Picture yourself in a secret garden, where the air is tinged with a sweet minty aroma that's emanating from a small flowering shrub with dainty purple blossoms.
This is Catmint, and within the folds of this ancient medicinal herb lies a spellbinding tapestry of untapped magical potential, just waiting to be woven into spells, rituals, and potions of enchantment.
As we venture into the heart of my enchanted garden, we'll unravel the history and properties of this captivating resident, and the journey will unveil the age-old wisdom of working with this wonderful plant ally, inviting you to embrace its energy and unleash its secrets in your own magical practices.
So, without further ado, let's dive into Part One of a Green Witch's Garden: The Magic of Catmint.
What is Catmint?
Photo of my Garden's Catmint in a terracotta potCatmint, also known by its Latin name Nepeta Cataria, is a perennial herb (a plant that persists for several years) that belongs to the mint family, Lamiaceae.
It is native to Europe and has naturalized in various regions around the world. Catmint is known for its aromatic leaves and small, tubular flowers that are typically white or pale purple in color.
One of catmint’s most notable features is its aromatic foliage which produces a sweet minty scent when the leaves are rubbed.
Catmint is a very popular ally to work with in many European folk traditions and was even used extensively by Native American tribes such as the Cherokee and Iroquois who worked with the plant to soothe various ailments and aches, as well as to soothe and calm the spirit.
Fun Fact: The herb takes its Latin name from the Etrurian city (Central Italy) –Neptic which we now call Nepi, hence why the plant was avidly mentioned in Rome as a powerful medicinal ally.
Catmint has many other unique and notable (and dare I say) charming, names some of which are called:
Catmint & Cats
My cats Mnirva (Russian Blue) and Hestia (Sphynx)
As the name suggests Catmint is indeed an attractive plant for cats with a similar intoxicating effect on many felines, similar to catnip. If you have cats, be aware that they may be inclined to interact with the plant. Hence it is wise to consider planting catmint in an area where it won't be easily damaged by playful feline companions.
Magical Properties & Medicinal Uses for Catmint
Catmint has various uses and implications in magic that stem from fostering a greater sense of love to warding against malignant energy, regardless of how it is used the gentle spirit of the Catmint proves to be a jack of all trades in any witch’s garden.
A Powerful Ward Against Negativity and Malintent
In some folkloric traditions Catmint is used and exalted for its protective properties and ability to drive away negative energy and evil spirits as a form of Apotropaic magic (from Greek αποτρέπει, meaning “to ward off”). Here it was used as a charm or amulet to be carried around or a sprig of it was hung above the front door.
Catmint Medicinal Uses
Catmint has a very long history of medicinal use and is known for its various beneficial properties. It is used as an herbal remedy for several health conditions due to its active compounds, which contribute to its medicinal effects. Here are a few of the medicinal properties that can be found in catmint:
Catmint has diaphoretic properties, meaning it can induce sweating. Sweating can be beneficial during mild fevers, as it helps regulate body temperature and supports the body's natural immune response.
The antispasmodic properties of catmint make it useful for easing muscle spasms and cramps. It is particularly beneficial for relieving menstrual cramps in some individuals.
🌿Soothing and Relaxing:
Catmint is often used as a mild sedative and relaxant. It can help calm nerves, reduce anxiety, and promote relaxation. Drinking catmint tea or using catmint in aromatherapy may aid in stress relief and promote a sense of calm.
Catmint has carminative properties, which means it can help relieve digestive discomfort, such as bloating, gas, and indigestion. It may also help soothe upset stomachs and ease gastrointestinal spasms.
Use Catnip to Strengthen Love & Friendships
Catnip is a good herb to use to strengthen the foundations of romantic and platonic love alike and is even more potent and powerful when its energy is charged between two mutually consenting parties who wish to deepen their bond.
This can be done by holding a piece of Catmint in your hands and warming it up, and then holding the hand of the person you wish to create a healing and everlasting connection with. When you're done be sure to place this enchanted piece of Catmint in a safe place to make the magic last.
Use Catmint to Attract Neighborhood Cats and Good-Natured Spirits
Growing catnip in or around your home can attract not only neighborhood cats but gentle nature spirits, and good fortune as well. Catmint is also loved by pollinators like butterflies and various types of bees for its sweet nectar.
Make Tea with Catmint Leaves
Catmint tea is known for its mild and soothing properties, and it has been traditionally used for various medicinal purposes, including as a calming tea to help with relaxation and mild digestive issues. It is caffeine-free, making it a good option for those looking for a non-caffeinated herbal tea.
☘Note: Avoid drinking catmint tea if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Correspondences of Catmint
Our Catmint Plant next to its neighbor the Rue Plant
Here’s a short list of all the correspondences and associations that align with the energy of Catmint to assist you in enriching your allyship with this specific plant.
🌿Astrological Correspondences: Taurus, Gemini
🌿Spellwork: Beauty, love, happiness, and sensuality
🌿Parts Used: Leaves and flowering tops
🌿Medicinal Properties: Antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, sedative
🌿Deities: Venus/Aphrodite, Bastet, Freyja
In Closing + A Sneak Peek for Part 2
This is just the beginning of our exploration into the properties of Catmint, and there is so much more to come in exploring the full breadth of this unique plant.
With that said thank you for joining in this latest blog, and I'll see you again next week for part two where we'll discuss the differences between Catmint and Catnip plus some tips on how you can tell the difference between the two.
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