Kotovnik, the medicinal properties and contraindications of which we will consider in this article, is a perennial plant of the labiate family. It is often called cat's grass, mint, booze, field balsam, as well as a matte, a cat, sable grass and fragrant chandra. Consider this plant in more detail: what it is itself, what are the healing properties and how to apply it properly.
In its appearance, this herb resembles mint. It reaches from forty to one hundred centimeters in length, has branchy tetrahedral stems and sharp oblong pubescent ovoid-cordate leaves.
Small flowers are painted in white or lilac-bluish hue and collected in inflorescences, the diameter of which varies from one and a half to two and a half centimeters, and in length - from 3.5 to 8 centimeters. Brown fruits have the form of a nut - an ellipse.
Kotovnik, whose photo you can see in our article, blooms in the middle of summer, and the fruits ripen, starting with its second half. The aroma of the plant is sharp and very pleasant. The smell, which publishes the cat, is lemon. Its healing properties extend not only to animals (which one can guess by name), but also to humans.
The plant can be found in the western and eastern parts of Europe, in Asia, in the west of Siberia and in the Caucasus. In Canada and the United States it is specially cultivated. In the wild, the cat grows in the form of a shrub and is found in forests, on fields and meadows, on river banks and along roads.
By the way, in the Middle Ages, flowers of different varieties were grown quite a bit, however, a cat was always among them. He was already widely used healing properties and, in addition, added it to culinary dishes.
Collection and Procurement
As a medicine, apply the ground part of the plant, that is, the stem, leaves and flowers. They are collected during flowering. For this purpose, the plant is cut about ten centimeters from the ground. Grass is dried in a well-ventilated room or in the fresh air.
Dry cats acquire a greenish-gray color. In this form it can be stored for two years. After harvest, the stem quickly grows and re-blooms after a month. The largest harvest yields a cat-cat in the third year of life. It contains essential oil, which gives a pleasant lemon smell. Also, the composition includes tannic and bitter substances, saponins, vitamin C and glycosides.
And do you know that most of the melissa sold, and, as a result, grown in the kitchen gardens is nothing more than a cossack? And indeed it is. The plant is externally very similar to melissa. But to distinguish one from another is not difficult.
It is necessary to take the grass in your hands and grind it. If it is a cat, the smell will become unpleasant, but the real melissa will retain its fragrance. In addition, the dry grass of the plant in question slightly resembles the smell of cat urine. And one more visual difference is that the cats have two white dots. But this is not observed in melissa.
In ancient times, and in some countries and to this day, the dry leaves of the named plant are chewed and smoked like tobacco. But in this form, of course, does not disclose the cat's curative properties. And contraindications here, perhaps, even outweigh, as the grass to some extent turns into a drug. True, harm to health, unlike modern cigarettes, will be much less. But getting used to such an act is evil in any case.
As a herb, the cat is used for various purposes. So, he has the following action:
- restoring the menstrual cycle.
Grass cat, the medicinal properties of which we are considering, improves appetite, digestive process, normalizes the work of the intestine. Its use contributes to increased heart rate and the elimination of seizures.
It will perfectly help with coughing, gastrointestinal diseases, bronchitis, migraine, hysteria, dyspnea, anemia, jaundice and other diseases.
In addition to internal reception, it is possible to use the plant and externally. This is important for inflammatory skin processes, scabies, furunculosis, acne and eczema. The caterpillar's essential oil will be effective in lead poisoning - it can improve the patient's condition. Also, the agent has a high antimicrobial effect. Broths and tinctures are usually made from it.
Let's consider some techniques of how the Hungarian cat is used. The healing properties of this herb are especially noticeable in depression, hysteria and angina pectoris.
To do this, make the next infusion: for 300 ml of boiling water add a tablespoon of grass in a dry, crushed form and leave to infuse for an hour. Then take half the glass three times a day.
The same recipe is also suitable for external use in skin diseases.
In diseases of the gastrointestinal tract or headache make the next infusion: a small spoon of grass is brewed in 200 ml of boiling water and insist. It is best to do this in a thermos, and then strain it. Take the product on a tablespoon three times a day.
Very effective and a mixture of herbs. For example, in diseases of the skin, St. John's wort, blueberry, mint, laurel, yellow-root, Irish moss, blue vervain, sorrel, fenugreek, yellow gentian, old-school root, ash and, of course, cats in equal proportions. Three tablespoons pour 400 ml of boiling water and insist for an hour. First, tincture from the mixture is drunk once a day, gradually increasing the intake up to three times.
If the child has insomnia, then for him you can prepare a decoction of the mixture, which includes the following herbs: valerian, chamomile, passionflower, cats, skullcap Baikal. All components are taken in equal proportions, brewed three tablespoons with two glasses of boiling water and kept on the fire for five minutes, after which it is insisted for an hour. Use the drug three times a day for 100 ml for half a month.
An excellent analgesic effect has a tincture of the following herbs: cats, valerian and skullcap. They are taken in the same proportions. Then two tablespoons of the mixture are poured into two glasses of boiling water and insist for a third of an hour.
Use in Cooking
In Europe and the East, shoots and leaves of the cat are used in the form of spices, adding to salting and marinating as a seasoning. They also flavor meat and fish dishes, drinks and sauces. The plant is often used as tea leaves for tea. A confectionery get a special taste, if you add the essential oil of the cat.
Use in veterinary medicine
In addition to the application for humans, the plant also helps animals. Cats, inhaling its fragrance, become peaceful, balanced, playful and frisky. Therefore, it is especially useful to give a sprig of cats to animals that are in stressful situations, for example, when moving or hiking to a veterinarian.
This action extends not only to small cats, but also to all animals of the cat family. This has been known for a long time. So, the plant was used as a bait for catching lynxes.
But the catnip acts on insects, on the contrary, in a frightening way. Mosquitoes and even cockroaches are afraid of him. Therefore, the essential oil is often added to insect repellents.
Other properties of the plant
The fragrant cat, the medicinal properties and contra-indications of which we describe, helps to relax, normalize emotions and mood, and balance. About this magical action plants, among other things, it was known in the Middle Ages.
The dried leaves from it were used as bookmarks for books on magic. Cotovnik was used for a love spell. And the gypsies drank the tea, brewed on the grass before the meeting, with the addition of honey.
The plant is used for a variety of purposes. With the right approach, it can be an excellent assistant in various situations. However, you should know that in some cases the cat has contraindications to the use. So, the plant can not be used primarily for pregnant women and mothers during lactation. In addition, its use is highly undesirable for children.
It remains to add that the information available today regarding what the catnip has healing properties and contraindications is far from complete. Therefore, its use should be careful.