A plant of the mint family, with downy leaves, purple-spotted white flowers, and a pungent odor appealing to cats. Likewise called catmint [1]


Catnip is a plant. The blooming tops are used to make medication. Catnip is utilized for trouble sleeping (insomnia); anxiety; migraine and other headaches; cold and other upper breathing infections; flu; swine influenza; fever; hives; worms; and intestinal (GI) upset, consisting of indigestion, colic, cramping, and gas (flatulence). It is likewise used as a tonic, for increasing urination, and for beginning menstrual periods in ladies with postponed onset of menstruation. Some people use catnip straight to the skin for arthritis, piles, and as a compress to eliminate swelling. Some people likewise smoke catnip medicinally for breathing conditions and recreationally for a “high.” In production, catnip is utilized as a pesticide and insecticide. [2]
Catnip, (Nepeta cataria), likewise called catmint, herb of the mint household (Lamiaceae), kept in mind for its fragrant leaves, which are particularly amazing to felines. Catnip is commonly grown by feline owners for their pets, and the dried leaves are often utilized as a packing for feline playthings. The herb is belonging to Eurasia and is utilized as a flavoring and as a medicinal tea for colds and fever in some locations. Understand catnip’s psychoactive quality that triggers excitatory reactions in felines and how kitty litter( fuller’s earth) in addition to additives like baking soda, artificial fragrances, and anti-bacterial agents soaks up foul-smelling feline urine Catnip is a brief seasonal herb. The stems are normally 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 include an unstable oil known as nepetalactone, which stimulates sensory neurons in the majority of felines, attracting them to the plant. The result normally lasts about 10 minutes and sets off a large range of behaviours, consisting of purring, rolling, vocalizations, head rubbing, drooling, leaping, and sometimes aggressiveness. [3]


Catnip has rather mystical and uncertain origins. Common belief attributes the discovery and use of this plant to Etruria, which is an ancient country that was located 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 providing catnip to them. Regardless, catnip has been around for centuries, and records of its usage can be discovered in Ancient Roman texts. The Ancient Roman city, Nepeta, was especially renowned for growing catnip and using it in medication and cooking. Many Ancient Romans grew herb gardens in your home, and catnip was frequently included in them. With the domestication of cats currently being established for centuries, it would be no surprise that Ancient Romans noticed felines connecting with catnip in their home herb gardens. In the Middle Ages, catnip was a typical herbal medication and cooking ingredient. The reputable track record of this herb made it simple to be consisted of on the list of travel items for cross-continental trips. Catnip made its way to the Americas at some point in the 18th century. American colonists frequently used catnip in tea, or they used it topically. In fact, a Massachusetts dish written in 1712 listed catnip as an ingredient for brewing ale.

In 1941, the scientist SM mcelvain and his team of researchers discovered and isolated nepetalactone, the chemical responsible for triggering responses from felines. Understanding the causal element that set off reactions from cats assisted to improve and innovate the advancement of catnip items, such as catnip sprays. Today, it’s difficult to find an animal store or online merchant that does not offer catnip. The success stories of a number of top quality catnip makers, such as Cosmic Catnip, likewise paved the way for producing premium catnip, and the requirement for catnip increased considerably. [4]


Catnip is a vigorous and weedy herbaceous seasonal belonging to Eurasia in the mint family (Lamiaceae) that is sturdy in zones 3-9. Commonly naturalized throughout temperate areas of the world, Nepeta cataria is one of several types that are referred to collectively as catmints. Generally found in disrupted locations, such as roadsides or field edges, along streams or on waste ground, this plant has fragrant leaves that most cats are brought in to, although many people are not captivated of their pungent odor, otherwise referred to as a combination of thyme and oregano to “mildly skunky”.

