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Catnip is a plant. The flowering tops are used to make medicine. Catnip is used for difficulty sleeping (sleeping disorders); stress and anxiety; migraine and other headaches; cold and other upper respiratory infections; influenza; swine flu; fever; hives; worms; and gastrointestinal (GI) upset, including indigestion, colic, cramping, and gas (flatulence). It is likewise utilized as a tonic, for increasing urination, and for beginning menstrual durations in girls with delayed start of menstruation. Some people apply catnip straight to the skin for arthritis, hemorrhoids, and as a compress to eliminate swelling. Some people also smoke catnip medicinally for respiratory conditions and recreationally for a “high.” In manufacturing, catnip is used as a pesticide and insecticide. [2]
Catnip, (Nepeta cataria), also called catmint, herb of the mint family (Lamiaceae), noted for its fragrant leaves, which are especially interesting to felines. Catnip is commonly grown by cat owners for their pets, and the dried leaves are frequently utilized as a packing for cat toys. The herb is belonging to Eurasia and is used as a flavoring and as a medicinal tea for colds and fever in some locations. Understand catnip’s psychedelic quality that triggers excitatory reactions in felines and how cat litter( fuller’s earth) in addition to additives like baking soda, synthetic fragrances, and anti-bacterial agents takes in foul-smelling cat urine Catnip is a brief seasonal herb. The stems are typically square and bear oppositely organized toothed leaves. The plant produces spikes of little white purple-dotted flowers and readily reseeds itself. The leaves and stems contain an unstable oil called nepetalactone, which promotes sensory neurons in most felines, attracting them to the plant. The effect usually lasts about 10 minutes and triggers a large range of behaviours, consisting of purring, rolling, vocalizations, head rubbing, drooling, leaping, and sometimes hostility. [3]


Catnip has rather strange and uncertain origins. Popular belief associates the discovery and use of this plant to Etruria, which is an ancient country that was situated in west-central Italy in the 7th century BC.However, with the age-old love that Ancient Egyptians had for felines, there are also theories that it’s the Ancient Egyptians that began cultivating and offering catnip to them. Regardless, catnip has actually been around for centuries, and records of its use can be discovered in Ancient Roman texts. The Ancient Roman city, Nepeta, was particularly renowned for growing catnip and using it in medication and cooking. Many Ancient Romans grew herb gardens in your home, and catnip was frequently consisted of in them. With the domestication of felines currently being developed for centuries, it would be not a surprise that Ancient Romans discovered felines interacting with catnip in their home herb gardens. In the Middle Ages, catnip was a common herbal medication and cooking active ingredient. The reputable track record of this herb made it easy to be consisted of on the list of travel items for cross-continental trips. Catnip made its method to the Americas sometime in the 18th century. American colonists typically utilized catnip in tea, or they utilized it topically. In fact, a Massachusetts dish written in 1712 noted catnip as an ingredient for developing ale.

In 1941, the researcher SM mcelvain and his group of scientists found and isolated nepetalactone, the chemical responsible for triggering responses from felines. Comprehending the causal factor that set off reactions from cats assisted to enhance and innovate the advancement of catnip products, such as catnip sprays. Today, it’s challenging to find a pet shop or online retailer that doesn’t offer catnip. The success stories of several high-quality catnip producers, such as Cosmic Catnip, likewise led the way for producing premium catnip, and the requirement for catnip rose significantly. [4]


Catnip is an energetic and weedy herbaceous perennial native to Eurasia in the mint family (Lamiaceae) that is hardy in zones 3-9. Extensively naturalized throughout temperate areas of the world, Nepeta cataria is among several species that are described collectively as catmints. Typically discovered in disturbed areas, such as roadsides or field edges, along streams or on waste ground, this plant has aromatic leaves that the majority of felines are drawn in to, although many individuals are not captivated of their pungent odor, otherwise referred to as a mix of thyme and oregano to “slightly skunky”.

