Catnip

Botanical Name: Nepeta Cataria | Family: Labiatae (Mint family)

Common name(s): Catnip, Nebada (Spanish)

GROWING

  • Perennial; herbaceous | zones 3-7 | 15-24 inches tall | white, purple-spotted flowers on and off in the summer.
  • Found in many environments. Full sun to shade, no special soil needs.
  • Reseeds readily

Companion planting: french or red-veined sorrels, nasturtium, shiso, sage

HARVESTING

Collect aerial parts anytime during the growing season. Cut the plant back to 3-4 inches above ground. It will grow back within a couple of weeks, providing multiple harvests during a season.

PREPARATION / DOSAGE

Parts: Aerial parts, fresh or dried

Infusion: 1 cup boiling water onto 2 teaspoon dried herb. Let sit for 10-15 minutes. Drink 3x/day.

Tincture: take 2 – 4ml of tincture 3x/day.

Baby dose: ¼ cup of weak tea in a bottle, add a pinch of sugar to sweeten if needed; or mix the tea with breast milk

MEDICAL

Constituents: Volatile oils including citronella, geraniol, and citral; bitter principal; tannins

Actions: carminative, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, sedative, astringent

Uses: colic, teething, hyperactivity (safe plant for children); cold & flu / fever, bronchitis, stomach upset, dyspepsia, flatulence

Combinations: Combines well with Boneset, Elder, Yarrow or  Cayenne for colds

CHINESE MEDICINE*

  • Spicy, bitter, cool
  • Lungs, liver, nerves

SOURCES 

  • Holistic Herbal, David Hoffman
  • *The Way of Herbs, Michael Tierra
  • Homegrown Herbs, Tammi Hartung
  • http://www.aridlandhomestead.com/the-herb-cabinet-catnip/
  • photo credit: fermicat via photopin cc

I planted catnip in my garden this year, but I don’t remember where and I can’t find it! Maybe this week, as I’ve taken a harvest vacation from my day job to work in the gardens and harvest all the food remaining, it’ll turn up. I’ll let you know….

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