28 May 2008
Too Many Chilli's!
I planted a load of chilli seeds earlier this year and I now have 19 chilli plants in my kitchen! I've just re potted them all and they are taking up a whole kitchen surface and the windowsill so I'm going to have to give some away I think.
The catnip I planted is doing well too Audra Sonato over at the talk whatever forums gave me some great info on uses for it too:
"Tea made from catnip is more calming than even chamomile tea, but you will definitely want to sweeten it with honey, as it's not quite as pleasant tasting. It's a great sleep aid if you've got insomnia. It's great for respiratory ailments and allergies as it acts as a decongestant (I do not recommend exceeding 2-3 cups per day for adults/ 5ml of tincture 3 times per day for children).
Because if it's markedly antiflatulent qualities, some people give use it for this purpose. Some even give it to their infants and small children for colic or digestive problems, though I would strongly recommend caution with this practice. NEVER GIVE ANYTHING TO A CHILD WITHOUT THOROUGHLY RESEARCHING IT ON YOUR OWN. I've heard of it's use for hyperactive children, but I haven't seen anything solid backing that one up, so I'm not sure it's one I'd recommend.
It is unsafe for use in pregnancy due to it's effects on the uterus, but is quite useful for helping to regulate menstruation in women with painful or irregular menstrual cycles.
It can be made as an infusion and added to the bath or humidifyer as a relaxing antiseptic inhalant. It is useful in this manner for sore throats, colds, flu and coughs, sinus problems, asthma and croup. It can also be used as an eyewash if your eyes are irritated and swollen due ot colds or flu, or the used teabags can be wrung out and put on puffy eyes for releaf. It's very useful as a poultice for sprains and strains, to bring relief to the discomfort and help reduce the swelling by using them in a similar manner as you would the used teabags or as a soak. I've heard of using it simlarly for rheumatoid arthritis, but that's another one I haven't found any real research to back up, and I don't know anyone personally whose garnered relief of that particular ailment using this herb.
Finally, it's great for sore gums and aching teeth. If you use it for oral discomfort, the dried leaves tend to work faster than powdered ones do. Both work, but the powder tends to take a little longer to take effect.
Remember not to dry it in direct sun as it will lose it's potency for either cats or humans if you do. Instead, dry it completely in a dark, cool, dry place."