Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
Catnip is an easy to grow, short lived perennial that is hardy to thirty-five degrees below zero. If allowed to set seed you should never have to plant Catnip again. In cooler climates start seeds indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost. After your last frost of the season you can transplant the plants outside. Catnip will grow in full sun to partial shade.Being a member of the mint family, it prefers moist soil. However,it easily adapts to most soils and once established will withstand drought pretty well with an occasional watering. The hardest part of growing Catnip is keeping cats away long enough for the plants to get big enough to withstand their loving attention.
Catnip is one of the oldest known remedies. In addition to it's reputation for driving cats crazy, it has calming and antispasmodic properties and is safe for use in adults, children and infants. A weak tea given to infants troubled by colic will relieve gas and calm the baby's crying. Catnip tea will calm an excitable, fussy or anxious child and allow everyone to have an enjoyabvle evening and get a good night's sleep. To make a weak tea suitable for infants pour one cup of boiled water over 1/4 teaspoon of dried Catnip. Cover and let steep ten minutes. Strain and let it cool a bit before using. Children and adults can use more Catnip per cup of water depending on body weight. The usual amount of Catnip for a cup of tea for an adult is one teaspoon per one cup of boiled water. You may want to add a bit of honey or Stevia to sweeten the taste a bit.(**Do NOT give honey to children under one year old). A cup of Catnip tea before eating is a wonderful digestive aid that curbs indigestion and gas. Catnip is effective in lowering fevers and can be used for relieving pain from teething or toothaches. It's sedative properties make it an excellent choice for calming the nerves, as well as easing stress and insomnia. Catnip will bring on delayed menstrual cycles and should NOT be used during pregnancy.
Prairie Dawn Herbs uses Catnip in our Quiet Nite Tea in addition to Spearmint, Lemon Balm and a touch of Stevia. It's a customer favorite that helps you relax from the stesses of the day and get a good night's sleep.