Catnip ( Nepeta cataria)
Parts used: Flowering tops, leaves.
Catnip is often used for wind or colic. It soothes upset stomachs, indigestion and stress-related problems. Because it contains tannins, it is also good for diarrhoea and inflammatory bowel problems. In the respiratory system it is helpful for coughs, bronchitis and asthma. Another use is it helps reducing fevers and bringing out rashes in irruptive infections such as measles and chicken pox.
It is an antiseptic and staunches bleeding and speeds healing of cuts, bites, burns, scalds and bruises.
How to grow:
Catnip is a perennial shrub, traditionally thought to excite cats. It has attractive, aromatic, grey-green foliage and grows to a round 60 cm (2ft) tall.
Propagate by sowing seeds in spring, taking softwood cuttings in spring or dividing the plant in late summer. It prefers well drained soil in full sun.
Protect from cats if necessary.
Catnip (or catmint) is a herb suited to relaxing the nervous system, it has calming qualities and a handful of dried catnip steeped in boiling water makes a good tea to calm down after a stressful day, drink before bed. A teaspoon of honey will take away the woodsy flavour.
In other uses catnip is useful as a repellent. Mice dislike the scent, catnip in sachets or planted around doors outside will keep mice away. The plant is also useful as a insect repellent. A spray can be made using catnip & basil:
1/2 cup fresh catnip and basil leaves chopped
1 cup witch hazel
Any of the following essential oils: Citronella, lemongrass, basil, lemon, or eucalyptus.
Water for diluting.
Place catnip and bail in jar and pour the witch hazel over the herbs. Close the jar and leave in a dark place for 1 week. Strain and the infused witch hazel should stay fresh for up to a 1 year.
Fill a small spray bottle half way with infused witch hazel add 3 to 4 drops of essential oils and fill the rest of the bottle with plain water, cap and shake.
Shake frequently before and during use. Spray lightly on skin to keeps bugs at bay.
CAUTION: As always be careful about using herbs. Never use while pregnant. Be careful when using on young children. And always test a small patch on the skin first to see if a reaction will occur. See your doctor first to check if it will react to any other medications.
I hope everyone is having a good day or evening where ever you are.