When picked or bruised, the plants exude a characteristic, aromatic scent that as mentioned, is quite attractive to most felines. Interestingly, if the plants are sown in situ or have come up as volunteers from the previous season, cats will pass them by. This observation confirms the age-old poem that goes:
Each packet contains 0.25 gram, which is approximately 300 seeds. Historically, catnip has been used medicinally for its carminative, tonic, antispasmodic, and mildly stimulating properties. The flowering tops, harvested in August, are the part of the plant used medicinally. The herb is never boiled, as this destroys its medicinal value, but is instead infused.
To make an infusion, use one ounce of catnip to one pint of boiling water in a glass or other non-metal, non-reactive vessel and keep covered for five minutes. Dosage is two tablespoons for adults, two to three tablespoons for children.
A decoction was made out of catnip, to which honey was added for sweetness, to use to help alleviate coughs.
It was also used in the form of a poultice or fomentation to relieve painful swellings.
- "A Modern Herbal," Mrs. M. Grieve, 1931, p. 173-175.
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