Re: Fw: Catnip

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Swapna Prabhu

Jun 30, 2010, 6:15:11 AM6/30/10
to indiantreepix,
Dear all,

Forwarding a query regarding Catnip I received yesterday......Can anyone help with this information?

Thank you,


On Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 4:28 PM, <> wrote:
Prabhu Madam,
Following is the details for which we require the info as to where it can be available in Mumbai or any other place in India.
Plz try to send info asap.
Thanks & Regards
Girish Shah
98207 44500
Name: Catnip
Biological Name: Nepeta cataria


Other Names: Catmint, catnep, catrup, catswort, field balm

Catnip is a perennial herb of the mint family. Its erect, square, branching stem is hairy and grows from 3 to 5 feet high. The leaves have scalloped edges and gray or whitish hairs on the lower side. The flowers are white with purple spots and grow in spikes from June to September.

Parts Used: The leaves and the flowering top.
Active Compounds:

Volatile oil, carvacrol, citronellal, nerol, geraniol, pulegone, thymol and nepetalic acid.


Iridoids, including epideoxyloganic acid and 7- deoxyloganic acid.




Catnip is one of the oldest household remedies. It was prescribed as "wonderful for very small children and infants". As a tea it was used as an enema for children with convulsions. It was also prescribed for pain of any kind, spasm, gas pains, hyperacidity in the stomach, and for the prevention of griping in the bowels. It was also used to restore menstruation

Medicinal Applications


Anodyne, antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic.


Catnip is one of the traditional cold and flu remedies. It is a useful diaphoretic helpful in any feverish condition, especially acute bronchitis. As a carminative with anti-spasmodic properties, Catnip eases any stomach upsets, dyspepsia, flatulence and colic. It is a perfect remedy for the treatment of diarrhea in children. Its sedative action on the nerves adds to its generally relaxing properties.

Take catnip tea for upset stomach, colic, spasms, flatulency, and acid. It can also be used for an enema. Contemporary herbalist also use this herb for chronic bronchitis and for diarrhea.


Infusion: Use 1 tsp. herb with 1 cup boiling water. Steep only: do not allow to boil. Take 1 to 2 cups a day.

Tincture: Take 1/2 to I tsp. at a time.


Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

Catnip Information

Nepeta cataria is the botanical name of the plant more commonly known as catnip. Other common names include catmint, field balm, and true catnip. Nepeta cataria is part of the Lamiaceae (more commonly known as the mint) family of plants. The Lamiaceae family is made up of over 3000 species and 200 genera.

The Nepeta genus contains over 200 different species of flowering plants. Besides being appealing to cats, members of the genus have been used by humans for food, medicine, and psychoactive effect. It has long been known that living Nepeta cataria plants are effective at repelling insects.

A study of these properties suggests that a chemical called nepetalactone (found in the essential oil of Nepeta cataria) is much more effective as a mosquito repellant than commercial products that contain DEET. Nepetalactone is also an effective repellant of cockroaches and some types of flies.

Scientific Classification Of Nepeta catariaCatnip (Nepeta cataria)
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Nepeta
Species: Nepeta cataria

Nepeta cataria is thought to have originated in Europe and/or Asia. The herb was transported to various parts of the globe and can now be found growing wild in parts of Africa and North America, as well as Europe and Asia.

The plant can grow to a height of about 3 feet and looks similar to the mint plant. The leaves are green and may show a gray colored tinge, the tightly clustered flowers are purple and may have small white or pale lavender spots.

History Of Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

Catnip has a history of being used as a drug, food, garden plant, and for other purposes. The essential oil can be used as a natural insecticide. The leaves can be used to add flavor to sauces, soups and stews, they can also be chewed to reduce toothache.

The dried leaves, seeds or powdered roots can be made into herbal tea. Catnip tea has been has been found to have an anticholinergic effect (used in the management of bladder dysfunction). It has also been used to relieve intestinal cramps and gas discomfort.

The main chemical that causes psychoactive effects when a person uses Nepeta cataria is nepetalactone. It has antibacterial (kills bacteria) properties and is a mild sedative that can reduce fever, nervous and muscular spasms, or convulsions.

Nepetalactone is also produced by a type of ant found in California. Some indigenous peoples used to swallow these live ants to induce altered states of consciousness. The ants bite into the stomach lining and nepetalactone is introduced into the blood supply.

Catnip is used to stuff cloth pouches and make cat toys. These toys have been found to encourage cats to play and are harmless and not addictive. Some cats may become very excited when exposed to catnip, so aging or obese cats with health troubles should not be exposed.

Dr. Swapna Prabhu
Systematic Botanist/ Taxonomist
Bombay Natural History Society
Hornbil House, Shahid Bhagat Singh Marg
Dr. Salim Ali Chawk
Mumbai - 400 001.

J.M. Garg

Jul 9, 2010, 1:27:09 AM7/9/10
to efloraofindia, Swapna Prabhu,

Forwarding again for any assistance in the matter please.

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With regards,
J.M.Garg (
'Creating awareness of Indian Flora & Fauna'
Image Resource of more than a thousand species of Birds, Butterflies, Plants etc. (arranged alphabetically & place-wise):
For learning about Indian Flora, visit/ join Google e-group- Efloraofindia:

J.M. Garg

Aug 30, 2010, 8:17:36 AM8/30/10
to efloraofindia, Swapna Prabhu,
Forwarding again for any assistance in the matter please.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Swapna Prabhu <>
Date: 30 June 2010 15:45
Subject: [efloraofindia:39842] Re: Fw: Catnip
To: indiantreepix <>

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