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Catnip plants (Nepeta cataria and other Nepeta species) are members of the mint family and contain volatile oils, sterols, acids and tannins. Native to Europe, Asia and Africa, the plant was brought to North America by settlers; nowadays, the plant is popular in herb gardens and grows widely as a weed. The name Nepeta is derived from the Etruruan city of Neptic where the plant was said to be prominently grown. The French call catnip herbe aux chats and often made a tea from catnip prior to the arrival of Chinese teas. In the Middle Ages, Nepeta catataria was known as catmint or ‘nep’. People and cats alike loved it and catnip was used in herbal medicines and for cooking. The use of catnip leaves and flowers in herbal teas was documented at least as early as 1735 in the General Irish Herbal.
Medicinally, the plant has been used to treat intestinal cramps, for indigestion, to cause sweating, to induce menstruation, as a sedative, and to increase appetite. Catnip was introduced to America around the 18th century.
Catnip was used as an ointment for skin ailments and the tea was often used as a way of making unpleasant or difficult tasks a bit easier. Scientists figured out the nepetalactone-cat link back in the 1940s, Nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip, can turn even the laziest couch potato into a crazy furball—if said furball happens to have inherited the sensitivity to its effects. The trait doesn’t emerge until a cat is between three and six months old; until then, a kitten will not have a response. Catnip sensitivity is hereditary—an estimated 50 percent of cats have no reaction.
The taste and energetics of Catnip are bitter, pungent, cooling and astringent. Catnip has an affinity towards the liver, lungs, digestive system, uterus, nervous system and musculoskeletal system. Combine catnip with Fennel, Lavender or Coriander seed for digestive support. For nervous system support combine Catnip with California poppy, Lemon Balm or Passion flower.
How to use:
Mix 2 teaspoons of dried catnip leaves or flowers with 1 cup of boiling water. Steep for 10-15 minutes. Add lemon juice and honey, stir, and let cool for several minutes.
Cautions and contraindications:
Women with Pelvic Inflammatory disease should avoid using catnip because it can start menstruation. Heavy menstrual periods (menorrhagia): Because catnip can cause menstruation, it might make heavy menstrual periods worse. It is LIKELY UNSAFE to use take catnip during pregnancy. There is some evidence that catnip can stimulate the uterus. This might cause a miscarriage.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your health care provider before the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary