Catnip

(Nepeta cataria)

INGREDIENT IN: LeAway

THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES: bug repellent, antispasmodic, astringent, anti-inflammatory, cholagogue, nervine, sedative, anesthetic, carminative, diaphoretic

AFFINITY FOR: digestive system, urinary tract, circulatory system

RESONANCE: physical

PLANT FAMILY: Labiatae

PART UTILIZED: flowers

EXTRACTION METHOD: steam distilled

APPLICATION: Catnip, or an insect repellent containing catnip, should be diluted and applied as a spray. Mix 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon essential oil with 1 cup isopropyl alcohol and 1 cup water in a spray bottle. Spray clothes and extremities, being sure to avoid getting any in your eyes. Essential oils do not disperse well in water or alcohol so you will need to shake your mixture before each use. Miracle II Neutralizer is a good medium to use in place of alcohol and water. Do not apply insect repellent oils with a carrier oil. The carrier oil attracts the bugs you are trying to repel.

AROMATIC CONSIDERATIONS: Catnip has a strong, harsh, earthy aroma with a subdued mint undertone.

EMOTIONAL / SPIRITUAL / MENTAL ASPECTS: All essential oils affect the emotions but there is nothing studied and recorded about the emotional aspects of catnip essential oil.

PHYSICAL ASPECTS: Catnip is primarily known for its insect repellent properties. It has also been shown to be effective in deterring underground insects such as termites. Catnip oil is antispasmodic. It is effective in treatments for all forms of cramps. It is useful in relaxing tight or strained muscles.

Catnip balances the flow of bile throughout the digestive system, making it a very good remedy for anyone suffering with abdominal pain caused by gas in the stomach or intestines. Catnip oil also promotes urination and helps the body to maintain proper water balance in the cells and tissues. Catnip is stimulating and toning to the entire system, but like many herbal remedies and essential oils, it also acts as a sedative. Natural remedies return the system to a state of balance, whether it is stimulation or sedation that is needed. Catnip has astringent properties which aid in tightening loose muscles and skin. Swished in the mouth, catnip can stimulate the gums to keep the teeth tightly in place.

GENERAL INFORMATION: One of the constituents of catnip, nepatalactone, has been shown in laboratory studies to be 10 times more effective at repelling insects than DEET.

CAUTIONS: Catnip may cause irritation to sensitive skin. Be sure to follow dilution directions and use reasonable caution and common sense. Use very diluted with infants and small children.