Catnip (Nepeta cataria), Catswort, Catmint
Main Facts about Catnip
Catnip resembles a typical mint family member in appearance. It has a square, hairy stalk with typically geen/grey coloured heart shaped leaves that have scalloped edges. Its whitish purple flowers grow in clusters, heart-shaped opposite leaves are covered in fine hair, especially underside. Catnip flowers grow in spikes, reaching 1/2 inch in length. It is best known for its ability to get cats high.
Using CatnipFlowers and leaves make a minty tea used for colds, fever, bronchitis, colic, headaches, helps digestive system, calms stomach. Mild tea calms restless kids and babies colic. Rub Catnip tea on skin for skin irritations. Catnip juice promotes menstruation. It is considered to be a strong antispasmodic, is used for restlessness, nervousnes as a tranquilizer or sedative. Chew leaves for toothache. Terpenoid nepetalactone, an insect and mosquito repellant, is the main chemical constituent of the essential oil of catnip.
Caution!Pregnant women need to apply caution while consuming Catnip.
Cooking with CatnipYoung shoots are good in salad. Catnip is most often drunk as a herbal tea to calm an upset stomach or help with sleep. To make Catnip tea, pour boiling water over the drued catnip leaves and let it steep. Also used as an aromatic herb for many dishes. Can be ingested through smoking and has a slight calming effect.
How to grow CatnipCultivated as an ornamental plant, also grown for its attractant qualities to house cats and butterflies.The plant is drought tolerant and deer resistant. It can be a repellant for certain insects. Easy to grow.It likes light, sandy soil and grows best in full sun. Keep it well watered until it has become established. As the plant is growing, pinch out the top growth tips to promote bushiness.