Leaves, flowering tops
PHYTOCHEMICALS & NUTRIENTS
Alpha-humulene, beta-elemene, calcium, camphor, carvacrol, caryophyllene, chromium, citral, citronellal, geraniol, iron, magnesium, manganese, myrcene, nepetalactone, piperitone, phosphorus, potassium, pulegone, rosmarinic acid, selenium, silicon, thymol, zinc
PROPERTIES & USES
Catnip stimulates the appetite and is a popular herb for childhood illnesses as it is considered generally gentle and safe. Catnip preparations are regularly given to babies and children for stomach pains, teething and fevers. A carminative, Catnip helps remove gas from the digestive tract thereby easing gas pain. This herb is also used as an antacid, an acid neutralizer, and an aid to digestion.
Used as an enema, Catnip tea will bring down fever quickly, help eliminate mucus, and ease colon cramping. This application helps relieve the aches of flu. A garlic and catnip enema combination is also effective to fight infection, kill bacteria, viruses and parasites. This is due in part to the fact that it improves peristaltic action -- an action by which intestinal muscles contract and move material through the colon.
Catnip is known as a refrigerant, a cooling herb with fever reducing qualities that relieves thirst. Another way catnip reduces fevers is by its diaphoretic property in that it lowers fever by promoting perspiration, helping to remove waste from the body.
While Catnip improves peristaltic action, it is also an anti-spasmodic, relieving smooth muscle spasms. A soothing pain reliever, Catnip is also known as an anodyne. As a sedative, Catnip is a calming agent that reduces nervous system activity. Its nervine properties support the nervous system and help ease anxiety and body tension, promoting sleep; and relieving stress.
Catnip’s astringent properties mean that it is useful in shrinking swollen or inflamed tissues, drying fluid secretions.
Additionally, Catnip has a balancing effect on the nervous and glandular systems (particularly pituitary and adrenals), lungs, and liver. In this way, it is useful as an emmenagogue, a substance that stimulates menstrual flow and activity.
In a tincture, Catnip and Fennel work well, delivering their concentrated benefits in only a few drops.
CAUTIONS & CONSIDERATIONS
Catnip should not be boiled. When making a tea, it should be covered while it is infusing. Use conservatively during pregnancy due to its peristaltic nature. The stimulation of muscle contractions in the colon could result in uterine cramping.
Disclaimer: None of this is to be considered a substitute for medical examination and/or treatment. Use what you will, but do so knowing that you must consider your own circumstance and the application of these things with sound judgment.