Vitamin supplements guide   Vitamins & health supplements guide

 
Catnip quick review
Botanical description: a member of the mint family (Labiatae) native to Europe and Asia but naturalized in the United States, whitish-gray plant with a minty odor.
Active constituents: volatile oils, sterols, acids, and tannins, including nepetalactone, nepetalic acid, nepetalic anhydride, citral, limonene, dispentine, geraniol, thymol, citronella, nerol, -caryophyllene, and valeric acid.
Health benefits : used as an antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, nervine, stomachic, stimulant, and mild sedative. Used to alleviate symptoms such as insomnia, stress, menstrual cramps, and gut cramps.
Dosage: commonly taken as an infusion, or tea. Drink 2–3 cups per day. For children with coughs, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of tincture three times per day.
Side effects : may act to promote uterine contractions, it should not be used during pregnancy. Catnip has diuretic properties, and may increase the frequency and amount of urination.
 
Anti-Gas Formula
Anti-Gas Formula contains a special blend of herbs that support digestion, assisting the body¡¯s efforts to expel intestinal gas and calm occasional nausea. This formula contains: Papaya fruit, Ginger root, Peppermint leaves, Wild yam root, Fennel seed, Dong quai root, Spearmint leaves, Catnip herb, Lobelia herb. Click here for more information.
 

Catnip


Catnip (nepata cataria) is a member of the mint family (Labiatae) native to Europe and Asia but naturalized in the United States. Catnip is a whitish-gray plant with a minty odor. Flowers are tubular, white with purple-pink spots, and are arranged in dense whorls on spikes. The clusters of white or pale lavender tubular flowers with purplish spots are in bloom from July to September. The leaves are heart-shaped and toothed and covered with a soft, close down. Catnip contains volatile oil that cats find stimulating. The leaves and the flowering tops are used in herbal medicine. The other names of the plant are catnep, catmint, cat’s-play, catrup, catwort, nip, nep, and field balm.
 

Active constituents of catnip


Catnip contains volatile oils, sterols, acids, and tannins, including nepetalactone, nepetalic acid, nepetalic anhydride, citral, limonene, dispentine, geraniol, thymol, citronella, nerol, -caryophyllene, and valeric acid. The volatile oil in catnip contains the monoterpene, nepetalactone, which is similar to the valepotriates found in valerian, a more commonly used herbal sedative. Nepetalactone has been found to be very repellant to cockroaches, termites, and mosquitoes. Another ingredient thymol extracted from catnip has beneficial antiseptic uses on the skin and in the nasal and pharyngeal passages.
 

Medicinal uses and health benefits of catnip


As herbal remedies, catnip has been used as an antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, nervine, stomachic,
stimulant, and mild sedative. They are used to alleviate symptoms such as insomnia, stress, menstrual cramps, and gut cramps.

Catnip is effective alone or in herbal remedies for colds, flu, fevers, upset stomach, and insomnia. Catnip is particularly good for children with upset stomachs in a very mild infusion. atnip has been used for relief of insomnia and prevention of nightmares, and has a mild anti-spasmodic effect and is used to treat cramps. As carminative with anti-spasmodic properties, catnip is antiflatulent and settling to the stomach, catnip eases any stomach upsets, dyspepsia, flatulence and colic. Its sedative action on the nerves adds to its generally relaxing properties.

Catnip is used to ease cramps, and it is believed to have sedative properties that can remedy nervous disorders and migraine headache. The dried leaves can also be used to make a pillow that can be slipped into a pillowcase to promote sleep. Poultices made from catnip have commonly been used for toothaches. Catnip is an astringent, and can be applied externally to cuts and scrapes to stop bleeding and promote healing. The leaves of catnip have traditionally been chewed as a remedy for alleviating toothaches.

 

How to use catnip products


Catnip is most commonly taken as an infusion, or tea. To make tea, use 10 teaspoonfuls of Catnip per quart of water. Then steep for ten to fifteen minutes. Drink 2–3 cups per day. Catnip is also available in tincture form to take by mouth or apply topically. For children with coughs, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of tincture three times per day can be used. Adults may take twice this amount.
 

Side effects, precautions, interactions


There are no known side effects or health hazards associated with recommended dosages of catnip preparations. Catnip may act to promote uterine contractions, it should not be used during pregnancy. Catnip has diuretic properties, and may increase the frequency and amount of urination. It can also cause an upset stomach in some individuals. There are no known negative interactions between catnip and other medications and herbs.