Catnip has green to gray-green foliage on erect, branched stems and a rangy routine. Like other members of the mint family, it has the particular square stems of mint plants and opposite leaves with 1 inch petioles. The light green stems and petioles are covered with great hairs. The triangular to ovate leaves are up to 3 inches long with coarse teeth along the edges (crenate margins) and are cordate at the base. Both upper and lower surfaces are covered with great hairs, and a reticulated network of veins is plainly visible on the upper side. Plants die back to the ground in the winter, and fresh stems emerge in early spring. Plants can mature to 3 feet high and wide under perfect conditions, and might form nests from the short roots. Plants flower anytime from late spring through fall, flowering for one to two months. The little flowers (about 1/3 inch long) are borne in densely crowded whorls on spike-like terminal racemes. The individual bilabiate (two-lipped) flowers, typical of the mint household, are white with pale purple or pink finding on the lower lip. The little upper lip has two lobes, while the lower lip has 3 lobes, with a larger middle lobe with a frilly external edge. Bees of all types, wasps and flies, along with many different types of butterflies, go to the nectar-laden flowers. Shearing after preliminary flowering promotes duplicated flowering. Flowers are replaced by seed capsules, each containing 4 smooth, ovoid nutlets. Seed-eating birds, such as goldfinches, might go to the plants if not deadheaded. This plant reseeds readily, and might become a nuisance in some areas however is not generally considered an invasive plant in Wisconsin. To decrease reseeding, cut the plants all the way to the ground after flowering. Catnip is not especially kept in mind for its decorative qualities, so it is hardly ever cultivated solely as an ornamental, or to draw in butterflies, however it is generally grown for house cats. Other catmints with showier flowers and better-behaved routines (but less enticing leaves for cats), such as Nepeta x faassenii or N. Racemosa, make much better ornamentals, however N. Cateria could be integrated with other perennials in the border when it comes to the other catmints as part of a “cat-friendly lawn,” or included in an herb garden. It can also be grown in containers. Pinching back routinely will lead to a more compact and less weedy looking plant. Catnip grows best in full sun and average, well-drained soil, but makes it through in partial shade and thrives in poor soils. Soil wetness and fertility levels significantly influence plant size. Once developed, this plant is relatively dry spell tolerant. Pinching as the plants are maturing in the spring will help establish a more thick, well-shaped plant if grown as a decorative. It is not favored by deer however could be harmed by strolling felines (generally breaking the stems when rolling on the plant). Someone suggested putting a decorative bird cage over the plant to secure it from marauding felines and others suggest growing it in a hanging basket to keep it out of reach. It is easily propagated by seed (sown seed indoors a couple of weeks before the last frost) or by department of recognized plants. [5]


A pot experiment was carried out throughout two successive seasons to report the variation of development characters and vital oil composition of Nepeta cataria (catmint) and Nepeta cataria var. Citriodora (lemon catnip) plants. There are no considerable distinctions in between growth and yield characters of both plants. The results indicated that necessary oil gotten from catmint and lemon catnip revealed considerable irregularity in their material and chemical structure. Percentage of essential oil material of catmint 1st and 2nd cuts throughout first season were 0.107% and 0.253% whereas taped for the second season 0.117% and 0.247%, respectively. Furthermore, lemon catnip plants offered 0.237% and 0.363 in the 1st season against 0.243% and 0.350% in the second one during the first and second cuts, respectively. The primary vital oil constituents of catmint were 4a-α, 7-α, 7a-α-nepetalactone, 4a-α,7- β,7 a-α nepetalactone, geraniol and α-pinene while nerol, citronellal, neral and caryophyllene oxide were the primary constituents of lemon catnip. [6]

Nutritional Value

Trustworthy nutrition information isn’t readily available for catnip since so little of it is sold for human usage. However, it’s reasonable to assume that catnip tea, like all other teas, has little to no protein, fats, and carbohydrates when drunk by itself. Catnip is rich in anti-oxidants called flavonoids and phenolic acids. These consist of:.

