Herb Article
Catnip

By Elizabeth Willis

Cat nip -- Herb of the Month Catnip, Catmint
Nepeta cataria

Parts used
Aerial parts; leaves, flowers, upper stems

Medicinal Properties
Catnip is a famous herb for its fun and excitatory effects on our feline friends, but it also has many powerful medicinal properties for us too! A part of the Mint family, Catnip has a lightly green and minty flavor, rich with aromatic oils. A top choice for indigestion, Catnip is used by all ages to settle the stomach, sooth flatulence, and colic. Safe for infants and breast feeding mothers, it provides a gentle remedy for colicky babies as well as calming the mother's digestion. Catnip also has mild sedative effects and combines nicely with your other favorite sleepy time herbs. Catnip is anti-inflammatory and is effective for digestive related headache, is helpful for gentle pain relief, and cooling a fever.

Preparations & Applications
Cold Water Infusion
Tincture
Infused Oil
Essential Oil
Infusion

Like its many medicinal uses, Catnip can also be prepared in multiple ways making it an even more diverse and effective remedy. Growing Catnip means there is always extra to share with your animals, and makes for a beautiful and aromatic addition to your home or garden. Catnip can be prepared as a traditional tea in a warm water infusion. It is also refreshing as a cold water infusion, and is very effective in a tincture for sleep, fever and indigestion. Catnip can also be used externally as an infused oil and essential oil.

Recipe
Babies Colic Tea
By: Brigitte Mars A.H.G. "Healing Herbal Teas"
-2 parts Catnip
-2 parts Peppermint
-1 part Anise
-1 part Fennel

*Quick & Easy: This formula can also be simplified by using just Catnip and Fennel! These formulas can be used by the nursing mother as well as the child directly.

Sources
Healing Herbal Teas, Brigitte Mars A.H.G.
The Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, Andrew Chevallier