Also knows as Catmint, this herb got its name due to the love and affection received by cats! Why do cats love this so much? When the leaves/flowers are bruised, it gives off a scent that is very similar to the pheromones exuded by a cat in heat. So, if you’re growing this at home, make sure to protect it from any cats that may …umm… attack it and ruin the leaves. Native to Mediterranean and European regions, it is now naturalized in many parts of the world.
Catnip is used for Digestive Disorders or feverish chills.
Parts Used: Aerial parts; Flowers, leaves
Main Constituents: Volatile Oils, Glycosides; Warming energetics
Dosage: For Infusions or teas, drink one cup three times per day for colds, flu, stomach issues/indigestion; For Tinctures, take up to 1tsp. three times daily with infusion/teas for headaches associated with digestive disturbance; alternatively, use 1-2 tsp. of tincture externally as a rub for arthritis
Actions/Medicinal Properties: Analgesic, anticatarrhal, antispasmodic, aperient, bitter, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, nervine, sedative.
Catnip relaxes muscle spasms, especially in the smooth muscles of the intestines. It opens the pores of the skin, promoting peripheral circulation, and stimulates sweating, which can be helpful in managing a fever.
Catnip also helps dissolve mucous, soothes inflammation of the mucous membranes, and it can be helpful in sinus or respiratory infections, and is especially helpful with the cold and flu.
Magickal Properties: Healing , Sleep, Tranquility, dreams, psychic ability, Love, Luck, Friendship, Happiness.
Catnip is used to represent love and friendship. Grow near your home or hang over a door to attract good spirits and luck.
Historically known to give soldiers courage when chewed prior to battle.
Catnip can be burned with incense to help get rid of bad habits.
Catnip in History
It is said that the Egyptians grew this and gave it to their cats as a form of affection. (cat-birthday gift?)
The Romans regarded catnip highly and used it as a culinary herb and for medicines.
Catnip was introduced to America in the 18th century. Settlers took plant cuttings with them for food and medicinal purposes when they traveled to the New World and there is a recipe from Massachusetts 1712 that includes catnip in the list of ingredients. Native Americans also began to use catnip in their medicines and recipes when they came accross it.