This herb has aromatic leaves and whorled spikes of two-lipped, white-spotted lavender flowers, enjoyed by bees. The root and leaf scent, minty with cat pheromone overtones, intoxicates cats and repels rats and flea beetles. Tender leaves are added to salads and flavor meat. The leaves are used in a poultice for bruises and are put into cat toys.
Nepeta comes from the town Nepete in Italy, where Catmint was cultivated.
Also known as catnip or catmint because of the famed effect on cats.
Nepeta pleasantly stimulates cats’ pheromonic receptors, typically resulting in a temporary induced euphoric state.
Nepeta deters flea beetles, aphids, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, ants and weevils. Use as a companion plant or steep fresh catnip in water and spray on plants to drive insects away.
Nepeta is a great Mosquito repellent. Oil isolated from catnip by steam distillation is a repellent against insects, in particular mosquitoes, cockroaches and termites. Research suggests that distilled nepetalactone, the active ingredient in catnip, repels mosquitoes ten times more effectively than Deet, the active ingredient in most insect repellents. Rats & mice are also believed to have a strong dislike of catnip & will avoid places where it grows.