According to the most recent FDA findings there are a number of plants that have detrimental properties. Among others, they found that Pennyroyal oil caused liver, kidney and nerve damage.

I was taking the flower essence Mountain Pennyroyal and wanted to recommend it to a friend when he discovered the FDA reference to its toxicity. My question is, if any aspect of the plant is poisonous or causes some kind of dysfunction, couldn't it be assumed that the flower itself has detrimental properties?

April 28, 2004

Thank you for your inquiry about toxicity in herbs and flower essences.

Toxicity is a function of both dosage and substance. Many substances which are benign, even water or salt, can be toxic if consumed in extreme quantities. What we call toxic substances are those that are harmful in generally smaller quantities. Many of the FDA warnings are based on studies in which extreme amounts of the herbs were consumed. Therefore, anyone using these herbs should pay special heed to the safe dosage levels.

However, flower essences use only a infinitesimal quantity of the plant substance. In that way, they are similar to homeopathic remedies. These energetic remedies rely on the imprint of the subtle energy pattern of the plant, rather than on the biochemical constituents, which are below detectable amounts in the stock bottles (the first dilution from the mother essence.) It is a well-known principle in homeopathy that substances that can be poisonous when taken in physical quantities, are useful as healing substances when taken in potentized and physically dilute form. A similar principle applies to flower essences. The amount of physical substance contained in the few drops of potentized and dilute essence is so small that it will not have any direct physiological impact.

Furthermore, regarding the concern you have for Mountain Pennyroyal (Monardella odoratissima), this is a totally different plant from the typical herbal Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium), about which there are legitimate concerns (for the herb, not the flower essence) about its abortifacient properties. So, you can be assured there are no risks associated with the Mountain Pennyroyal essence on two counts: first, that it is not the herbal Pennyroyal that is the subject of warnings; and secondly, that as a flower essence, even if there were toxic substances in the plant (which is not the case), they would be rendered harmless at the high dilution level of a flower essence.

Please feel free to contact us if you have further questions or concerns.

Richard Katz

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