Catnip has green to gray-green foliage on erect, branched stems and a rangy habit. 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 fine hairs. The triangular to ovate leaves depend on 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 pass away back to the ground in the winter season, and fresh stems emerge in early spring. Plants can grow up to 3 feet high and broad under perfect conditions, and might form nests from the brief rhizomes. Plants flower anytime from late spring through fall, blooming for one to 2 months. The small flowers (about 1/3 inch long) are borne in densely crowded whorls on spike-like terminal racemes. The private bilabiate (two-lipped) flowers, normal of the mint household, are white with pale purple or pink spotting on the lower lip. The small upper lip has 2 lobes, while the lower lip has three lobes, with a larger middle lobe with a frilly outer edge. Bees of all types, wasps and flies, along with many different types of butterflies, check out the nectar-laden flowers. Shearing after initial blooming promotes duplicated blooming. Flowers are replaced by seed pills, each including 4 smooth, ovoid nutlets. Seed-eating birds, such as goldfinches, may check out the plants if not deadheaded. This plant reseeds easily, and might become a problem in some areas however is not normally thought about an invasive plant in Wisconsin. To minimize reseeding, cut the plants all the way to the ground after blooming. 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, but it is usually grown for home felines. Other catmints with showier flowers and better-behaved habits (however less luring leaves for cats), such as Nepeta x faassenii or N. Racemosa, make much better ornamentals, but N. Cateria could be combined with other perennials in the border as for the other catmints as part of a “cat-friendly yard,” or consisted of in an herb garden. It can also be grown in containers. Pinching back regularly will result in a more compact and less weedy looking plant. Catnip grows finest in full sun and average, well-drained soil, however endures in partial shade and thrives in bad soils. Soil moisture and fertility levels significantly affect plant size. Once established, this plant is relatively dry spell tolerant. Pinching as the plants are maturing in the spring will assist develop a more dense, well-rounded plant if grown as a decorative. It is not favored by deer but could be harmed by roaming felines (primarily breaking the stems when rolling on the plant). Someone suggested putting an ornamental bird cage over the plant to protect it from marauding felines and others recommend growing it in a hanging basket to keep it out of reach. It is readily propagated by seed (sown seed inside a few weeks before the last frost) or by department of established plants. [5]


A pot experiment was performed throughout 2 successive seasons to report the variation of growth characters and necessary oil structure of Nepeta cataria (catmint) and Nepeta cataria var. Citriodora (lemon catnip) plants. There are no significant distinctions between development and yield characters of both plants. The results suggested that necessary oil gotten from catmint and lemon catnip showed significant variability in their content and chemical structure. Portion of essential oil content of catmint 1st and 2nd cuts during first season were 0.107% and 0.253% whereas taped for the 2nd season 0.117% and 0.247%, respectively. Additionally, lemon catnip plants gave 0.237% and 0.363 in the 1st season versus 0.243% and 0.350% in the second one throughout the first and second cuts, respectively. The primary necessary 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 main constituents of lemon catnip. [6]

Nutritional Worth

Dependable nutrition info isn’t readily offered for catnip due to the fact that so little of it is cost human intake. Nevertheless, it’s reasonable to presume that catnip tea, like all other teas, has little to no protein, fats, and carbs when intoxicated on its own. Catnip is abundant in anti-oxidants called flavonoids and phenolic acids. These consist of:.

  • Caffeic acid
  • Rosmarinic acid
  • Coumaric acid

Studies show that rosmarinic acid has more powerful antioxidant impacts than vitamin E. Antioxidants prevent cell damage triggered by totally free radicals, and decrease the threat of cancer and atherosclerosis. Rosmarinic acid is likewise utilized to deal with stomach ulcers and asthma. [7]

5 Various Varieties of Catnip

Catnip is best referred to as the “drug of option” for cats. However, it likewise has a variety of health advantages for humans. There are over 250 varieties. Below are a few of the better recognized ranges you may think about for your garden.

Common Catnip

This is the range best loved 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 grow up to 3 feet tall.

Camphor Catnip

Camphor catnip gives off camphor rather than the requirement, minty smell. It is not popular with cats. The plant looks similar as typical 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, practically white. The flowers are pink. It is smaller sized than common catnip, just growing to 18 inches.

