August 6, 2009

Cat Lady No. 215...A Little Nip of Tea

Cat Lady Carlotta enjoys stitching catnip mice for her terrific tabby Gunther, but she always sets aside a few pinches of the herb, also known as catmint, to make herself a soothing cup of tea.

She recently learned that, according to Dr. T. Ombrello of the UCC New Jersey Biology Department
, catnip has a long history of use as both a beverage and a medicine.

"Before Europe
an trade with China began bringing large quantities of fine Eastern Tea to Europe, Catnip tea was a domestic favorite especially among tea loving residents of the British Isles. "When growing the plant for this purpose, mature leaves should be collected while they are still fresh and dried in the shade (not in the sun, or the volatile oil will be lost) for several days. One teaspoon of the dried herb is then added to each cup of boiling water and allowed to steep. The tea should not be boiled or, again, the oil will be lost. The drink is an excellent source of vitamin C."

Read more about the Won
derful World of Catnip in the complete article by Dr. Ombrello: CATNIP

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