I purchased some catmint or catnip the other year mainly for the cat as they are supposed to enjoy the aroma. From just a few sprigs the plant spread into a good round ball of fragrant green. It is a much stronger plant than ordinary garden mint and has a whole new variety of properties.
- It is a natural insecticide … the only creature found scrambling over catmint leaves and stems are spiders, which of course are not insects. Flying insects will approach the plant once the flowers are open and the nectar is ready for collection but will not linger or rest on the plant. To use catmint as an insecticide, the flowers or sprigs may be picked and added to flower decorations or a few stems slightly bruised by rubbing and tied with ribbon or string and hung where insects are a particular problem. Stems may be placed where there are ant runs, etc. Catmint has long been known for its ability to ward off mosquitoes and it is a good idea to plant out in flowerpots and tubs so that they can be arranged around children’s play areas and patios or decking areas. This must be the safest, natural and free insecticide that is available and once a plant is established in a garden it will most probably last a lifetime.
- Catmint is an anti-stress plant … it contains sedative properties and helps a person to relax. It is very strong and should only be used in small amounts about one teaspoonful of chopped mint leaves daily. When trying out plants begin with just a pinch as although I have never heard of anyone experiencing any problems with this particular herb we are all different and it is wise to be cautious. As with other herbs never mix with prescribed medicines and as always ask a doctor’s advice.
- The leaves of the catmint are useful in the treatment of flatulence and easing tummy upsets.