  • Caffeic acid
  • Rosmarinic acid
  • Coumaric acid

Research studies show that rosmarinic acid has more powerful antioxidant results than vitamin E. Antioxidants prevent cell damage triggered by totally free radicals, and reduce the danger of cancer and atherosclerosis. Rosmarinic acid is likewise used to treat stomach ulcers and asthma. [7]

5 Different Varieties of Catnip

Catnip is best called the “drug of option” for cats. However, it also has a variety of health advantages for people. There are over 250 ranges. Below are a few of the much better known varieties you may think about for your garden.

Common Catnip

This is the range finest liked by cats. The stem and leaves are covered in fine, downy hairs. The heart shaped leaves are gray-green with a scalloped edge. Tall spikes above the leaves are covered in white flowers. The plant will mature to 3 feet tall.

Camphor Catnip

Camphor catnip smells of camphor rather than the standard, minty odor. It is not popular with cats. The plant looks much the same as common catnip, other than the flowers have purple dots in the throat and it just grows to 18 inches tall.

Greek Catnip

This variety of catnip is a pale green, almost white. The flowers are pink. It is smaller than common catnip, only growing to 18 inches.

Lemon Catnip

Lemon catnip looks similar as typical catnip in size and color, though the flowers can have purple spots. It also smells strongly of lemon. This makes it less appealing to cats, but a charming option for making tea.


Catmint has purple flowers and just grows to 15 inches, but it is otherwise similar to common catnip. Its small size and intense flowers make it a terrific filler in a flower garden. [8]


Probably the most necessary health advantages of catnip include its capability to calm agitated sleep, decrease anxiety and tension, soothe menstrual discomfort, help get rid of eating disorders, ease stomach discomfort, speed up the recovery from colds and fevers, detoxify the body, reduce swelling throughout the body, and even speed injury healing. Let’s take specific notification at some of the finest health advantages of catnip.

1. Tension Relief

The same quality that makes catnip so attracting felines, specifically since it makes them rather “high” and sedates them, may also relate to people in the more controlled way. Catnip can offer stress relief and lower long-lasting stress and anxiety just as one organic remedy whenever eaten, consumed by means of a juice or perhaps tea, or when smoked just as one herb. This might likewise assist to decrease the secondary indications of long-lasting tension along with enhance your defense reaction.

2. Relieves Flatulence

Catnip has actually been broadly referred to as a carminative throughout 17th century. It will help to combat flatulence as well as bloating by getting the gases saved in the abdomen. You might either use it just as one necessary oil or even as tea. If you are using as oil, then add 3 to 4 drops into a clean napkin along with sniff. A warm catnip tea together with ginger offers you with similar advantages.

3. Sleep Aid

Catnip has actually been utilized by individuals with insomnia or perhaps sleep uneasyness for hundreds, if not thousands of years. The sedative nature enables you to reduce the body’s natural cycles along with induce a calm, unwinded state. People are able to better sleep during the night for undisturbed, restful sleep. Great deals of people decide to take in a cup of catnip tea before going to sleep to make sure a refreshing sleep.

4. Hold-ups Early Aging

Premature ageing is troublesome for women. Taking in two cups of this tea is acknowledged to position your worries about this problem at rest. Catnip leaves include excellent amount of anti-oxidants. These kinds of anti-oxidants take in the complimentary radicals exploring within your body. The damaging aspects, if left unharnessed, result in fine lines, wrinkles, as well as sags– signs and symptoms of early ageing. This particular herbal infusion helps prevent the beginning of these indications, accelerates the repair work process, as well as delays early aging to some extent.

5. Gastrointestinal Problems

Catnip is particularly excellent at clearing digestive concerns, particularly irregularity, excessive flatulence, cramping, and bloating. The relaxing, anti-inflammatory effects of catnip’s organic substances can alleviate the knots as well as inflammation within your intestinal system as well as minimizing tightness along with discomfort.

