Nepeta cataria

Catnip - Nepeta cataria (in the Lamiaceae or Mint family)

Part used: Aerial parts.

Taste/smell: Bitter.

Tendencies: Cooling and drying.

Dosage: Infusion: 1-2 teaspoons per cup of water; or 1:1 fresh + dry liquid extract: 10-60 drops 1-4 times per day in a little water.

Use: (a) Relaxing diaphoretic, (b) Antispasmodic, (c) Carminative, (d) Emmenagogue, (e) Nervine, (f) Mild sedative.

Since catnip is suitable for infants and children, it is used in childhood fevers and colic. It is capable of producing free perspiration without raising internal heat. It is also used with restlessness, nervous irritation, nervous headaches, insomnia, amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea.

Contains an essential oil, consisting of carvacol, nepetol, thymol, and nepetalactone.

Contraindications: Do not use during pregnancy due to the emmenagogue and abortifacient effects.

Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.