The leaves and flowering tops of Nepeta Cataria (Nat. Ord. Labiatae). A common perennial of Europe, and naturalized in the United States.
Common Names: Catnip, Catmint, Catnep.
Principal Constituents.—An aromatic volatile oil and a bitter body.
Preparations.—1. Infusum Cataria, Infusion of Cataria. (Catnip, 1 ounce to Water, 16 fluidounces). Dose, ad libitum.
2. Specific Medicine Nepeta. Dose, 10 to 60 drops.
Specific Indications.—Abdominal colic, with constant flexing of the thighs; writhing and persistent crying; nervous agitation.
Action and Therapy.—A safe and valuable, though simple carminative, diaphoretic (in warm infusion), and tonic (cold infusion). A splendid quieting agent for fretful babies, and carminative and antispasmodic for abdominal pain with flatulence. When marked nervous agitation precedes menstruation in feeble and excitable women and the function is tardy or imperfect, this simple medicine gives great relief. It is especially valuable for the nervous irritability of dyspeptics, nervous headache, atonic amenorrhoea and dysmenorrhea, and wards off nervous or hysterical attacks. The warm infusion is an admirable remedy to break up "common colds" by diaphoresis, and to determine eruptions to the skin in the exanthemata. If less ridiculed and more used, in place of far less safer remedies, "catnep tea" would be found a very useful medicine for women and children. It should not be sweetened. Where the added effects of alcohol are needed, or when the freshly dried herb cannot be obtained, the specific medicine may be used in place of the infusion.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.