Herbs — Catnip

Family name: Labiatae, Lamiaceae (Mint Family)
Botanical name: Nepeta Cataria L.
Parts used: The flowering tops
Extraction: Steam distillation of the flowering tops
Taste: N.A.
Aroma:  Sweet, herbaceous, potent
Perfumery status: A heart note of very high intensity and moderate persistence


General Description
A short-lived aromatic perennial that grows up to 0.5 – 1 meter high. Blooms from late spring through autumn. Features brown-green foliage with a characteristic square stem. The coarse-toothed leaves are triangular to elliptical in shape. It produces small lavender flowers on spikes up to 12 cm long.


Distribution
Catnip is native to Europe, the Middle Eastcentral Asia, and parts of China. It is widely naturalized in northern EuropeNew Zealand, and North America.


Herbal & Folk tradition
Catnip has been used in European folk medicine for generations as a calming agent for body and mind. It is gentle and is very useful for children and infants.
Catnip was part of American folk medicine and Native American healing systems and employed as a gentle tea for children in cases of occasional upset stomach or sleeplessness. Catnip was used by the Hoh, Delaware, and Iroquois tribes for children's complaints due to its mild nature. The Cherokee used the plant similarly to other indigenous groups and also considered it to be an overall strengthening tonic. They chose this herb when a relaxant was needed in cases of irritability or sleeplessness, just like the Europeans. In the southwestern United States, catnip or 'nebada' amongst the Spanish speakers, was utilized in traditional folk medicine to allay a range of digestive challenges. It was considered particularly useful for soothing the stomach and enhancing digestion in infants. Also, it was sold as a brandy infusion with 'hinojo' or fennel as a digestive tonic. Catnip is useful for soothing stomach complaints and therefore good in a laxative formula with harsh herbs like senna. Some herbalists find it helpful to balance physical manifestations such as occasional indigestion that stem from emotional issues or the "gut level"


Characteristics
Pale yellow liquid. Blends well with lemon, lime, mint, eucalyptus and myrrh.


Properties
Soothes anxiety and tension, supports the digestive system, provides menstrual relief, detoxification, insect repellent, aging skin.


Safety data
Non-toxic, non-irritant. Skin sensitization (low risk) in hypersensitive individuals. May be psychotropic.


USED IN PRODUCTS:
Outdoor No 2. -Air Born