6. Speeds up Injury Recovery Process

You may utilize a cool catnip infusion like a skin disinfectant to completely clean the inflicted area. This can assist in enhancing the repairing procedure for the tissues. It cleans the injuries, functions as an antiseptic, as well as paves method for a quicker recovery as well as healing.

7. Deals With Nervous Disorders

The nervine qualities of the necessary oil produced from catnip works well for soothing the nerve system, which makes it a perfect natural solution for various nerve-related scenarios which includes vertigo, Parkinson’s illness, and Alzheimer’s disease. It motivates the nerves, promotes their performance, for that reason offering relief.

8. Menstrual Cramps

For ladies battling with especially agonizing menstrual cramps, catnip tea is frequently recommended as a substitute treatment, since it can easily lower those cramps and tensions on the body. In addition, the sedative, soothing impacts of catnip might likewise soothe other possible signs of menstruation, like mood swings along with depression.

9. Headache Reliever

Although the precise system isn’t completely understood, catnip has actually shown to be actually great at the management of headaches, even long-term migraines. Rubbing the important oil around the afflicted area could work, yet consuming catnip tea or rubbing a catnip leaf salve on the temples might also provide fast relief.

10. Natural Solution For Dandruff

The astringent along with antibacterial qualities of the herb allow it to be made use of as a solution for dandruff. Simply utilize a cool mixture of the herb in your scalp and hair and wash off after a long time. You might likewise utilize this like a leave-on serum, in case the dandruff is caused because of an irritated scalp.

11. Speeds the Healing Process

In terms of colds and flus, amongst the fastest techniques to clean out the body is usually to cause sweating and get the toxic substances flushed through the system. This is especially true in the matter of fevers, when the insufficient sweating prior to the fever breaks is simply keeping those toxic substances in addition to pathogens within the body. Catnip causes sweating, so is frequently recommended by alternative practitioners for the treatment of the common cold.

12. Moisturizes And Conditions Hair

Catnip tea is an incredible deep conditioning representative. Simply braid the hair and soak it in the catnip tea infusion. Alternatively, you can utilize it like a conditioning representative after shampooing the hair. It also behaves as a leave in conditioner, keeping the hair hydrated along with conditioned. In addition, it leaves the tresses visibly smooth and soft.

13. Anti-Inflammatory Activity

As mentioned in the past, the chemical constituents of catnip are especially efficient as anti-inflammatory representatives. Which means that catnip can be great at the management of arthritis, gout, sprained muscles, hurting joints, as well as hemorrhoids. Topical application or typical usage of leaves, juice, or tea could be reliable for all of these scenarios.

14. Eases Cramps

The anti-spasmodic qualities of the herb offer rest from numerous types of cramps. It easily as well as effectively helps in reducing the tensed muscles as well as grants you with instant relief. That’s the reason a steam inhalation with some drops of the catnip essential oil is suggested throughout bronchial asthma along with other spasmodic breathing problems for faster relief.

15. Flu Treatment

Catnip is in fact an useful house cure for influenza and cold for a lot of reasons. Compounds within simply catnip are seen to have anti-bacterial along with antiviral qualities, and might increase the defense reaction. In addition, it may assist break fevers, when you are under the weather so can continue to keep the body temperature down.

16. Skin Conditions

The natural repellent quality of catnip triggers it to be well fit for keeping bugs faraway from gardens whenever kept just as one ornamental plant, however the organic substances within the plant make it well fit for relaxing bug bites as well as alleviating irritation onto the skin. Utilizing salves or extracts to irritated or damaged skin can speed the recovery process and lower inflammation quickly.

17. Good for Weight-loss

Once again the diaphoretic home of the herb enters play. It triggers sweating, for that reason allows the removing of contaminants through the body through sweat. The lower the toxins are, the more effective your metabolism levels be. A greater metabolic rate will increase fat burning treatment, which typically will help with weight reduction.

