Document Detail

Multiple organ failure after ingestion of pennyroyal oil from herbal tea in two infants.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8909490     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Hepatic and neurologic injury developed in two infants after ingestion of mint tea. Examination of the mint plants, from which the teas were brewed, indicated that they contained the toxic agent pennyroyal oil. METHODS: Sera from each infant were analyzed for the toxic constituents of pennyroyal oil, including pulegone and its metabolite menthofuran. RESULTS: Fulminant liver failure with cerebral edema and necrosis developed in the first infant, who died. This infant was positive only for menthofuran (10 ng/mL). In the other infant, who was positive for both pulegone (25 ng/mL) and menthofuran (41 ng/mL), hepatic dysfunction and a severe epileptic encephalopathy developed. CONCLUSION: Pennyroyal oil is a highly toxic agent that may cause both hepatic and neurologic injury if ingested. A potential source of pennyroyal oil is certain mint teas mistakenly used as home remedies to treat minor ailments and colic in infants. Physicians should consider pennyroyal oil poisoning as a possible cause of hepatic and neurologic injury in infants, particularly if the infants may have been given home-brewed mint teas.
J A Bakerink; S M Gospe; R J Dimand; M W Eldridge
Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Pediatrics     Volume:  98     ISSN:  0031-4005     ISO Abbreviation:  Pediatrics     Publication Date:  1996 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1996-12-06     Completed Date:  1996-12-06     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376422     Medline TA:  Pediatrics     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  944-7     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Department of Pediatrics, University of California, Davis Medical Center, Sacramento 96817, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Beverages / poisoning*
Brain Diseases / chemically induced
Brain Edema / chemically induced
Cyclohexanones / poisoning*
Epilepsy / chemically induced
Liver Failure, Acute / chemically induced
Menthol / analogs & derivatives,  poisoning
Multiple Organ Failure / chemically induced*
Oils, Volatile / poisoning*
Terpenes / poisoning
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Cyclohexanones; 0/Monoterpenes; 0/Oils, Volatile; 0/Terpenes; 1490-04-6/Menthol; 15932-80-6/pulegone; 494-90-6/menthofuran; 8007-44-1/pennyroyal oil

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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