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Pulegioides derives from the Latin word, pulex, a flea.
Other Names: Persoon. Cunila P. Melissa P. Ziziphora P.
Common Names: American Pennyroyal. Mock Pennyroyal. Tick-weed. Squaw mint. Stinking balm. thickweed, mosquito plant, squaw balm, fleabane.
Tincture of the whole plant.
N.O. Subclass: Asteridae; Order: Lamiales; Family: Labiatae/Lamiaceae or Mint Family
Allen: Cyclopoedia, V. 4. Hale: New Rem., 2d ed.
Toothaker: Phila. Jl. Hom., V. 2, p. 655.
PENNYROYAL OIL .
Toothaker: Phila. Jl. Hom., V. 2, p. 655. (Bradford’s Index).
Description of the substance
Botanical Information: This common, annual herb, grows to a height of from 6 to 12 inches. Stem erect, minutely pubescent, branching; hairs retuse. Leaves oblong - ovate, obscurely serrate, the floral similar, all narrowed at the base into a slender petiole. Inflorescence in loose, few - flowered, axillary whorls, often having the appearance of terminal racemes; flowers very small, pedicillate. Calyx ovoid or tubular, gibbous at the base, 13 - nerved, bearded in the throat, and more or less two - lipped; upper - lip 3 - toothed, broad and spreading; teeth triangular; lower - lip 2 - cleft, divisions setaceous - subulate, and hispid - ciliate. Corolla bluish, pubescent, scarcely exceeding the calyx; tube naked within; limb 2 - lipped, the throat evenly open; upper - lip erect, flat, and notched at the apex; lower - lip spreading, 3 - cleft. Stamens 4, the inferior (fertile pair the longer; fertile filaments ascending parallel and under the upper - lip; sterile tipped with a little head, destitute of cells or pollen. Anthers of fertile stamens, 2 - celled. Fruiting calyx ovate - campanulate, strongly gibbous, the throat closed with a ring of villous hairs. Nutlets 4, ovoid, brown, slightly compressed.
The American Pennyroyal differs largely from the European Mentha pulegium in its botanical characters, but its action, as a medicine, is very like it. Our species is extensively used, in domestic practice, as an aromatic stimulant and carminative in colic of children; a diaphoretic in the beginning of colds (Pennyroyal Tea); and in large doses of a hot infusion, together with the pediluvium, in amenorrhoea. In the latter trouble, if of recent occurrence, it will often bring on the menses, nicely; and, combined with a gill of brewer's yeast, it frequently acts well as an abortivant, should the intender be not too late with her prescription. The oil is anti - emetic, anti - spasmodic, and rubefacient in rheumatism; with raw linseed oil, it makes an excellent dressing for recent burns. The oil has been recommended as an ointment to keep off gnats, ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes; many who have camped in the northern woods, have anointed their hands, neck, and face with this body, to guard against the pests of that region, but with only partial success.
The herb and Oleum Hedeomae are officinal in the U. S. Ph.; in the Eclectic Dispensatory, the oil and Decoctum Hedeomae are recommended. (Millspaugh’s Medicinal Plants).
Habitat: This species is indigenous to North America, where it ranges from Canada to Iowa, and southward. It grows upon the most arid spots of open woods and fields, and blossoms from July to September. (Millspaugh’s Medicinal Plants).