The Catnip oil extracted from the plant Nepetacataria through steam distillation; it has a strong and pungent smell. This essential oil is said to have more power than DEET in repelling mosquitoes. The oil can be used in very low concentration for repelling mosquitoes and all kinds of biting insects. The oil can be blended with other essential oils to make a natural insect repellant without any possible harm from chemicals. It can also be blended with either an alcohol or unscented cream base. Catnip oil has many health benefits. The oil is an anti-spasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, stimulant, astringent, stomachic and sedative substance.
Catnip is a native to South and East Europe, central Asia, Middle East and some parts of China.
Catnip is perennial herb and belongs to mint family. It is easy to grow, harvest and dry the catnip stems, leaves and flowers. It is not an addictive plant and is totally harmless. Catnip leaves can be harvested at any time in the growing season, mid morning or early afternoon is the best time to harvest the leaves and flowers. It is better if you cut the entire stem at the base of the plant so that you can collect the entire leaves and flowers. Pinch off the tips of the shoots early in the season so that more bushy growth happens for harvesting later on.
Commonly Known Benefits
The various components present in the Catnip oil like Nepetalactone, Valeric Acid, Geraniol, Monoterpene, Nepetalic Anhydride, Citral, Limonene, Dispentine, Thymol, Citronella, Caryophyllene, Nerol, Bio Flavonoids, Nepetalic Acid, and carotenoids makes this essential oil a popular medicinal herb which is used for many diseases. The oil is good in curing dyspepsia, colic, migraine and flatulence and has antiseptic properties. This oil can cure all types of muscular, intestinal, respiratory or any other type of cramps and spasms. The plant has medicinal history and is used for various ailments and the plant can be consumed as a tea, infusion, tincture or poultice. Catnip can have behavioral effects on the members of the cat family. Even wild cats like the leopards, cougars, lynxes, tigers and even lions react strongly to catnip smell. Before using the oil do a test for sensitivity or allergic reaction by applying a small amount. Pregnant women and people under doctor's care should consult a physician before using the oil. Children may be sensitive to the oil so it is advisable to use the oil after consulting a physician.
Physico Chemical Properties
Specification Limit Botanical Name NepetaCataria Family Name Lamiaceae Common Name Catnip, catswort, catmint Part used Leaf and Flowers Specific Gravity 1.0455 - 1.065 @ 25º C Refractive Index 1.4872 to 1.4913 Optical Rotation + 1° 20' to + 13° Blends well with Catnip oil blends well with Grapefruit, lemon,lavender, marjoram,orange, peppermint,Rosemaryand spearmint essential oils.