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Nepeta cataria Family: Labiatae A common inhabitant of hedges and waste places, catnip has a downy stem which at the height of summer bears a spike of white or lilac-coloured flowers. These are small and hooded, and grow in crowded whorls. As its name suggests, cats are very partial to the curious scent of this plant. They and other creatures eat it for its medicinal virtues, and early herbalists, observing this, were quick to add it to their treasury of simples. It is rumored to attract good fortune and on that account often planted in front gardens.

Above all a digestive herb, catnip relieves all stomach cramps, flatulence and

intestinal pain.

It expels wind and reduces discomfort without impeding the normal digestive processes. An antispasmodic, it is used in Wales to stop persistent coughs and hiccups. Elsewhere I have seen it prescribed as a safe yet efficient painkiller, especially suitable for children’s aches and pains. The dosage is one or two tablespoonfuls daily of the standard infusion, which is prepared from the whole plant above ground. Painful menstruation is relieved

Conway, David. The Magic of Herbs (Kindle Locations 1380-1383). The Witches’ Almanac. Kindle Edition.