The Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a native of North America and Europe. When talking about this herb the first thing that comes to mind is that the plant that drives cats completely crazy with pleasure.
This is herb is known for a wide array of medicinal properties, i.e. refrigerant, nervine, febrifuge, emmenagogue, diaphoretic, carminative, aromatic, anti-spasmodic, anti-oxidant, and anti-cancer.
The herb has been used extensively since ancient times in the treatment for menstrual cramps and digestive problems. It’s also excellent for treating fever and cold. This herb is recommended for children since it has no effects and produces quick action.
The Catnip is also used to treat anxiety, insomnia as it has a calming effect on the nerves. It is safe for use in children health complaints. Combined with chamomile this can make a very potent – yet harmless - sleep inducer. Sipping a cup of catnip tea is known to relieve headaches quite effectively.
Catnip has been smoked occasionally, as a recreational herb. Another less known application of this herb is as a mosquito repellent. The odour of this herb while pleasant to humans, it is ten time more powerful and successful is chasing away mosquitos than DEET.
The herb should not be taken during pregnancy.
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