The use of catnip leaves and flowers in herbal teas was documented at least as early as 1735 in the General Irish Herbal. The ultimate feline herb, for centuries cats have been going crazy over this plant. It makes them happy and spunky, yet has a more sedating effect on people. Medicinally, the plant has been used to treat intestinal cramps, for indigestion, to cause sweating, to induce menstruation, as a sedative, and to increase appetite. Catnip has also been used in European folk medicine for generations as a calming agent for body and mind. It is gentle and is very useful for children and infants with digestive or emotional disturbances. The essential oil has been used as a fragrance in perfumes, as a culinary flavoring, and more recently, as an insect repellant.