Common name Catnip
Latin name Nepeta Cataria
Parts used leaves
Catnip has an affinity for the nervous and circulatory systems.
Catnip is a calming sedative. It also has anesthetic and carminative properties. It is used to cool the body in cases of fever, anxiety, and tension. It is often indicated for the pitta dosha who tend to have an excess of heat.
Taste and quality
Catnip is sweet, pungent, and slightly bitter.
Catnip is often indicated for anxiety. Catnip is also used as an ointment for piles, scabs, scurf and other skin ailments. It is also taken in cases of cold and fever.
History and lore
Nepeta catataria is thought to have taken its name from the Etrurian city of Neptic (today the town Nepi in the province of Viterbo). The Romans regarded catnip very highly and used it in their recipes and herbal medicines. In the Middle Ages, Nepeta catataria was known as catmint or ‘nep’.
Catnip is normally found in dry disturbed sites, roadsides, waste places, old farmyards, and in cultivated herb gardens. In the Southwest it is often planted as an ornamental as it is one of the more drought resistant members of the mint family.
Dosing and formulas