Catnip

catnip flower
catnip flower

Herb – Catnip – Nepita

Catnip is used as an herbal remedy for treating disorders of the digestive system and, as it stimulates sweating, it is useful in reducing fevers. Relaxant with stimulating and cooling properties. Relaxes muscle spasm, opens pores, releases fever. Mild tea is used to relieve colic in babies, restlessness and nervousness. Stronger tea relieves fevers due to colds and flu as well as calming the stomach and preventing nausea and diarrhea.
A member of the mint family, Catnip has square, erect and branched stems and grows 2 to 3 feet high. Catnip blooms from June to September.

Treats

Hiatal hernia, menstrual headache, cramps. Aids in sleeplessness, relieves stress from stomach/emotions, motion sickness, balances coffee jitters, good for hives, measles, fever, acne

Usage

Gather before flowering for fresh tea or tincture. Loses properties on drying. For Poultice, boil fresh leaves covered, and thicken with corn meal. Apply to skin, or head for headaches.
To 1 cup of boiling water add 2 tsp. dried catnip. Steep for 10 minutes give warm in cup. Cup for children 1 TBS diluted or in milk for babies.
Don’t overuse, has a narcotic affect on children if used continually.

Edible Uses

The fresh young shoots are good in spring salads and rubbed into meat for flavor. As the name (cat-nip) suggests, cats love to nip at it. Some cats discovered that the more they roll in it by crushing it the more oil it releases.

External Use

An extract from the leaves (called nepetalactone) has herbicidal and insect repellent properties. For example, a University Study found that the oil was 10 times more effective at repelling mosquitoes.

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