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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Crazy for Catnip

Did you know that I'm an herbalist? 

The reason I became an herbalist was so that I could help educate others on alternatives to western medication. Don't get me wrong, I think modern medicine is great, but sometimes you just need an alternative,  an alternative without side effects, something that is all natural. I have failed you guys, F-A-I-L-E-D!!!  I haven't done any articles educating about herbs.

(Raising my right hand) I vow that I will be better about sharing different herbs. I promise to occasionally featuring an herb or essential oil.

For starters I will choose catnip. You may be saying to yourself, "seriously, catnip? you mean the  Mary Jane,  wacky tobacky, bud, grass, pot, herb, indo, killaz, Smoke, dankity dank, diggety dank, purple kush, purp slurp, white widow, white rhino, cannabis, canny banny, left handed tobacco, sativa, blueberry yum-yum,  the drug for cats?"
Catnip is a stimulant for cats, and you can find some really funny videos of cats and catnip on youtube. For humans, it is actually a relaxant. It is a mild sedative, and a cup of catnip tea could help you get a restful nights sleep, it is safe for children as well. In our family we use it mostly for the digestive system (tummy aches). It is a natural antacid, so it is good for acid reflux and stomach distress. Catnip and fennel combined are a great combo for colicy babies.

When I have an upset stomach, I just pick a few leaves off my plant, chew them a little and swallow. Warning: It does not taste good!  I had a friend over, she had an upset stomach, so I gave her a few leaves to eat,  soon after I found her practically throwing up in the garbage (she was expecting it to taste good). Since then, I have harvested and dried the catnip leaves to put into capsules. We make a catnip tincture for the kids, the glycerin makes it taste good to them, and it is easier for them to swallow than the capsules.  Catnip should be avoided when pregnant.

I have a catnip plant growing like crazy in my window. It is super easy to grow and to harvest.  So go ahead, next time you have a stomach ache, instead of looking in the medicine cabinet, try a little catnip.

~marisa









25 comments:

Red Hill General Store said...

Great tips on catnip, there are a lot of "old timers" in my area that use it as a tea. I wonder if this affects how it works...

Dollwood Farms said...

can pregnant women eat it for nausea? :) My daughter has morning sickness bad. :(

Margie said...

Perfect timing for the post! I just split my catnip into 4 new plants! It is so easy to grow. I share with all my friends. Now I will include your blog when I give away the new plants!

marisa said...

Red Hill~catnip is just as effective as a tea! It is very calming and relaxing.

Dollwood~catnip should be avoided while pregnant. But, Red Raspberry leaf tea is great throughout pregnancy and have her try some ginger to help with the nausea.

Margie~ what a great friend you are! I love getting transplants from friends.

Astrid in Bristling Acres said...

Awesome! I didn't know that about catnip! Is it any of the varieties called catnip/cat mint? Or is it something in particular?
I'll have to grow some!

marisa said...

Astrid, great question. Catmint (Nepeta mussinii) is related to Catnip (Nepeta cataria), but they are different.

Dollwood Farms said...

Thanks so much Marisa! I will tell her. :) I am going to get some catnip for my kitties!!

Kristina Seleshanko said...

If you have a cat indoors, however, the cat WILL destroy the plant. It's like a drug to kitties. (I've heard vets say it's like cat-LSD!) And if you grow it outdoors, every cat in the neighborhood will eat it.

Deb W said...

Yay!! I'm so glad to find another resource. The interest in herbs for all their uses, including medicine, seems to have suddenly jumped to the forefront of the homesteading lifestyle.

I hope you will make it a regular feature (weekly?). How did you become an herbalist?

marisa said...

Kristina, it's funny, most cats go crazy over it, my cat doesn't like it at all. Weird, huh? I thought when I bought it I was going to have to keep it up on top of my cabinets so she couldn't get to it. But, I planted it outside one time, and it was gone the next morning.

Deb, I'm hoping to do a weekly herb feature. Hoping. I got my herbalist certificate from The School of Natural Healing.

