Catnip is also known by the names Catmint, Catnep, and Field Balm. The genus name, Nepeta, is from Nepeti, a Roman town where this herb was first cultivated. Catnip, a member of the mint family, grows on banks and waste places in northern temperate regions around the world. It is so named because of the peculiar behavior of cats when they get a whiff of this feline favorite. It doesn't cause such behavior in humans but, like many botanicals, it has many excellent nutritional properties. Early settlers believed Catnip would make kind people mean, and so the dried roots were fed to hangmen and executioners.
The part of this plant used for health benefits is the leaf. The primary chemical constituents of Catnip include essential oils (carvacrol, citronellal, geraniol, nepetol, nepetelactone, pulegone, thymol), iridoids, and tannins. It also contains iron, selenium, potassium, manganese, chromium, and moderate amounts of other minerals and vitamins. Catnip has soothing and relaxing effects on the digestive system, supporting diarrhea, flatulence, indigestion, upset stomach and headaches.
Catnip contains antispasmodic properties that are ideal for helping support abdominal and menstrual cramping, and chronic coughing. Excellent in reducing fevers, Catnip can also be used to support alleviating sleeplessness and insomnia. Catnip's astringent properties are also beneficial for helping support colds and bronchial infections.
This herb also has many topical applications - as a bath herb for stress, colic and teething; as a compress or poultice for pain, sprains, bruises and insect bites; as a poultice for toothache; and as a hair rinse for scalp irritations. Other uses include Catnip as a liniment for joint pain; as an eyewash for inflammation, allergies and bloodshot eyes; as an enema to cleanse the colon; and as a salve for hemorrhoids.
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Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 teaspoon of tea for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the pot, cover and let steep for 2-4 minutes. Pour into your cup; add milk and natural sweetener to taste.
Iced tea brewing method: (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 5 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea itself. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into the serving pitcher straining the tea. Add ice and top-up with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease. If conditions persist, please seek advice from your medical doctor. Information provided at ZooScape.com relies partly on Traditional Uses. The essence of the current American rule on Traditional Uses is, as stated by FTC, "Claims based on historical or traditional use should be substantiated by confirming scientific evidence, or should be presented in such a way that consumers understand that the sole basis for the claim is a history of use of the product for a particular purpose."