This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Mentha Cataria vulgaris, & major C. B. Cataria & Herbafelis quibufdam. Nepeta Cataria Linn. Nep, or Catmint, so called from its being often destroyed by cats: a hoary plant; with square stalks; heart-shaped, acuminated, serrated leaves, set in pairs on long pedicles; and whitish labiated flowers (landing in spikes on the tops of the branches: the upper lip of the flower is divided into two, the lower into three sections. It is sometimes found wild in hedges and on dry banks, and flowers in June.
The leaves of catmint have a moderately pungent aromatic taste, and a strong smell, not ill re-sembling that of a mixture of spearmint and pennyroyal; of the virtues of which herbs, in weaknesses of the stomach, and more particularly in uterine disorders, they appear also to participate. Their active matter is extracted both by water and rectified spirit, most perfectly by the latter: the watery tinctures are of a greenish yellow or brownish colour, the spirituous of a deep green. In distillation with water, they yield a yellowish effential oil, smelling strongly of the catmint, but rather less agreeable than the herb itself: the remaining decoction is ungratefully bitterish and subastringent. Rectified spirit elevates like-wife a part of the smell and aromatic warmth, but leaves the greatest share behind concentrated in the extract, which proves more grateful than the leaves in substance, having more of the mint and less of the pennyroyal flavour.
(a) Med. Trans. i. 124.