Catnip is real – catnip

Real catnip (Nepeta cataria ); catnip, lemon catnip; Lamiaceae (Labiatae) family; cat litter box


The Gubotsvite family is rich in aromatic plants: among them mint, lemon balm, hyssop, and snakehead. And here is another plant that is not inferior in terms of its spicy and strong smell – catnip.

It is a herbaceous perennial, 45-100 cm tall. The stem is usually branched, covered with gray soft hairs. The leaves of the plant are long-petioled, triangular-heart-shaped, pointed, gray-felt from below, with large oblique teeth. Flowers white or pale pink, irregular; the lower lip of the corolla with purple spots. They bloom from mid-June to September. The plant has a strong lemon smell. Catmint grows in all regions of the middle zone of Russia, in the northern part – occasionally, in gardens, in gardens, in littered places. In the southern regions of Russia, it has been introduced into culture and is gaining more and more popularity. In Ukraine, it grows throughout the territory among bushes, on meadows and slopes, roadsides and weedy places, in some places it is grown in the Crimea. A wonderful honey plant, a medicinal and essential oil plant.

For medicinal purposes, catnip is used only in folk medicine. The aerial part of the plant, collected during full flowering, is used to prepare healing products. The raw material is dried under shelter in the open air, periodically turning it over so that it does not turn black.

The aerial part of catnip contains essential oil (up to 0.7%), which includes geraniol, citral, limonene and other components, tannins and bitter substances, glycosides, saponins and vitamin C.

In experiments on animals, it was established that the infusion of catnip causes an increase in the amplitude of heart contractions by approximately 40%, and this is accompanied by an acceleration of the heart rate. Accordingly, its use is contraindicated for tachycardia, and useful for bradycardia. The plant is also known as a choleretic and antimicrobial agent. Infusions of catnip grass are used for cardiac neurosis, poor appetite and gastritis with reduced acidity of gastric juice. These products are prescribed for constipation and intestinal atony, congestion in the gallbladder and biliary tract. Use of infusion helps with cough, shortness of breath, bronchitis. It is taken in hysteria and depressive states. The plant is also used for irregular menstruation, as well as as a blood purifier for furunculosis.

As an essential oil plant, catnip is used to flavor vermouth, soft drinks, shampoos, and toilet water; the herb of the plant when added to tea gives it a strong lemon aroma. Dry leaves are used to flavor vinegar, and in cooking – to prepare salads, sauces, as a seasoning for meat and fish dishes, as well as game dishes.

Water infusion of the plant is an effective insecticide.

Due to its long flowering, catmint is a favorite place for bees. Its honey productivity is high — up to 400 kg of honey from 1 hectare. Beekeepers use the aromatic properties of the plant to attract and calm bees, rub hands, frames, and hives with catnip grass. Catnip honey is amber, with a lemon aroma, very pleasant to the taste, crystallizes into a light-cream, fine-grained mass.

Herbal infusion. 2 tablespoons of raw materials per 200 ml of boiling water, infuse for 2 hours, filter. Take half a glass 3 times a day.

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