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Mosquito Repellent

Do you know of any medicaments that were used in the late 18th or 
early 19th centuries as topicals either to repel mosquitoes, or to 
relieve itching?
Joseph Mussulman
Pennyroyal was known to assist with mosquito control in humans and animals by the American Indians and others. Personally, I
 strongly discourage the use of pennyroyal in creams or other topicals in pregnant or women of childbearing age. However, as a repellent, it need not be applied directly to the human or animal but on an inanimate object close by or attached. The information below is from our
www. compounding today.com. Note the reference, USD, 1845. Garden variety mint plants are reported to help with mosquito control; thus, the oil could be helpful.
Rita L. Benischek, DPh, MA
International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding
Edmond, Oklahoma
Physicochemical Information for Pennyroyal Oil
Name: Pennyroyal Oil
Synonym or Trademark Reference: American Pennyroyal Oil
Mentha Pulegium
Oil of Hedeoma; Oil of Mosquito Plant
Oleum Hedeomae
Pulegium Oil
Squawmint; Mosquito Plant
CAS Number: 8007-44-1
Chemical Name:  
Empiric Formula: C10H16O  
Molecular Weight: 260.300
Specific Gravity: From: 0.9250
To: 0.9400
pH 1% or as Indicated: From: 
Dissociation Constant (pKa): Primary: 
Refractive Index: From: 1.4820
Viscosity Values
% Concentration Temperature Viscosity Unit
Freezing Point
Melting Point or Range
Boiling Point
Solvent Code
Water SS - Slightly Soluble
Chloroform VS - Very Soluble
Ether VS - Very Soluble

     Note - Soluble in 2 volumes of 70% alcohol
Description: Volatile oil distilled from dried leaves and flowering tops of "Hedeoma pulegiodes" L. European pennyroyal or "Mentha pulegium" (Labiatae). Earned nickname of mosquito plant because it repelled mosquitos. Contains highly toxic substance D-pulegone which appears in concentration up to 92%. May also contain hedeomol, menthone isomenthone (10-20%); and acetic, formic, butyric, salicylic acids plus tannins and flavonoids. Pale yellow liquid with a mint-like odor and bitter, slightly burning taste. Natural habitat in Canada to Florida and west to Nebraska, USA.
Regulatory Status:
Region Agency Status
Use Categories:
Flavoring Agent
Insect Repellant
Oil Aromatic
Phytopharmaceutical or Herbal
Safety and Handling Requirements
CC - Chemo Control
VP - Vapor Control
DC - Dust or Powder Control

     Warning - Control with full chemo considerations
     Warning - Caution with pregnant, lactating, premenopausal women
Storage Requirements:
LR - Light-Resistant Container
TC - Tight, Airtight Container
Comments: Formerly used as a emmenagogue. Pennyroyal should never be used medicinally. Severe toxic effects have followed its use as an abortifacient (causes irritation of the uterus and contractions) with seizures, hepatotoxicity, hemorrhage and death. There is no clinical evidence or data to support the use of this herb or its oil(s). It cannot be recommended.
Stability Information:
Incompatibility Information:
Peirce A. APhA Practical Guide to Natural Medicines William Morrow and Company Inc, New York 1999:493-495
Claus EP Pharmacognosy Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia 1961:228
Sweetman SC Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference. 33rd Ed Pharmaceutical Press, London 2002:1655
Jellin JM, Gregory PS, Hitchens T. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 6th Ed Therapeutics Research Faculty, Stockton, CA 2004:496-500
Wood GB, Bache F The Dispensatory of the United States of America. 6th Ed Grigg and Elliot, Philadelphia 1845:365
The Merck Index. 14th Internet Ed 2006 Merck & Co Inc, Whitehouse Station NJ 2006
Montvale NJ Physicians' Desk Reference for Herbal Medicines. 3rd Ed Medical Economics, New York 2004:627-628
Sweetman SC Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference. 33rd Ed Pharmaceutical Press, London 2002:1675

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