Those of us with cats as pets ought to have seen or heard about cats going berserk around plants along the sidewalk that looks like dried up grass. This mystical plant is a miracle herb for humans that go by the name of catnip. Humans from all over the world have used it as a homeopathic remedy for centuries. It has also been used in holistic medicine for over 2000 years. People chewed on it for strength in medieval times. French used it to season culinary dishes while it was famous amongst the British as a pleasant tea.
Catnip, scientifically known as Nepeta cataria, is an herb that belongs to the mint family. The plant is native to Europe. It grows better in mild climates. They are commonly referred to as catmints or field balms.
Catnip is an herbaceous perennial that looks like any other typical mint family member. It has a square stem with brown-green foliage, triangular toothed leaves and tiny white flowers that blossom in summer. At that time the plants is beautiful and fragrant. It is a short-lived that grows up to 40 inches in both length and width. The stems, leaves and flowers can be dried and then used to prepare several herbal preparations.
Catnip is a source of several minerals. It contains magnesium, potassium and zinc. All these are very important for a healthy human diet. But we can get these minerals from other food sources too. Catnip is mainly renowned for its holistic properties. The health benefits of catnip are extremely valuable to treat certain conditions.
Uses of Catnip
Catnip can be incorporated in tea to help with insomnia. It induces sleep. This is because it contains active molecule nepetalactone. Nepetalactone has a sedative effect. This molecule mimics a cat pheromone and binds to a cat’s olfactory receptors. This the reason cats go crazy around catnip.
The tea can also help conquer anxiety or nervousness. This is because catnip also has an ingredient that helps to relax muscles. Person suffering from nervous conditions will be relieved.
Catnip has a component that reduces swelling. It thus is a treatment for arthritis, hemorrhoids and many other soft tissue injuries.
Fever and respiratory tract infections can be reduced by catnip leaves and flowers. It also relieves cold, flu symptoms and colic. It also alleviates sore throat irritation. Catnip also reduces the sensitivity to the pain of teething and improves irritability in children.
It is also an effective remedy to treating stomach upsets and diarrhea. It also treats circulatory, digestive and anti-spasmodic problems. This ensures that stomach problems are solved naturally. Drinking catnip tea before dinner will stimulates appetite, having a cup after a meal helps digestion. It also relieves digestive bloating, nausea and cramping.
The wild herb can also be used as a natural pesticide. It is an effective insect repellent and so, keeps harmful insects away from crops cost effectively.
Catnip is of excellent use in Aromatherapy. If a handful of catnip is added to warm water before bathing, it will ensure a peaceful nightlong sleep. Catnip is often combined with several other flavors, like lavender, for pleasingly scented bath. These baths will guarantee the best night’s sleep.
By now, I hope that even you agree that catnip is undeniably one of the most useful herbs of all time. You must also be wondering where you can get access to it. If that is the case, I’ll gladly inform you that catnip is very easy to grow. You can plant it in your own garden and use it when needed. Harvest leaves and flowering tops when the flower is in full bloom during summer. Provide the plant with sufficient sunlight and well-drained moist, sandy soil as that is the condition it grows best in.
The plant is not only used as a homeopathic medicine but also a source of entertainment among cat owners. It is also a beautiful plant that can be incorporated to gardens or landscape. During its long summer blooming period, its sweet aroma attracts bees and butterflies that will add color to the scene. While doing this, it is also keeps the garden bug free. . I would definitely recommend people to start using catnip. It is very handy and helpful.
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