Catnip has a well earned reputation for sending cats
into states of kittenish friskiness and euphoria. It is now known that the aroma of catnip is an
aphrodisiac to our feline friends. In the past though, catnip was better known for its medicinal
qualities. It was also consumed in the form of a tea in Europe before the arrival of true tea
from Eastern Asia.
Info: Catnip prefers full sun and average, well drained soil. It is a
perennial herb of the mint family that will grow from 3-5 feet tall. Water them routinely. In
early spring, cut out last years spent stems to make way for the new ones. You can shear back
plants after their first flush of bloom to encourage another flowering cycle. It is said that
cats will ignore plants started by seed, but will be drawn to those set out as rooted plants.
This is presumably because of the bruising of leaves and stems during transplanting which
releases the oils that have such an effect on them. It's best to protect any plants you have
until they are large enough to withstand a cat's amorous attentions.
Uses: Many people add a few fresh leaves to green salads. Either fresh or
dried leaves will make a refreshing, possibly therapeutic tea. Then, of course, you can also
take the dried, crushed leaves and stuff them into cloth pouches to make wonderful cat
Uses: Catnip tea, made preferably from the fresh cut herb, makes an
excellent cure for insomnia and hyperactivity. Add honey for flavor. Also is very good for
reducing fevers, the miseries of hayfever, and nausea. A small, honey sweetened cup of warm tea
is good for calming hyperactive kids. Rural residents of the Ozark have used mashed fresh catnip
leaves as a crude poultice to relieve the pain of aching teeth and gums almost
A strong, cooled catnip tea can be effectively used as
a eyewash to relieve inflammation and swelling due to certain airborne allergies, flu and cold
and excess alcoholic consumption.