Catnip medicinal herb may be used as a natural mosquito repellent

catnip medicinal herb

Catnip (Nepeta Cataria) medicinal herb is a plant that is native to Asia as well as Europe.  It is a perennial plant which is a part of the mint family, Lamiaceae

It is seen as one of the best herbs for children and it is one of the oldest home remedies that is also used for small children and infants.  If this herb is strewn around the house it can keep away mice and rats. The common names are Catmint, Catnup, Cat's-wort, Field balm as well as Nepeta cataria.

The constituents of this plant are volatile oil, which include citronellol and geraniol, tannins, antioxidants, iridoids, flavonoids, niacin, minerals, and vitamins C and E.

The medicinal properties are sedative, diaphoretic, carminative, insecticidal, anticancer, antioxidant, emmenagogue and aromatic.

Health benefits

The tea is a good medicinal remedy for children with colic, headaches, as well as symptoms of cold.  Catnip tea may also be used as enema for children with convulsions and it is very useful in all kinds of pain, spasm, gas, hyper-acidity in the stomach, and for the prevention of griping in the bowels of children.

It is a strong and powerful smelling member of the mint family and people who smoked the leaves were said to become happy although the smoking was mainly  herbal remedy for respiratory problems.

It is one of the traditional cold and flu remedies and it can be used fresh, dried as well as frozen. The leaves may also be chewed to relieve toothache and sore gums. This herb is also a good medicinal remedy for anxiety disorder.

When it is mixed with sweet balm, marshmallow and sweet weed, it will make an excellent herbal baby remedy because of its soothing properties. Steeped one tablespoon in a pint of water and used as enema to soothe and calm babies. It is also effective in convulsions, fevers, and for expelling worms in children.

It is seen as an aromatic herb and it has a considerable folkloric reputation in traditional use. It is believed to have sedative medicinal property which can cause drowsiness, so do not drink it if you plan to drive.

This medicinal plant may be used as a tea, juice, tincture, infusion or poultice. It may also be seen as a culinary herb because it can be used in cooking.

It produces narcotic effects on cats. Cats and catnip go well together. They just love this plant and gardeners who cultivate this herb will have to be on the alert to protect their gardens from these cats because they love to roll all over it and at times will take a nap in it. It is really like a love affair between these two. Therefore, it is advisable to plant it, not only for yourself but for your cats as well.

Many persons prefer to take herbal remedies to treat insomnia because they are deemed to be safer than over the counter medications.  There are those who avoid drugs such as prozac, Zoloft and Paxil and opt to use catnip to take care of their insomnia because of the natural sedative effect which comes from the leaves.

Preparation and Dosage

The infusion of one ounces to a pint of boiling water may be taken by adults in doses of 2 tablespoonfuls. Children may be given in 2 or 3 teaspoonfuls frequently to alleviate pain and flatulence.

How to grow catnip herb

Wherever you are planting this medicinal plant, let it be in a sunny area with a little shade. It is best to grow it in well drained soil and it is also best to plant the seeds in the spring time.

It is a versatile herb in the sense that the seedlings can be sown at least 20 inches apart as well in clumps. It does not really matter, whatever is your choice it is just as good.

It is good to sow the seeds far away from other plants because it loves to overcrowd the other plants.  This medicinal herb can really strive without fertilizer. It can grow two to three feet tall, so when it is a few inches, it is best to pinch back catnip shoots so as to encourage a thick and bushy growth.

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