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Catnep. Catmint, Catnip. Nepeta cataria L.

Botanical name:

Catnep. N. F, IV. Cataria. Catmint. Catnip. Cataire, Fr. Katzenmunze, G. Cattara, It. Gatera, Sp.—It is described in the N. F. as "the dried leaves and flowering tops of Nepeta Cataria Linne (Fam. Labiateae). Tops, when whole, from 10 to 20 cm. in length, much branched, commonly crushed and broken; stems quadrangular, downy; leaves opposite, those of the stem petiolate, from 2 to 7 cm. in length, rounded heart-shaped at the base, oblong, pointed at the apex, pale gray-green, soft-hairy above, downy beneath, margin deeply crenate, floral leaves small, bract-like; flowers small, in dense, interrupted spikes; calyx hairy, tubular, curved obliquely and sub-equally five-toothed; corolla whitish, dotted with purple, throat dilated, limb bilabiate, the upper lip erect, two cleft, lower spreading, three cleft, the middle lobe largest, crenulate; stamens two pairs ascending under the upper lip, lower pair shorter. Odor faintly aromatic and mint-like; taste bitter, pungent and aromatic. Catnep yields not more than 16 per cent. of ash." N. F. Catnep is a perennial labiate plant which is common near dwellings in the United States, but is supposed to have been introduced from Europe. It is called catnip on account of the fondness which cats show for it either in the fresh or the dried condition. The active constituents are volatile oil, and tannin of the kind which produces a greenish color with the salts of iron. Therapeutically it is very feeble. Dose, one drachm (4 Gm.).


The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.



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