Catnip leaf is well known for its gentle and calming properties as it has been employed in traditional western folk practices for centuries. Nepeta cataria is a member of the mint family and features a square stem, heart-shaped leaves, and small fragrant pink to white flowers on a terminal spike. The leaves can be tinctured, steeped into a relaxing catnip tea, and added to herbal tea blends.
The ultimate feline herb, for centuries cats have been going crazy over this plant. It makes them happy and spunky yet has a more calming effect on people. Catnip has been used in European folk medicine for generations as a calming agent for body and mind. It is gentle and is very useful for children and infants.
Catnip is a gray-green perennial with the square stems and terminal flower spikes typical of the Mint or Lamiaceae family. It has fuzzy, heart-shaped, toothed leaves and grows 2-3 feet tall. It is native to the dry and temperate Mediterranean area in Europe, Asia, and Africa, and was introduced to the many parts of the world, particularly North America, by European settlers, and is now widely naturalized and cultivated extensively in gardens and for commerce.