A harmless high for felines and beneficial for humans. Catnip leaves contain considerable quantities of vitamins C and E, both excellent antioxidants. The primary phytochemicals, nepetalactone isomers, are mild sedatives, somewhat like the active ingredients in valerian. Catnip is a gentle but potent sleep-inducer for humans that calms without affecting you the next day. It soothes the nervous system and can safely help get a restless child off to sleep, in fact catnip, along with chamomile, is one of the most often recommended herbs for use in childrens complaints.
Catnip teas have long been used in traditional herbal medicine to quell digestive disturbances, and reducing the pain of menstrual cramps.
A hot cup of catnip tea is excellent for treating colds and flu because it producing perspiration without increasing the heat of the system. Catnip tea is good for curing headaches as well. (Dawson,Adele )
Preparation Methods & Dosage : To use for cats, sprinkle on food, stuff chewable toys, or add fresh leaves to drinking water. Glycerin-based tinctures are also good for both humans and cats. The leaves are sometimes smoked recreationally.
Herbaceous and subtly floral Catnip brings energies of knowledge, mystery, and playfulness. Researchers at Iowa State University found nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip that gives the plant its characteristic odor, is ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET.
Plant type:Aromatic, herbaceous perennial, mint family
Leaves:Downy, heart shaped, greyish-green
Preferred Habitat:dry roadsides
Harvest Season:Tops are harvested in the fall for herbal use
Distribution:Native to Europe, naturalized in North America
Catnip (Catnep to the English) has an aromatic, characteristic odor, which bears a certain resemblance to that of both Mint and Pennyroyal. It is owing to this scent that it has a strange fascination for cats, who will destroy any plant of it that may happen to be bruised.
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History and Traditions & Folklore
This old, sweet herb was naturalized in North America so long ago that some think it a native, Catnip flavored with honey was a favorite aromatic tea of early American colonists.
** Information on the traditional uses and properties of herbs are provided on this site is for educational use only, and is not intended as medical advice. Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Many traditional uses and properties of herbs have not been validated by the FDA. If you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs. **