Scientific name: Nepeta cataria

Common names: Catmint, catnip, catnep

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names: Chi-hsueh-ts’ao

Bangladesh names: Bhui amla

Arabic names:    النعناع البري (alnna’enaa’e al barri)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Labitae

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Leaf, flower

Collection: end of summer

Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: 3 to 5 feet

Actions: Anodyne, antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, diapohretic, nervine

Known Constituents:

Constituents Explained:


Traditional Use:

Catnip is given the name for the sedative property it has that draws cats to eat it sometimes.  It can have sedative properties, used as a carminitve and anti-spasmodic. The anti-spasmodic properties will often see it employed to ease griping caused by other herbs.  Used to ease stomach upsets, gas and bloating.

It was once used as an enema for children with convulsions.1  Used as a menstrual regulator.1 The famed herbalist Jethro Kloss used it as a baby formula with lemon balm, and marshmallow.1  The other two herbs would have added a sweet taste.

Don’t boil catnip.

Clinical Studies:

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is known for its pseudo-narcotic effects. Recently, it has been reported as an effective mosquito repellent against several Aedes and Culex species, both topically and spatially.

Laboratory bioassays showed that catnip essential oil (at a dosage of 20 mg) resulted in average repellency rates of 96% against stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans (L.) and 79% against houseflies, Musca domestica (L.), respectively.

This finding suggested that the application of repellent could be used as part of filth fly management. Further evaluations of catnip oil toxicity were conducted to provide a broad-spectrum safety profile of catnip oil use as a potential biting and nuisance insect repellent in urban settings.

Environmental Protection Agency-approved mosquito repellents, catnip oil can be considered as a relatively safe repellent, which may cause minor skin irritation.


Zhu JJ, Zeng XP, Berkebile D, DU HJ, Tong Y, Qian K. “Efficacy And Safety Of Catnip (Nepeta Cataria) As A Novel Filth Fly Repellent.” 2009 September

Source material:


Other names: Catnip, Catnep

Latin name: Nepeta cataria

Family: N.O. Labiatae

Common part used: Leaves, herb.

Catmint is a very widespread plant, ranging over the entirety of Europe and most of the temperate regions in Asia. It is also spread across North America – however, in America this species was introduced artificially.

The catmint plant has a perrenial root. It grows up to sixty or even ninety centimetres high, its stem is square, with numerous branches. The leaves are numerous too, their shape reminiscent of a heart, the edges of them are toothed. The whole plant is covered with a soft whitish substance, easpecially the under side of the leaves.

The flowers bloom all the summer long and in September. They are small and pretty, there are two lips of corolla in every flower, different in colour. The upper one is pink or pinkish-white, with some tracks of red on it, and the lower one is entirely red. The calyx of the Catmint flower is ribbed. 

The plant is known for its medicinal use. It is especially good for colds, fever, nervousness, colic, restlessness. Catmint tea is very helpful and has a nice effect if taken for fevers: after drinking it a person falls asleep, and perspiration is produced in the organism without increasing the temperature. 

It is highly recommended as a remedy for headaches, especially those which are caused by hysteria and nervousness. In this case the tea would be too mild, so it is better to take a catmint based medicine, two or three time a day. 

The effect of the catmint increases if it’s taken in a combination with other herbs, especially saffron. The mix of catmint and saffron is excellent for colds, hysterica, scarlet-fever and other illnesses. 

Cats are for some odd reason very attracted to this herb.