Product: Catnip Powder
Latin Name: Nepeta cataria
Plant Family: Lamiaceae
Other Names: Catnep, Catswort, Catrup, Field Balm, Nep, Cataire, Chataire, Herbe à Chat, Herbe aux Chats, Hierba Gatera, Menta de Gato & Menthe des Chats.
Description: Catnip is an aromatic, herbaceous perennial, native to Europe and now found growing in North America; which reaches a height of 30cm–1 metre. The branching stems are square and covered in fine hairs as are the leaves which are opposite; triangularly-ovate, heart shaped with short stalks (petioles), the leaves are 2.5-7cm in length, greyish green in colour and the edges are bluntly toothed. The 2-lipped flowers are white in colour often with reddish-purple dotted markings and are 10-15mm in length and grow in dense clusters at the ends of the stem branches.
Brief History: Gerard in the 16th century wrote of the herbalists calling this herb Herba Cattaria and Herba Catti and described how the herb came by those names saying ‘cats are very much delighted herewith; for the smell of it is so pleasant unto them, that they rub themselves upon it, & wallow or tumble in it’. Culpeper in the 17th century described its use ‘for women to procure their courses, being taken inwardly or outwardly’. Culpeper also described how decoctions of the herb could ease headaches; take away wind and put into ointment form could help to ease piles.
Use the powder to make a decoction which can then be used as an eyewash, which may soothe the eyes. Add to teas and tisanes night time blends to help aid relaxation. Use the powder in sachets to help deter ants and flea beetles. It can also be used to fill stuffed toys for cats to play with.
You should always read the label before consuming or using the product and never rely solely on the information presented here.