The plant has a low spreading habit and can be used as a ground cover, though it is somewhat sparse in the winter and can be invaded by the more aggressive weeds[K]. The growing or dried plant repels fleas, ants, moths, mice etc. Rats and mice intensely dislike the smell of mint. The plant was therefore used in homes as a strewing herb and has also been spread in granaries to keep the rodents off the grain. A strong infusion applied to the face will keep gnats away in the summer.The aromatic leaves are used as an ingredient of pot-pourri.
The herb is antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, sedative and stimulant. 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. It is occasionally used as a treatment for intestinal worms. Externally, an infusion is used to treat itchiness and formication, inflamed skin disorders such as eczema and rheumatic conditions such as gout. The leaves are harvested in the summer as the plant comes into flower and are dried for later use.The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses.
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Pennyroyal is often grown in the herb garden and is also cultivated commercially as a medicinal plant. There are two main forms of this species. One has weak prostrate stems and spreads by rooting where the stems touch the ground, it is only 10cm tall. The other is erect, does not spread so freely and grows about 30cm tall, thus making it easier to harvest. There is also at least one named form, called 'Dwarf' it is only a few centimetres tall. The whole plant a strong spearmint smell. The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies. A good companion plant for cabbages and tomatoes, helping to repel cabbage root fly and other burrowing insects.Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
There are no polycultures listed which include Mentha pulegium.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
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