Catnip
Nepeta cataria L. (Lamiaceae)

Common Names
Catnip, catmint, catnep, catrup, catwort, field balm, nip.

Description
An erect perennial that grows to 3 feet in height. Stem is whitish and downy. Leaves are heart-shaped, opposite, with log petioles, coarsely toothed, and about 2 to 3 inches long. The tubular flowers are to inch long, whitish with purple dots, and crowded toward the tips of the stems in dense spikes.

Flowering Period
June to September.

Habitat
Dooryards, roadsides, and waste places.

Harvest
Leafy flowering tops; herb when in full flower.

Uses
As a therapeutic agent, it is used as an aromatic, stimulant, and carminative, particularly for infants. It has been used in cough remedies, and as an emmenagogue and refrigerant. The stimulating action of this plant upon cats is well known. In Appalachia, a tea made from the plant is used for treating colds, nervous conditions, stomach ailments, and hives; dried leaves and stalks are smoked for catarrh. In Europe it is used to bring on delayed menstruation.

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