Botanical Name: Nepeta cataria
- English: Catnip
- Also, known as: Nep, Cat’s Wort, Catnep, Katzenkraut, Catswort, Cataire, Nébeda, Cataria, Catmint, Chi-hsueh-ts’ao
Habitat: Britain and USA
Parts Used: Whole plant
This perennial herb is naturalized in the United States and found in all parts. The root is perennial and sends up square, erect and branched stems, 2 to 3 feet high, which are very leafy and covered with a mealy down. The square, erect branching stems are covered with fine whitish hairs; leaves 1–2½ in. Long with heart-shaped or oblong, pointed apex, the top side green with grayish-green and whitish hairs underneath. The flowers grow on short footstalks in dense whorls, which towards the summit of the stem are so close as almost to form a spike. Flowering in June to September with the whitish corolla, purple dotted sectioned lips, and lobes make up the conformation of the bloom. The calyx tube has fifteen ribs, a distinguishing feature of the genus Nepeta, to which this species belongs.
Faintly mint aromatic, with a bitter taste. The plant has an aromatic, characteristic odor, which bears a certain resemblance to that of both Mint and Pennyroyal. The names catnip and catmint are derived from the intense attraction most cats have towards them. It is owing to this scent that it has a strange fascination for cats, who will destroy any plant of it that may happen to be bruised.
In France, the leaves and young shoots are used for seasoning, and it is regularly grown amongst kitchen herbs for the purpose. Both there and in this country, it has an old reputation for its value as a medicinal herb.
How to use:
The basic method for dried herbs and flower is, take 2-3 tablespoons of dried herb in a cup or teapot. Pour hot water over it and cover it with lid for 10-30 minutes. Hot water is needed to draw out the antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, flavonoids and volatile oils from the botanicals. Strain and squeeze out as much as liquid as possible and enjoy!
- You can sweeten your herbal tea with a bit of honey, natural fruit juice, stevia leaves powder and or licorice root powder.
- You can make ice cubes or pops by freezing tea in ice trays or pop molds.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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This information has not been evaluated by Health Canada.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.