By Kris Bradley
Catnip is more than just a dried herb for making cats happy; it has a history of medicinal and magical use going back over 2,000 years. With it’s many uses, and the ease in which it is grown, catnip makes a wonderful addition to any domestic witch garden.
Cat, catmint, catrup, cat’s wort, field balm, nepeta, nip, nep, herb catta
Catnip originated in Europe and Asia. It was used by Roman cooks and doctors, and records from England and France show that catnip was used as a stimulating hot drink before black tea became popular. European settlers brought catnip to the United States in the late 18th century, introducing it to the Native Americans. There are records of the use of catnip from 13 different Native American tribes, who primarily used the herb for treating children. It was used for colic, treating diarrhea, colds and stomach aches. Catnip has even worked it’s way into literature, appearing in the works of Washington Irving, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Nathaniel Hawthorne.