The Calamintha nepeta (L.), commonly known as mint, catmint or Nipitella (region. nepetèlla) is an aromatic herb, used in cooking and in herbal medicine. It has a faint smell of mint.It is a herbal plant.
It is classified as Satureja nepeta, thus being ascribed to the genus Satureja, including the savory.
In some areas of Italy, including Rome and Lazio, is also improperly called Mentha pulegium mint, causing some confusion with the nepetella: the two species are easily distinguished dall'infiorescenza: vertical development with single flowers that of nepetella, round flowers with the close of the M. pulegium.
Features: perennials, woody at the base, stems ascending to 20-40 cm tall on average, but sometimes two feet or more. Leaves ovate and acute, margin entire or slightly notched. Inflorescence leafy. Swollen calyx tube 3-4 mm and 1-2 mm of teeth. Corolla tube pubescent with pale purple or about 1 cm lower lip three-lobed, 4-5 mm long, light in the center and fitted with purple spots.
Habitat And Distribution
It is a plant very common in central and southern Europe where it grows wild in arid land up to 1500 m above sea level
Therapeutic Properties: digestive, expectorant, carminative. An infusion made from the leaves and top with mint is a good source of carininativo, aids digestion and stimulates the liver functions. For the same purpose to prepare a Enola, leaving the drug marinated in wine, then filter and drink after meals.
For external use the essential oil, of which the mint is rich, gives it antibiotic properties, and then pounded fresh leaves help the healing of small abrasions on which apply poultices.
The nepetella was commonly used as a medicinal herb in medieval times, but is now little used by modern herbalists. All parts of plant are aromatic properties, diaphoretic, expectorant, and stomachic febrifughi. The leaves are infused with the benefits obtained in the case of flatulence and weakness of the stomach. It is also used for depression, insomnia and menstrual pain. Should not be taken during pregnancy because in excessive doses can cause miscarriage.
Use in cooking: leaves chopped, similar to the aroma of mint are used to flavor meat dishes, fish, vegetables and mushrooms.
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