✵The article gives records of the herb Catnip, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Nepeta cataria L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Catnip, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.
English Name: Catnip.
Latin Name: Nepeta cataria L.
Common Names: Catmint, catswort, field balm, catnep, catrup, etc.
Property and flavor: cool in nature, tastes pungent.
Brief introduction: The aromatic, fuzzy gray-green leaves and white flowering tops of this member of the mint family are famous for exciting cats. It is traditionally used in England and France as a kitchen and medicinal herb and was used occasionally as a stimulating drink until the introduction of black tea.
Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Catnip as the dried leaves and flowering tops of the species (1).Nepeta cataria L. It is a plant species of the Nepeta genus, the Lamiaceae family (Labiatae, mint family). The dried leaves and flowering tops are used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:
(1).Nepeta cataria L.
Botanical description: Nepeta cataria, a perennial herb, grows up to 40~100 cm high. Stems are upright, quadrangular, lignified at the base, and white pubescent. Leaves are opposite; The petiole is 0.5~4 cm long; The leaves are ovate or triangular-heart-shaped, 2.5~7 cm long and 2.1~4.7 cm wide, the apex is blunt or sharp, the base is heart-shaped or truncated, the margin is coarsely crenate, and both surfaces are pubescent.
Cymes are dichotomously branched; Bracteoles are shorter than calyx tube-shaped, about 6 mm long, covered with white short hairs on the outside, with 5 calyx teeth, longer posterior teeth, and the calyx is enlarged in the fruiting period; The corolla is white, with purple spots on the lower lip, about 7.5 mm long, the outside is white pilose, the upper lip is short, the apex is shallow, the lower lip is 3-lobed, the middle lobe is nearly round, the edge has thick teeth, and the lateral lobes are round and flaky; 4 stamens, posterior pair is longer, hide inside; Ovary is 4-lobed, glabrous, stigma is 2-lobed; Disk is cupular, 4-lobed. Nuts are oval, and taupe, flowering from July to September, and fruiting from August to October.
Ecological environment: The perennial plant grows wild in many parts of the world, including parts of North America. Catnip is native to Europe and naturalized in USA (the United States of America), in Europe, it spreads from Britain, Scandanavia south and east to Spain, West and Central Asia.
Growth characteristics: Catnip is easily grown in light sandy soil in a sunny position. Succeeds in heavier soils if the drainage is very good. It grows near the house or in the bushes, roadsides, and near streams, hedgerows, borders of fields, dry banks, and waste ground, especially on calcareous and gravelly soils in areas below 2,500 meters above sea level, and is also cultivated.
Characters of herbs: Catnip is the above-ground part of Nepeta cataria, it is harvested during the flowering season, and the herb is manually cut during dry and sunny weather. The woodless parts of the plant are sorted out, and the usable material is then left to dry in the shade. It is harvested from the wild for local use as food, medicine, and a source of materials.
The herb catnip could make some domestic cats from joyful licking and rolling to body rubbing, the smell is said to be similar to certain cat hormones and is more effective with male cats, for the component nepetalactone in the essential oil. The essential oil of catnip contains a neptalactone which similar to the valepotriates found in valerian, it can boost sleep in studies of chickens; Other studies found the herb catnip has antipyretic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic effects, the tea has a diuretic effect and increase gallbladder activity.
Medicinal efficacy: The herb catnip was used traditionally as a stomach-soothing agent in USA, Catnip tea is recommended by herbalists to promote sleep, remedy infant colic, relax and calm jangled nerves, soothe the digestive tract and control diarrhea, reduce gas, induce perspiration to lower fever, counteract hives, ease the discomfort of menstrual cramps, promote menstruation, cold, bronchitis, externally for swellings and corns, it is also used as an insect repellant. In Europe, the herb catnip is used in folk medicine for colds, colic, fevers, nervous disorders, and migraine for its calming effect, also used in gynecological disorders, it is traditionally used in England and France as a kitchen and medicinal herb, and was used occasionally as a stimulating drink until the introduction of black tea.
In TCM works, the herb is recorded functions dispelling mild wind and clearing heat, promoting blood circulation and hemostasis, it is indicated for the affection of exogenous wind-heat, measles without smooth adequate eruption, cephalea and sore throat, hematemesis or spitting blood, epistaxis, traumatic bleeding or bleeding wound, swelling pain from a fall injury, ulcer carbuncle and swelling pain, venomous snake bite, etc.
Administration of Catnip (Catmint):
Administration Guide of Catnip (Catmint)
Herbal classic books and TCM Books:
An infusion is made using 2 teaspoons of dried herb per cup of water and is drunk up to three times per day. An infusion or tea could be prepared with 10 dessert spoonfuls per liter of water, leave this to steep for 20 minutes, then strain. Tea is advised at 3 cups daily. The tincture is taken in dosages of a half to 2 teaspoons three times per day. In TCM works, the herb is recommended internally as water decoction, 9~15 grams, externally proper amount, mashed fresh herb and apply a coating.
Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: There are no reports of serious adverse reactions to catnip tea or other preparations, although smoking the herb may cause a sore throat, a headache, or a feeling of general malaise. Excessive amounts of the tea may cause vomiting. Catnip is not advised during pregnancy.