18. Complete Nutrient

Although consuming catnip leaves is absolutely the least common type of consumption for human beings, catnip in fact includes a rather amazing collection of nutrients, from useful chemicals and various organic substances to essential acids, minerals, and vitamins that the bodies need. Simply put, the plant can carry out a lot more than knock out a feline!

19. Beneficial For Kidneys

Catnip is actually a potentially reliable diuretic that invokes regular urination. This, in turn is fantastic for people who have renal failure activated edema. A cupful of this tea encourages urination, helping in excretion along with elimination of wastes through the kidneys. This will help in faster healing in such conditions. [9]

Side effects

Catnip has actually long been used in traditional medicine to relieve many disorders. It’s believed to have numerous possible health advantages. Its results appear to depend on how you consume it and your dose.

It calms and sedates

You may be shocked to learn that catnip is mostly used by people for its calming and sedative effects. This is a far cry from the goofy effect lots of felines appear to delight in. It’s tough to say how reliable it is as a sedative, though. Aside from anecdotal proof and a number of out-of-date animal research studies, there isn’t much to go on in the research world around humans and catnip. Catnip does contain a substance called nepetalactone, however, which has residential or commercial properties comparable to valerian, a popular natural sedative. The compound might promote relaxation, which is why people may utilize catnip to assist manage:.

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Uneasyness
  • Insomnia

It might ease headaches

The soothing effect of catnip has actually also been thought to help eliminate headaches, There’s no scientific information to support using catnip as a headache remedy for human beings. Plus, headaches are actually one of the reported side effects of catnip. Still, some individuals swear by catnip tea to help alleviate their headaches.

It can treat specific kinds of infection

Catnip plasters made from the dried leaves and flowers of the plant are a folk remedy for toothaches that individuals still use today. Tea made from the herb has actually likewise been utilized for centuries to ease toothaches. It turns out that those people were onto something! Extracts of catnip have been reported to have antibacterial and antifungal properties that stop the growth and adhesion of particular types of bacteria. There’s likewise that catnip’s antimicrobial residential or commercial properties could effectively deal with and avoid oral infections.

It’s an aphrodisiac– sort of

Catnip was once thought to have aphrodisiac residential or commercial properties. Now, this hasn’t been shown in humans, but an older animal had some intriguing outcomes. [10]

Some Cautions

Constantly consult your medical professional if you believe you have any serious health conditions and don’t just depend on any one organic treatment. While some individuals like to smoke it, it needs to be noted that catnip burns quickly and requires to be blended with tobacco. This suggests inhaling smoke, which is shown to be hazardous to your lungs and total health. It has really been reported that some people believed it wasn’t worth smoking as they ended up being rather ill and underwent headaches and throwing up.

Other Warnings Include.

  • Avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Do not consume if you have pelvic inflammatory illness (PID)
  • Do not consume if you dislike mint
  • Avoid giving it to children or babies
  • Keep away from eyes
  • Do not take catnip if driving or operating heavy equipment
  • Prevent ingesting if you have a heavy menstruation [11]

For individuals struggling with liver or kidney conditions, the use of catnip might be risky, especially if you are regularly taking in the tea. Additionally, pregnant females must prevent it, as it can too soon cause labor. Besides those particular issues, it is normally thought about non-allergenic and safe to users. The high potency of the important oil must be considered, however, and extracts need to always be blended with carrier oils. [12]


Simply put, catnip has a long history of human usage and is still included today in lots of natural solution compendiums. Although it might assist quell a stomachache or calm frazzled nerves, people experience few, if any, intoxicating impacts from catnip. So when it comes to “feelin’ groovy”, it’s best to leave the toy mice to the cats. [13]
Catnip isn’t just for cats either. Nepeta cataria is likewise known to assist people and has been used for its sedative residential or commercial properties for centuries. It has comparable properties to chamomile and is likewise a really potent mosquito repellent.Luckily, felines can not overdose on catnip, but that does not indicate you do not wish to know if what your feline is rolling around in is safe for them. [14]


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