(Cat Mint, Cat nip)
Ready to plant out now!
Large long lasting purple flowers on a large spike, clump forming, and nice foliage. An attractive easy plant that likes some shelter, Perennial. Cut back hard in winter to get new shoots. Butterflies and bees love it. Keeps rats out of your garden and.
The cats love it and use it recreationally. So, if you do not like Felix catus then do not buy it.
The plant has an aromatic, characteristic odour, which bears a certain resemblance to that of both Mint and Pennyroyal. It is owing to this scent that it has a strange fascination for cats, who will destroy any plant of it that may happen to be bruised. There is an old saying about this plant:
'If you set it, the cats will eat it,
If you sow it, the cats don't know it.'
And it seems to be a fact that plants transplanted are always destroyed by cats unless protected, but they never meddle with the plants raised from seed, being only attracted to it when it is in a withering state, or when the peculiar scent of the plant is excited by being bruised in gathering or transplanting.
In France the leaves and young shoots are used for seasoning, and it is regularly grown amongst kitchen herbs for the purpose. It has an old reputation for its value as a medicinal herb. Miss Bardswell, in The Herb Garden, writes of Catmint:
'Before the use of tea from China, our English peasantry were in the habit of brewing Catmint Tea, which they said was quite as pleasant and a good deal more wholesome.
Ellen Montgomery in The Wide, Wide World made Catmint Tea for Miss Fortune when she was ill. It is stimulating. The root when chewed is said to make the most gentle person fierce and quarrelsome, and there is a legend of a certain hangman who could never screw up his courage to the point of hanging anybody till he had partaken of it.
Rats dislike the plant particularly, and will not approach it even when driven by hunger.'
This dislike of rats for Catmint might well be utilized by growing it round other valuable crops as a protective screen.
Catmint is easily grown in any garden soil, and does not require moisture in the same way as the other Mints nor does it invade.
Catmint forms a pretty border plant, especially in conjunction with Hyssop, the soft blues blending pleasingly, and it is also a suitable plant for the rock garden.
Parts Used Medicinally.
The flowering tops are the part utilized in medicine and are harvested when the plant is in full bloom in August.
Medicinal Action and Uses
Carminative, tonic, diaphoretic, refrigerant and slightly emmenagogue, specially antispasmodic, and mildly stimulating.
Producing free perspiration, it is very useful in colds. Catnip Tea is a valuable drink in every case of fever, because of its action in inducing sleep and producing perspiration without increasing the heat of the system. It is good in restlessness, colic, insanity and nervousness, and is used as a mild nervine for children, one of its chief uses being, indeed, in the treatment of children's ailments. The infusion of 1 OZ. to a pint of boiling water may be taken by adults in doses of 2 tablespoonsful, by children in 2 or 3 teaspoonsful frequently, to relieve pain and flatulence (neverworked for me).
The herb should always be infused, boiling will spoil it. Its oil are somewhat volatile.
The tea may be drunk freely, but if taken in very large doses when warm, it frequently acts as an emetic.( makes you vomit)
It has proved efficacious in nervous headaches and as an emmenagogue, though for the latter purpose, it is preferable to use Catnip, not as a warm tea, but to express the juice of the green herb and take it in tablespoonful doses, three times a day.
Catnip may be combined with other agents of a more decidedly diaphoretic nature. Equal parts of warm Catnep tea and Saffron are excellent in scarlet-fever and small-pox( not really a problem anymore) , as well as colds and hysterics. It will relieve painful swellings when applied in the form of a poultice or fomentation.
Old writers recommended a decoction of the herb, sweetened with honey for relieving a cough, and Culpepper tells us also that 'the juice drunk in wine is good for bruises,' and that 'the green leaves bruised and made into an ointment is effectual for piles,' and that 'the head washed with a decoction taketh away scabs, scurf, etc.'
So at five euros it seems like a great value plant.
All our edible herbs and plants are food safe,
therefore no nasty chemicals are used.
Safe to consume