Sunday, November 1, 2009


Catnip is an aromatic, perennial herb that belongs to the Lamiaceae family. It is native to Asia and Europe is cultivated in North America. Catnip plants grow from 3 to 5 ft in height and have fuzzy, greyish-green leaves and small, white flowers that bloom in the summer. The herb is popular for its fragrance and the stimulating effect it has on all members of the feline (cat) family.

Catnip is a non-fussy herb. It grows best in well-drained, averagely rich soil and partial shade. However, it can tolerate dry, sandy soil and full sun. and it should be topped with compost. Catnip can be propagated through seeds, stem cuttings or by dividing the roots. The seeds should be sown indoors, six to eight weeks before the last frost date. Catnip can be grown indoors in pots, but it requires at least 5 hours of sunlight per day.

Catnip has astringent properties and has a settling effect on the stomach. It has carminative qualities and thus acts as a remedy for flatulence, colic, and headaches due to digestive problems. It is also considered a diaphoretic and therefore its infusion helps in alleviating high body temperature caused by fever. Catnip tincture acts as an effective ointment for curing rheumatic condition, arthritis and hemorrhoids. It has also been used to cure bronchitis, asthma and eruptive diseases like measles. The herb is also known to relieve cough, muscular pain and have a sedating effect when consumed. It is known to stimulate menstruation and also works as a tonic. An infusion made from Catnip can also help in curing bruises and dark-circles. Catnip has a pleasant and appealing taste, which makes it an easy option for treatment of children’s ailments.

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