as gout.