Catnip, (Nepeta cateria), also called Catmint and Catswort, is a herb from the Mint family that is well known for its effect on cats! Catnip also offers health benefits to Humans. The flowering tops of the Catnip plant are used in a variety of ways to treat a number of different health conditions.

From stomach issues, pest repellent, stress relief and even arthritis relief, Catnip is a powerful and useful plant and is a great plant to have on hand for its wealth of uses.

Catnip Habitat

Catnip is easy to grow in pretty much any climate or soil condition.

Active Ingredients in Catnip

Rigorous scientific study on Catnip has not been conducted, but according to the NYU Langone Medical Center, nepetalactone is the active ingredient thought to be responsible for the calming effect and stress relieving properties reported from the human consumption of Catnip.

Catnip contains natural pest deterrents and the essential oil is sometimes used as an insect repellent.

Catnip Health Benefits

There are many reported health benefits and uses for Catnip as a herbal supplement.

It is often used as for its calming effects on the mind, body and even stomach. Many of its uses are stress relieving in some form or another,including treatment for anxiety and insomnia.

Catnip is useful for a variety of digestive issues from stomach upset, diarrhoea and gas. It may also help ease menstrual cramps. Nepetalactone is the ingredient is thought to be the reason why Catnip is so effective at treating stomach upset.

Many use Catnip for respiratory issues such as cough and congestion. The University of Michigan notes that Catnip also contains mucilage properties, which can help suppress coughs.

The anti-inflammatory properties of Catnip make it an effective treatment for arthritis, haemorrhoids and even to bring down the swelling associated with hives and bug bites.

How to Take Catnip

Available and suitable to a variety of different means of administration, Catmint is a versatile and safe natural remedy.

Catnip can be taken in a number of different ways. Essential oils of Catnip are used as pest repellent and can be applied directly to the skin. To use Catnip for its dermal anti-inflammatory properties, the essential oils are applied directly to the skin as a compress.

Catnip is also available in tablet form as an herbal supplement. It can be found at many health food or nutrition stores.

Tea is one of the more common ways Catnip is taken. The flowering tops of the plant are steeped in water (unlike traditional tea, you do NOT want to put Catnip in boiling water). Bring the water to a boil and remove from heat for a minute before beginning the steeping process) and consumed like any other herbal tea.

Catnip Effect on Cats

Catnip affects many domestic cats due to a compound called nepetalactone. When cats smell catnip, they may exhibit behaviors such as rolling, rubbing, vocalizing, hyperactivity, or playfulness, followed by a period of relaxation. These effects typically last 10-15 minutes and are followed by a temporary immunity to further exposure.

Sensitivity to catnip is hereditary, with about 50-75% of cats affected. Very young kittens and older cats may not react strongly. Catnip is safe and non-toxic for cats, but excessive ingestion can cause mild stomach upset. It is not addictive, and cats do not develop a tolerance to it.

Catnip is used to encourage play, provide mental and physical stimulation, aid in training by attracting cats to specific areas or objects, and relieve stress. It comes in various forms, including dried leaves, sprays, and fresh plants. Not all cats respond to catnip, so alternative enrichment methods may be needed for those that do not react.

Always take care when taking herbs and Read Our Disclaimer.

Where to Buy Catnip

Catnip Notes / Side Effects

As with any herbal supplement, it is important to understand any potential reactions that can occur when taking Catnip along with other medications. Catnip is generally recognized as safe to use in adults, but there are a few drugs that do not interact well with this herb.

Catnip can act as a diuretic in the body and should be used with caution by those taking lithium. Research shows that catnip can dramatically alter the way lithium is removed from the body. This can result in an increase of the amount of lithium in the body and as a result the dosage may need to be lowered to account for this change.

It is also advised to use caution when taking Catnip with other sedatives. Catnip can amplify the sedative effects of the medication.

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