Botanical Name: Nepeta cataria
Components: A member of the Mint family, catnip produces heart shaped leaves that are covered with a grayish down. Its flowers, which bloom from July to September, can be purple, whitish, or pale pink.
Overview: Cats go crazy for this herb because they are attracted to its oils, which act as a natural insect repellant. Unlike what it does to our feline friends, catnip has a sedating effect on people, calming the body and mind. Gentle and safe, it is a great herb for treating digestive or emotional disturbances in infants and children. Catnip leaves contain large amounts of vitamins C and E, both powerful antioxidants.
Uses: The dried leaves may be prepared as a tea or tincture. Fresh leaves can be used as an essential oil.