I have a mint garden in my front yard, there are four different kinds of mint, peppermint, spearmint, lemon balm and catnip! Did you know that catnip isn't just for the kitties? It's really good for us humans too! What's interesting is that while it makes the cats go nuts, it has a calming affect on us. Cat nip tea is delicious.
It has a soothing affect on the tummy. If somebody has indigestion, gas or is feeling a bit queazy, cat nip is the one I reach for on a lazy day. It's important to note, however, that catnip will make you sleepy! So if you are trying to get up and get out of the house, this may not be your herb. However if it's the end of the day, you've got some nervous tension and need to relax, make yourself a 'cuppa, sit back and let it take affect. I guarantee you will have a good night's sleep. I love this herb. Also, both my kiddos drink it with a little bit of honey: it's a perfect remedy for those long nights when your kid is sick to their stomach with a tummy bug.
To prepare, I take the fresh herb from my garden and dry it. Like any herb I harvest, I try to make it as clean and user friendly as possible. I cut off stems as soon as I pick it so it's not twiggy, I be sure to get rid of any discolored leaves, bugs or other things that just don't look right. Most importantly, I thank the plant for being in my life and what it has to offer. Then I set it out to dry on an old window screen, tossing it around once a day till the leaves are fully dry. Once dried, I store in a large glass container and it will last throughout the year till next harvest, if I don't drink it first! When I make tea, I generally go by a teaspoon per cup of water.
This is a magic herb. It is also good for the babes too as you can see in my previous posts, Catnip Teething Pops and Tasty Teas #2: Tea for Teething . Sorry if there is any redundancy here, I just can't stress enough how great this herb is! It really does deserve all the publicity it can get! Love and Light to you all! Happy Tea Drinking!