Catnep, Catmint, Catrup, Catswort
- Catnip Essential Oil has chemical compounds called nepetalactones that are extremely effective at repelling mosquitoes.
Farming Method Conventionally Farmed Country of Origin Canada Plant Part Blossom and Plant Scientific Name Nepeta Cataria Application Method Diffusion, Topical
Catnip is a short bushy plant of the mint family that is often mauled by cats who find its leaves impossible to resist. Catnip essential oil is rich with nepelactones, which mimic certain cat hormones. Its scent is leafy and herbaceous without much appeal unless you are a cat. Cats chew on the leaves to release the nepelactones and upon inhaling it, they enter a dazed stupor.
Although Catnip may be the feline drug of choice, it has the opposite effect on mosquitoes. Some studies have shown that nepelactones are 10 times more effective at repelling mosquitoes as DEET. This is the main purpose for which Catnip Essential Oil is used. (it is not really aromatherapy)
Here is how to use Catnip essential oil for various conditions:
Topical Application for localized use on the skin: Dilute up to 1% in any carrier oil (5 drops per tablespoon of carrier oil). See precautions below.
Topical Application for whole body massage: Dilute up to 1% in any carrier oil (5 drops per tablespoon of carrier oil). See precautions below.
- Insect Repellant: Diffuse, Topical Application.
Mildly sensitizing. Use well-diluted and in moderation. Avoid during pregnancy.
Traditional Uses: Catnip tea has been brewed as a folk remedy to help with indigestion, hiccups and even menstrual disorders. Catnip is also used as a natural meat tenderizer.
About the Plant:
Catnip is a perennial resembling mint, which can grow up to 2-3 ft high, with grayish-green mint-like leaves and pretty purplish flowers.
Where it Grows:
Native to Asia and Europe, but widely naturalized elsewhere.
Lamiaceae or Labiatae—Mint Family
Scent: The scent of Catnip is herbaceous.
Blends With: Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Peppermint,Orange, Rosemary, Spearmint.
Composition: Nepetalactones, beta-Caryophyllene, alpha-Humulene.