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April 25, 2011
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) also known as field balm, catswort or catmint, is a perennial mint which grows in northern Hemisphere in the most territories with moderate climate. It is a plant with small dark-green and fuzzy leaves and with small tubular flowers. From the historical perspective, this herb was used in Ancient Egypt as a sacred herb which relates to the cat goddess Bast. Also, it was cultivated and valued in Ancient Rome, and in the British Isles catnip tea was a very common beverage until the black tea was brought there from the Far East. For herbal remedies and herbal preparations, as well as for culinary purposes, usually stems, leaves and flowers of catnip are used.
Therapeutic properties and health benefits of catnip embrace a large number of healing powers of this herb. Catnip is rich in such natural microelements and nutrients as potassium, manganese, selenium, iron, vitamin C and vitamin A, and it can be considered a good source of sodium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B complex. This herbal remedy is quite safe and can be recommended to both adults and children. However, pregnant women should keep away from taking it.
First of all, catnip is known for its calming and sedative properties, due to which it is used to treat stresses, anxiety, nervous tension, restlessness, insomnia and other similar problems. Catnip tea can be used to treat rushes, coughs, fever, headaches, and other symptoms of clods and the flu in children and adults. It is an excellent natural remedy to treat colic in babies, as well as cramps, gas, indigestion and diarrhea in adults. Catnip tea can be applied externally to reduce swelling, calm down joint pains (associated with rheumatism), to heal bruises, cuts, piles and other soft-tissue injuries and skin disorders.
Health benefits of catnip include tonic and muscle relaxing properties of this herbal remedy. Catnip tea is considered to be a great natural anti-inflammatory agent, which can be used both internally and externally. Besides, for many centuries it has been known as the herb “highly popular among the good ladies who deal in simples.” It can help in combating all possible irregularities connected with periods, including cramps, tension, headaches, abdominal pains, and other PMS symptoms. It can increase tone in the uterus and stimulate the activities of all principal organs in our body. You can use this powerful herbal remedy as popular catnip tea, or in the form of capsules, drops and so on.
Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.