Organic Emily

Growing and Using Medicinal Herbs: Catnip

Catnip

Growing Catnip

This easy to grow perennial is very aromatic and can grow up to 4 feet tall.  It likes well draining soil but will grow in most soils.  It is a family member to the mint family.  Some people like the smell and some not so much.  Although, we do know that cats love it so much that they seem to go into a trance over it!  It likes regular watering and partial sun, but can take full sun too.  It grows natively in abundance in the mountains.  I gather the native leaves up by the family cabin every year.  Cut back the plant when it reaches 8 inches or more to harvest the leaves.  It will continue to grow and produce all season long like mints do.  It is also a natural pesticide and herbicide.

Using Catnip

Catnip is best used in a tea form.  Many people drink catnip tea to help relieve digestive problems like flatulence/bloating.  It is very safe for babies with colic/teething and is found in many tinctures along with fennel.  I have had great success with my colicky babies using Dr. Christopher’s Kid-e-Col.   Catnip is also very good for relieving tension (including headaches), stress, nervousness and restlessness.   Many sources say to not use catnip during pregnancy or during periods because it can cause heavier bleeding.

Emily Saddler

Emily is a Master Gardener, wife of a professional landscape contractor, homeschool mom of 7 awesome kids, yoga/pilates instructor, a clinical and master herbalist, licensed massage therapist and soon to be traditional naturopath. She is a very passionate advocate of organic home-grown food! Emily maintains a blog called “The Organic Suburban Farm Girl” where she shares gardening advice, delicious recipes made with fresh, organic ingredients, herbal and natural home care product recipes and loves teaching classes on gardening, plant identification and herbal remedy workshops. Check out the events and classes page for more info.

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