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Catnip - Nepeta cataria. Catnip, catswort, Catmint, field balm, catnep

Catnip

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Biological Name: Nepeta catariacatnip

Family: Mint, Labiatae

Other Names: Catnip, catswort, Catmint, field balm, catnep

Elements Applied: Leaves and flowers are commonly applied in herbal medicine

Active Components: Catnip includes essential oil which is rich in monoterpene identical to valepotriates present in valerian, the herb which in its turn is widely applied as a sedative.

According to animal tests on cats the herb has been revealed to treat insomnia. Monoterpenes are also known to treat coughs.

History: Catnip is known to have a strong hallucinogenic influence on cats.

Conventionally, it has been applied to calm down the nervous system in people. It has gained its popularity throughout the world for two thousand years. Used as tea, its nicely-tasting lemon flavor was believed to treat coughs and colds, while promoting phlegm expectoration and eliminating chest congestion. Ancient homoeopathists considered its diaphoretic ability valuable for treating fevers.

Catnip tea was consumed as a common drink in England before tea was brought there from China. Conventional herbalists prescribed catnip for a range of health conditions, like hives, corns, toothache, and even cancer.

Catnip has been applied as a calming remedy for a long period, in addition to its application as a remedy for colic in infants, flatulence, menstrual cramps, and menstrual irregularities.

Saffron and catnip were mixed into a remedy for scarlet fever and smallpox.

The leaves were naturally chewed to relieve toothache, and even used in cigarettes for asthma and bronchitis.

North American residents learnt about catnip from colonists. For the present moment it is found elsewhere across the country. Local residents applied catnip for infant colic, indigestion and as a common drink.

In the early times of America the remedy was believed to drive an individual angry. The herb was even applied by hangmen before their dirty work to get indifferent.

Used For: The list of conditions in which catnip is applied includes insomnia and cough.

Catnip is applied as a sedative remedy, in addition to its capacity to improve digestion, treat colds, fevers, flatulence, diarrhea, and colic. Catnip extract has been revealed to reduce cancer cell culture, particularly HELA-S3 cancer cells.

Catnip is capable of relieving spasms in the digestive system due to its ability to relax smooth muscles. Those who are predisposed to heartburn and indigestion can drink a cup of tea made of catnip after each food intake.

The active components found in the herb are also responsible for relaxing other muscles, for instance, uterine muscle tissue. Due to this fact catnip’s antispasmodic action is applied for reducing menstrual pains. Catnip triggers menstruation as well. The herb should be thus avoided during pregnancy.

Catnip has a mild capacity to calm down the nervous system.

Catnip is known to possess anti-bacterial capacity. It is applied for fevers and diarrhea.

Additional Info: Catnip is green to gray colored, and belongs to perennials. Its appearance is common of mint family, characterized by lipped flowers, hairy leaves, and a square stem. The leaves are oblong formed and hairy. Catnip blossoms from early summer to early autumn, featuring white flowers with purple dots on them.

Preparation and Intake: To make catnip tea, take 1-2 teaspoons of the plant, fill it up with a cup of boiling water and infuse for 10-15 minutes.

Avoid boiling the herb. Boiling destroys its treating properties.

Consumed in a quantity of 2-3 cups a day.

To treat cough in children, use tincture at a dose of 5 ml thrice a day.

Safety: When taken according to directions, catnip produces no adverse effects on the body. Stomach complaints are possible after catnip intake. According to FDA lists, catnip’s safety level is still unknown. There are no reports of considerable toxic reactions to the herb.