Catnip

Popular names: mattoshnik, field mint.

CAT BOTTLE (Nepeta cataria L.)Perennial herbaceous plant of the labiatae family (Labiatae), up to 1 m in height, with a straight, branched, pubescent stem. Root woody, branched. The leaves are opposite, on long petioles, cordate-ovate, large-horn-serrated, green above, grayish below from thick hairs. The flowers are whitish, with purple dots on the lower lip, which is longer than the upper one, and its middle lobe is slightly concave, reniform. All flowers are collected in an oblong inflorescence. The fruit of 4 oblique heart-shaped brown nuts. The mass of 1000 seeds is 0.5-0.7 g. It blooms from June to September (the average duration of flowering is within 40 days), the fruits ripen in July – August. Propagated by seeds. European-Central Asian view. Grows on sandy and loamy fresh soils along the edges of the forest, shrubs, wastelands, but is quite rare.

COLLECTION AND DRYING OF RAW MATERIALS

Medicinal raw material is catnip grass, which is harvested during the flowering period, cut off at a height of 10 cm. Air-dried, under a canopy, in attics, in well-ventilated areas. The shelf life of raw materials is 2 years. Dried raw materials have a gray-green color.

PHARMACOLOGICAL PROPERTIES

Catnip has an expectorant, tonic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, sedative effect, increases appetite, improves the functions of the stomach, intestines, increases the amplitude of heart contractions.

APPLICATIONS IN MEDICINE

Aboveground part. In folk medicine, infusion (inside) – for stomach disease, bronchitis (as an expectorant), heart neurosis, hysteria, neurasthenia, melancholy, migraine, anemia, menstrual disorders; as bitterness to stimulate appetite, with shortness of breath, as an antihelminthic and choleretic; externally – with scabies, weeping eczema, acne, furunculosis, pustular lesions.

DOSAGE FORMS, METHOD OF APPLICATION AND DOSES

♦ Infusion of catnip grass: 1 tablespoon of raw materials is poured into 300 ml of boiling water, insisted in a sealed container for 2 hours, then filtered. Take 1 tablespoon 4 times every day 30 minutes before meals.

APPLICATIONS IN OTHER FIELDS

It is used in the perfume industry for fragrance of colognes, toothpastes, toilet soap. Essential oil (with a strong lemon smell) gives a special smell and taste to confectionery. In Europe and the countries of the East it is used as a spice. Honey plant, honey collection up to 417 kg/ha. Amber-colored honey, fragrant, very pleasant to the taste. Often it is specially cultivated in the pasture areas.

ELEMENTS OF AGROTECHNICAL CULTIVATION

Catnip is not picky about soils. It grows well and develops even on infertile sandy and sandy loamy soils. However, with a lack of moisture, it slows down growth, lags behind in development, and defective seeds are tied. The plant is winter-hardy. The area under the catnip culture will need to be plowed in the fall to a depth of 25-28 cm, loosened in the spring to preserve moisture and control weeds. In autumn, at least 2-3 kg per 1 m 2 of organic fertilizers and complete mineral fertilizer are applied: 20-30 g of superphosphate, 15-20 ammonium sulfate and 10 g of potassium chloride per 1 m 2. Seeds are sown in spring or autumn without pre-sowing treatment. Sow in a wide-row way (row spacing 60 cm). Seeding rate of seeds 0.6-0.8 g per 1 m 2. The depth of embedding is 0.5-1 cm. Crops are mulched with a thin layer of peat or humus. With winter sowing, seedlings are found in the 30% decade of April, with spring sowing – after 10-15 days. After the emergence of seedlings, thinning is done (after 30 cm). Care during the growing season consists in maintaining the soil in a loose and weed-free state, carrying out top dressing. The aisles are loosened 2-3 times, weeding is done at the same time. In the second and subsequent years, during the growing season, two top dressings are carried out with ammonium nitrate and superphosphate – 10 g per 1 m 2each type of fertilizer: the first dressing – in early spring, the second – after mowing. After harvesting the first harvest, catnip grows well and blooms. Blooms in the first year of life. Seed ripening is uneven, so the collection is carried out when the seeds ripen in the lower inflorescences.

TASTY TIPS

Essential oils are used in nutrition. It is added to the dough to give a special smell and taste to confectionery.

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