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Catnip: medicinal and beneficial properties of catnip

Catnip: medicinal and beneficial properties of catnip


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It has been known for a long time about lemon catnip, popularly known as catnip, and its unusual properties: the plant is used not only to treat people, but is also used when working with animals from the cat family. The article is devoted to the description of the appearance of the grass, its properties and other features.

Botanical description and place of growth of the catnip lemon

Catnip is an unpretentious herbaceous perennial from the family Lamiaceae (Labioecum). Characteristic features are a high ligneous tetrahedral stem from 0.4 to 1 m, pubescent leaves of a triangular-ovoid shape, as well as apical fragile inflorescences in the form of semi-umbrellas with many white flowers with purple or violet spots on the lower petals. Wild catnip refers to creeping plants: at each contact with the soil, the stem gives new shoots, rooted and forming thickets; when cultivated on the site, this grass usually looks upright. As a rule, lemon catnip blooms in the summer, in June-July.

In addition to the above features, catnip can be easily recognized by breaking the stem: you will smell a strong smell that gives off a lemon. The fact is that in the composition of the grass 3% are essential oils, and it is thanks to them that catnip attracts animals so reflected in its name.

As for distribution, this herb is found on almost the entire vast territory of Russia, including Siberia and the Caucasus, as well as in many countries of Europe and Asia (India, Pakistan). It is often cultivated in America and Canada. The plant prefers open areasTherefore, it can often be seen on the forest edges, along roads, in fields and on mountain slopes.

Common names for catnip

In addition to the name "catnip" adopted in botany, there are several other names given to the plant by the people for its properties. So, that this plant attracts cats, they say the nicknames “catnip”, “cat grass”, “cat drink”, “cat”. The smell of grass is indicated by "catnip mint", "ordinary fragrance", "aromatic shandra", "lemon dahts". The healing properties of the grass are eloquently hinted at by "field balm", "matoshnik" and "sore grass".

How does catnip

Useful and healing properties of catnip

Due to its composition rich in essential oils, terpenes and tannins, catnip has long been known in folk medicine. This plant has a wide range of healing properties: it alleviates pain, eliminates inflammation, increases appetite, improves the digestive tract, fights against anemia and dizziness, and has a positive effect on the body as a whole. In addition, catnip is recommended for use by women with menstrual irregularities, as well as those suffering from low stress resistance. Another therapeutic effect is the effectiveness in the fight against microbes, so cat grass is often used to eliminate some skin diseases, such as eczema, acne and furunculosis. Shandra fragrant can also help with various kinds of nervous disorders. (hysteria, depression, melancholy).

In addition to traditional medicine, catnip has been used for behavior problems in pets: on cats, this plant produces a disturbing and then pacifying effect. With the help of cat grass, you can adjust the habits of a catthat disturb the owner or simply please her with an unusual treat. In addition, lemon dahts will be able to help your pet get rid of worms and digestive organs dysfunction.

Catnip application

In the second or third year, a young bush of catnip gives a very good harvest - it is at this time that you need to cut off the inflorescences and dry them. Properly prepared raw materials are stored for 2 years and have a grayish-green hue. The resulting material can be used for decoctions and medicinal tinctures that help with various ailments.

Traditional medicine with catnip

  • Infusion of matoshnik. A tablespoon of raw materials is brewed in boiling water (0.3 l), infused for two hours, and then filtered. Dosage and method of application: a tablespoon 30 minutes before meals, is used for 1-2 days. The infusion will relieve headaches and migraines.
  • Lemon catnip collection. You need to take 1 tablespoon of valerian, hop fruit, chamomile, passionflower and 2 times more catnip. 3 tablespoons of the resulting mixture of herbs are brewed in 2 glasses of water, and then put in a water bath for 5 minutes. It is taken cooled and strained in 0.5 cups after eating 3 times a day. It is recommended for use by patients with insomnia.
  • Infusion for stomach cramps. Soak a spoonful of raw materials in cold water, leave for two hours. Then boil and pour into a thermos. After 3-4 hours, you can take inside 30 ml 4 times a day for a week.
  • Lotions with catnip. Two tablespoons of dried grass are boiled in 0.3 l of water in a water bath for five minutes, cooled and filtered. The broth is applied to eczema-affected areas 2 times a day for half an hour.
  • Catnip as an aphrodisiac. It is necessary to mix a tablespoon of marjoram, catnip, two tablespoons. dill, vanilla and cinnamon pod and brew one teaspoon each in glass. Take as tea with a partner.
  • Powder for depression. Composition of the collection: 2 parts of lavender inflorescences, 1 part lemon catnip and 1 part oregano. The mixture is poured into bags, which are then hung around the house.

Dahtz lemon in cooking

Young leaves of catnip can be dried and then used as an aromatic additive to tea with a soothing effect. Also, freshly collected catnip foliage is often added to homemade cheeses. Another area of ​​application is confectionery: by adding a small amount of grass, the dough becomes soft and exudes a pleasant aroma.

About contraindications and the harm of catnip

For pets, catnip is harmless, since the effect of the essential oil lasts only a few minutes, and then the cat ceases to notice it until the next time. On humans, the effect of the plant extends to a greater extent and is characterized by some undesirable effects. At first, the use of aromatic shandra can lead to menstruation in women, having problems with the cycle. Secondly, tea with the addition of cat grass has a noticeable diuretic effect, so it is recommended to drink it one and a half to two hours before bedtime. Thirdly, taking catnip lemon inside entails an increase in heart rate - it is contraindicated for people suffering from tachycardia and other heart pathologies. Pregnant and lactating women are also at risk.

Special attention should be paid to the fact that catnip is a powerful sedative, so it should not be taken before driving or taking other important actions that require attention: grass taken internally will necessarily lead to a drowsy state.

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Growing catnip in the country

Thanks to the healing, gastronomic and high decorative properties, lemon catnip is a frequent visitor to flower beds of Russian gardeners. How to grow grass in moderate latitudes? First of all, you need to decide whether you will sow it immediately in the ground or first you will breed seedlings. As a rule, the second option is more reliable and more effective than the first.

For seedlings, boxes with a light, loose, slightly moistened soil mixture are suitable. Seeds should be placed 5-10 cm under the ground in rows, the distance between which should be about 7 cm. After two weeks, the first shoots will hatch, and then after a fairly long time - the first real leaves. After their appearance, you can dive seedlings. After 2 months, the catnip is planted in open ground. For its successful development, a well-lit area is suitable, where the plant will receive enough sunlight. Besides, the grass will need to be watered frequently and plentifullyuntil it gets stronger. Also, a young plant is better to fence off from attacks of cats - all animals react differently to it, and some can damage the seedling that has not yet grown.

In addition, it should be remembered that catnip is a semi-wild plant that can turn into an ordinary weed if you do not control its distribution in the garden. In this regard, plant shandra only in areas where it can be freely restricted in growth.

Important! Matoshnik is not a frost-resistant plant, and very low temperatures are likely to leave him no chance of survival.

Lemongrass kotovnik is a wonderful plant that has a lot of advantages not only as a decorative culture, but also as a seasoning and folk remedy for many ailments. Nevertheless, it should be borne in mind that taking the herb as a medicine is necessary only after consulting with a doctor, since the matoshnik has a number of contraindications. Otherwise, you can safely plant it in your own area and breathe in a pleasant aroma all summer!

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