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The dried flowering tops of Nepeta cataria (family Labiatae); an emmenagogue and antispasmodic; also reported to produce psychic effects.
Synonym(s): catnep, catnip
[L. cattus, male cat (post-class)]


Drug slang
Regional street argot for a joint (marijuana cigarette).

Herbal medicine
A perennial that contains volatile oils (carvecrol, citronellol, geraniol, nepetallactones, nepetol, thymol and tannins); it is antidiarrhoeal, antipyretic, carminative, diaphoretic, sedative, stomachic and tonic. Catnip has been used as an enema for colicky infants, topically for cuts, and internally for colds, flu, viral infections in children, “nervous stomach”, nervous headache and menstrual cramps.
It should not be used in pregnancy or in young children.

Veterinary medicine
A perennial that has a stimulant effect on cats.


Herbal made from Nepeta cataria; aside from its value in amusing cats (and their owners), the agent has been used in humans for its suggested value in treating gastrointestinal problems, headache, urticaria, and as a sleep aid.
Synonym(s): field balm.


n Latin name:
Nepeta cataria; parts used: leaves (dried), buds; uses: migraines, colic, cold, flu, stomach disorders, arthritis, hemorrhoids; precautions: pregnancy; can cause headaches, nausea, and anorexia. Also called
cataria, catmint, catnep, cat's play, catwort, field balm, or


a plant in the mint family (Nepeta cataria) that contains the volatile terpenoid, nepetalactone. It has distinctive aromatic qualities that are particularly attractive to cats, inducing behavior that is variously described as sexual, playful, and sometimes as hallucinatory. Often included in stuffed toys marketed for the domestic cat. Used as a tea in Western herbal medicine.