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6.27.2012

A Haitian Treasure Profile: Fey Lang Chat (Catnip)

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Catnip or catmint, Nepata cataria, is a mint plant native to Asia and Europe, but is found all over the world.  It is probably one of the only plants that can be instantly associated with cats (it is a "recreational substance" containing a feline attractant that affects 2/3 of all cats), can treat a wide variety of ailments, and is a mild hallucinogen.  Humans typically consume catnip as a tea, juice, tincture, or infusion. Various cultures have different medicinal uses of this amazing herb.  For example, while peoples like the Panamanians, Trinidadians, Nigerians and Haitians may use catnip for colds and coughs, Columbians use it to fight tumors, Cubans use it to fight cholera, and the Nepalese use it for chafing cuts and wounds. In Haiti, catnip is called fey lang chat, and is considered to be a powerful herb with many uses.


Catnip is a Haitian treasure. Catnip, a mild herb for humans, is most commonly consumed as a tea (made from crushing the leaves) to treat colds and the flu, to calm colic in babies, to eliminate gas and upset stomach, to stop convulsions and most importantly, to "cleanse the blood". Haitians believe that giving babies catnip tea can remove the impurities from their blood. This is considered to be ideal for achieving optimal health!
Constituents:
  • nepetalactone (mild haluciinagen)
  • acetic acid
  • citronella
Some Benefits and Uses:
  • natural sedative, antiseptic, antispasmodic
  • cures indigestion and nausea
  • natural astringent
  • reduces fever
  • natural insect repellant (10 x more effective than the chemical DEET)
  • can treat insomnia, anxiety, and nervousness

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The "Haitian Treasures" series explores the magnificent benefits and uses of Haiti's natural resources, which I call "Haitian Treasures" because they are truly national gems.  Naïka in Balance is the premiere source for information on healing herbs used by Haitians. In this series, I explore the tie between Haiti's natural resources and natural, traditional, and holistic healing.

Learn about other Haitian Treasures explored on this blog here!

The two most popular Haitian Treasures on this blog are:

Castor oil/l'huile palma christi
Wonder of the world plant/fey lougawou



Naika, the writer of this blog, has a doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and a Masters of Science in Acupuncture as of June 2017. Please do not take the information presented on this blog, as medical advice, without consulting your certified health care practitioner. Knowledge is power and your health is your wealth!

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