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Catnip or Nepeta Cataria is a highly used herbal and medicinal plant, it was Native to Europe and most of Asia, but has now been cultivated around the world. The plant was first used as a natural bug repellent, but was later used as a tea, to counteract sleep and stress, the herb has also taken its place in the culinary world, it has been used in many dishes around the world. The plant is a great survivor in dry areas, and has its own defenses against grazing animals. This plant has a very unusual scent that attracts cats as it mimics cat urine to attract cats. The cats are so intrigued by the plant that they will start playing with the plant, biting the plant, with no sense of the consequences. The catnip plant acts like a drug for the cats, inducing drooling, sleepiness, anxiety, and can even cause the cats to become more aggressive to people. Its nature’s little drug for cats.
Benefits of Catnip
French sailors would use catnip as a tea prior to the arrival of Chinese teas. While some European countries would use catnip on skin ailments, from scratches, to burns, to open wounds. There is even proof that one country would use catnip as a tea to cure flatulence. Old British boxers believed that chewing the plant would make one fierce. Some other countries would use catnip as tea to find courage, and help them attack tasks they would normally not do. Also, catnip was used has a sedative for children. Catnip contains essential healing oils that are used for sleep deprivation by increasing the length of sleep. A mild Catnip tea can be used to treat nausea and motion sickness. The plant also holds antispasmodic qualities that help with stomach problems and cramping. The leaves are applied to cuts, scratches, and burns to help them heal faster. Catnip makes a great muscle relaxer, as well as a mild sedative. This is why catnip makes a great headache medicine. Recently doctors have been successful with Catnip in treatments of ADHD. Just Like The Native Americans the plant is used on women for menstruation problems. Catnip is also a great insect repellent, especially for fleas.
Women have been known to take the tea to help with menstrual pain,. Because of its anesthetic properties it has also been used for tooth and gum aches which is done by simply chewing a catnip leaf. Another interesting way to use catnip is to smoke it and breath in the fumes, which has proved vital for people with asthma. Also, it can be used as a mild antibiotic to heal and even prevent infections. Many hikers and campers, always carry a bag of catnip for this purpose. People have used catnip to help reduce gas as well. When nothing else can make you vomit Catnip in high doses can because it is emetic. While is has many medicinal uses it has also been used in the kitchen, adding aroma and taste to salads, teas, and food, it is said to make a great meat tenderizer. Native American herbal teas would make teas said to be love potions. Catnip is also a great insect and rat repellent, researchers have made catnip a main ingredient in cockroach and termite repellent.