Catnip herb has a long history of being used as a digestive aid. It’s a natural sedative that helps to ease digestion, colic and diarrhea.
Catnip Herb History
Catnip herb (Nepeta cataria) history includes the legend of a hangman, who had trouble finding the courage to conduct his profession. He medicated himself with catnip in order to complete his task. The name Nepeta is derived from the Etruruan city of Neptic where the plant was said to be prominently grown. The French call catnip herbe aux chats and often made a tea from catnip prior to the arrival of Chinese teas.
Catnip can be planted in your garden in spring or fall, from seed or plants. It will sprout in two to three weeks if started from seed. Catnip grows best in full sun combined with average, well-drained soil and regular watering. Cutting the plants completely down after the first bloom set will allow enough time for it to completely regrow and bloom again. Check this out for more information on growing catnip.
Preserving and Storing Your Catnip For Later Use
Catnip plants grow quickly and will readily replace what you remove. However, they are more likely to regrow stems than single leaves, so to harvest, cut off entire stems close to the base of the plant. Then you can remove individual leaves and allow them out to dry on a screen or drying tray.
Keep your catnip harvest in a place safe from cats. They will be drawn to the leaves and will destroy them before they are ready to store. Once dry, you can store catnip leaves whole or crushed in a sealed jar or bag in a cool, dark cupboard. You should be able to make a good harvest of catnip leaves at least twice in the growing season. Cut stems in the summer at bloom time and again in the fall and you should have a good supply to take you and your cats through the winter. Here’s more on preserving and storing catnip.
Cooking With Catnip
This recipe will show you how to make some delicious catnip tea.
Catnip Herb Nutrition
Traditional medicine has employed Nepeta cataria as one of several natural cough remedies. Along with herbs like horehound, mullein, hyssop, licorice, and ivy leaf, catnip has a lengthy history of use for natural cough relief. A study using animal tissue published in the Journal of Ethopharmacology concludes that catnip has antispasmodic and muscle relaxant abilities. Another scientific review from 2015 includes catnip on a list of herbal bronchodilators that may be medicinally helpful for coughs as well as asthma.
Catnip Health Benefits
Catnip has a long history of being used as a digestive aid. It’s a natural sedative that also helps to ease digestion, colic and diarrhea. Dehydration caused by diarrhea, and high body temperatures caused by fevers can be life-threatening. A tea brewed from its leaves may help alleviate these symptoms. Here’s more information on the health benefits of catnip.
Catnip Herb Benefits
Catmint is also a mild sedative that naturally helps calm the nerves during stressful situations. Also helps keep stink bugs away!
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