Tressa said...

where was this yesterday when I was at the nursery and saw a catnip plant? :)

Mary said...

We are growing catnip as a way to entertain our cat and also, we've been trying to figure out a way to use it when home brewing. Your post was really funny and it's inspired me to plant some more and steep it up in a tea. Also, I'm going to post the pictures of my cat Jasper making out with his catnip plant. Thanks for the giggle!

Kate and Peter Lowe said...

Yay I am so excited for your herb posts! How did you get into that? I've been wanting to learn more but you never know who is a really reliable source.... you seem like my kinda girl so I trust you :) I've been following your blog for a while, love it!

marisa said...

Sorry Tressa, you could always go back, and take me!!! Let me know if you go.

Mary, I would LOVE to see you cat "making out" with catnip.

Kate, I was talking to my neighbor about some alternative medicine I was using, but I was telling her how I wish I knew more. She was an herbalist and told me about the School of Natural Healing.

Gentleliving7 said...

I have been into herbs for many years. I used to grow catnip on the farmstead. My mint is still all over the place up there but not the catnip. I have decided to grow it here after reading your post. It has been awhile since I messed with it at all witht he exception of a treat for the cats. A good, deep nights sleep sounds great. I do sleep great after working at the disaster sight...er...farmstead after the tornado, but not so much on the nights I haven't worked there. Maybe the catnip would help. Thanks so much for the reminder. I am looking forward to a weekly herb feature on your blog.
Each year I try to add a couple of new herbs to my beds. This year I added stevia,motherwort, and bee balm. Our day topped out at 100 degrees yesterday so they are needing plenty of attention. :)

By the way, thanks for stopping by my blog for a visit.

Be blessed!
Cammy H
hopefulheart77

Melissa said...

Awesome! Looking forward to more posts from the herbalist!

karisma said...

I made an acv with my catnip, a great way to disguise the taste. And just one spoon full is enough. :-)

RightHahn said...

Have you come across anything about its effect on irritable bowel or crohn's disease?

Loretta & Amanda said...

Looking forward to the herbal posts. We already use comfrey, plantain, ginger root, peppermint, bee balm, lemon balm, red raspberry, hawthorn, lavender, catnip, chamomile, dandelion, mullein, thyme, and a few others in teas, salves, and tinctures, but there is soooo much more I would love to know! Thanks for sharing!

Allison at Novice Life said...

Great post! I recently just got in to learning more about herbs.

I'd be interesting to know more of what I can do with Lemon Balm! I have it EVERYWHERE and I have read it has a lot of purposes.

marisa said...

Gentle living, a few herbs each year is the best way to do herbs! I'm jealous of your 100 degree weather, we haven't had a day warmer than 80 yet.

RightHahn, I will be sure to do some posts on that. I think I have some essential oils that might be helpful.

Karisma, great idea!

Loretta, holly hannah! I think you need to do some posts for me!

Allison, I will ad lemon balm to my list of herbs to feature.

daisy said...

Wow, Marisa! I didn't know you are an herbalist! Thank you for the post. I am going to ask our homeopath if we can use it for our son. We are weaning him off melatonin and he's still having a hard time falling asleep. Thanks!

My Backyard Farmyard said...

Marisa, I am looking forward to your future posts on herbs. I've been researching the health benefits for awhile now, but love learning more. I just bought 2 catnip plants because I read that they will repel Japanese beetles from my raspberry patch. Hope it works this year!

Brenda

Julie Baber said...

Hi Marisa,

I'm trying very much to find catmint, not catnip, seeds and I am having a heck of a time. Can you direct me somewhere? Or do you know the latin name of the catmint variety? It was so good for my nausea, I am desperate to grow it again.

Mike said...

Julie,

One of our sources for heirloom seeds is egardenseeds.com. It looks like they have catmint. Hopefully, this is what you are looking for.

http://www.egardenseed.com/Catmint_Seeds_p/0163.8.htm