Catnip is also referred to as the Catmint. This herb belongs to the mint family called Lamiaceae in the botanical language. Catnip has very aromatic leaves. Its strong and sharp scent attracts cats. That’s why it is called Catnip.
Along with herbs, this plant is also grown by cat owners. They also dry the leaves and use them to stuff the playthings for their cats. The effect of this plant normally lasts for around 10 minutes on cats. After that, it triggers various behaviors, including jumping, rolling, and head rubbing.
Catnip is a native plant of Eurasia. But today, it is grown in various places. In the past, this plant was mainly used as medicine and tea due to exceptional benefits for fever and cold, etc. However, its usage has been extended. And now it is used for a wide range of things all over the world. Major regions that use Catnip include New Zealand, North America, China, Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia.
What does Catnip Look Like?
The looks of Catnip resemble mint to a great extent. However, mint has a comparatively darker color. While Catnip has greyish-green leaves with heart-shaped leaves. The leaves have a heart shape with fine edges. And the downside of its leaves is soft. The Its plant has a whitish-grey color. This plant has a very hardy and upright structure. Moreover, Catnip has sturdy stems which are covered with hairs. The flowers of the Catnip plant have a white color with purple spots on them.
Where does Catnip Come From?
Catnip comes from the Lamiaceae family of plants. The plant grows at different heights. However, the average plant has a height of around one meter. Catnip grows best in the loamy and a little sandy soil. The best place to grow it is in open areas where the shade is the least.
Moreover, growing it on waste ground, border areas and near streams also works fine with this plant. Its blooming season starts from late spring, and it goes on till autumn. The plant also has small flowers. These flowers have a very pleasing fragrance. People also use its flowers in perfumes and other types of fragrances.
How is Catnip Made?
The process of making Catnip resembles those of other herbs like basil. Its production starts with the plant. Grow the plant first. For that, make sure to choose a suitable land because Catnip’s plants cannot be grown everywhere. Once the plant completely grows and gets ready to harvest, start taking the leaves out. You can use fresh leaves. Or some people also prefer to dry it and use it afterward. For drying it, rinse the flowers under running water. Then, take paper and tray, and put the leaves on it. Leave it under the sun for few days. You can also use the dryer to dry it. When it dries, transfer it to any container. You can also use a blender to get ground form. However, most people don’t prefer blenders. They crush the crusty leaves by hand.
What Does Catnip Taste Like?
The taste of Catnip resembles mint. It has a refreshing flavor with a little touch of grassiness in it. If you mix it with lemon or let it sit in lemon juice for some time, the taste of mint in it enhances. And you will also experience citrusy flavor.
How is Catnip Used in Cooking?
Catnip is not a common herb for cooking. However, people in some parts of the world add it to enhance the flavors of their dishes. It is better to use older leaves for cooking as the new and fresh leaves are more suitable for eating raw like salads. Besides, some people also use the flowers of the Catnip plant for making tea. This is because it has a very calming flavor.
What Types of Cuisines Use Catnip?
Catnip can be used with all types of cuisines. People also use it as a seasoning in some parts of the world. It is also added in pizzas for additional taste. While using Catnip in salads is a common practice. As it makes a very refreshing addition to it. However, major use of this plant is found in making tea. That’s because of its health benefit. One prime example of vinegar is white wine vinegar that uses Catnip as the key ingredient.
What is a Catnip Substitute?
The best substitute for a Catnip is mint. That’s because of their high resemblance.
Where to Buy Catnip?
You may not find Catnip everywhere. But we have made the work easier for you. We are suggesting few best Catnip products that you can order online and get on your doorsteps.