Lemon Catnip

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


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


Probably the most vital health benefits of catnip consist of its ability to soothe agitated sleep, decrease anxiety and stress, soothe menstrual pain, assistance eliminate eating disorders, ease stomach discomfort, speed up the recovery from colds and fevers, detoxify the body, lower swelling throughout the body, and even speed wound recovery. Let’s take particular notification at some of the finest health benefits of catnip.

1. Stress Relief

The very same quality which makes catnip so attracting felines, namely since it makes them somewhat “high” and sedates them, might likewise relate to people in the more controlled method. Catnip can provide tension relief and lower long-lasting stress and anxiety just as one herbal remedy whenever eaten, taken in by means of a juice and even tea, or when smoked just as one herb. This might also help to minimize the secondary signs of long-term tension as well as strengthen your defense mechanisms.

2. Eases Flatulence

Catnip has been broadly known as a carminative throughout 17th century. It will assist to combat flatulence along with bloating by taking out the gases stored in the abdominal area. You might either utilize it just as one vital oil or perhaps as tea. If you are using as oil, then include 3 to 4 drops into a clean napkin along with smell. A warm catnip tea in addition to ginger supplies you with similar advantages.

3. Sleep Aid

Catnip has actually been used by people with sleeping disorders or even sleep restlessness for hundreds, if not thousands of years. The sedative nature enables you to lower the body’s natural cycles as well as cause a calm, relaxed state. Individuals have the ability to much better sleep throughout the night for undisturbed, restful sleep. Great deals of individuals choose to take in a cup of catnip tea prior to going to sleep to make sure a rejuvenating sleep.

4. Delays Premature Aging

Premature ageing is frustrating for women. Consuming 2 cups of this tea is recognized to put your fret about this issue at rest. Catnip leaves consist of great amount of anti-oxidants. These types of antioxidants absorb the free radicals checking out within your body. The harmful components, if left unharnessed, result in great lines, wrinkles, as well as droops– symptoms and signs of early ageing. This particular organic infusion helps prevent the onset of these signs, accelerates the repair work procedure, along with delays premature aging to some extent.

5. Gastrointestinal Concerns

Catnip is particularly excellent at clearing digestion concerns, especially constipation, excessive flatulence, cramping, and bloating. The relaxing, anti-inflammatory effects of catnip’s natural substances can minimize the knots in addition to swelling within your intestinal system along with reducing tightness as well as pain.

6. Accelerate Wound Healing Process

You might use a cool catnip infusion like a skin disinfectant to completely clean the caused region. This can assist in improving the repairing procedure for the tissues. It cleans the wounds, acts as an antibacterial, in addition to paves method for a quicker recovery along with healing.

7. Deals With Nervous Disorders

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

8. Menstrual Cramps

For ladies battling with especially uncomfortable menstrual cramps, catnip tea is frequently suggested as a substitute treatment, considering that it can easily decrease those cramps and tensions on the body. In addition, the sedative, soothing effects of catnip might also relieve other possible signs of menstruation, like mood swings in addition to depression.

9. Headache Reliever

Even though the precise system isn’t completely understood, catnip has revealed to be actually excellent at the management of headaches, even long-lasting migraines. Rubbing the essential oil around the afflicted area might work, yet consuming catnip tea or rubbing a catnip leaf salve on the temples may likewise supply quick relief.

10. Natural Solution For Dandruff

The astringent in addition to antiseptic qualities of the herb enable it to be made use of as an option for dandruff. Just utilize a cool concoction of the herb in your scalp and hair and wash off after a long time. You may also use this like a leave-on serum, in case the dandruff is caused because of an inflamed scalp.

11. Speeds the Recovery Process

In regards to colds and flus, among the fastest approaches to clear out the body is generally to induce sweating and get the contaminants flushed through the system. This is particularly true in the matter of fevers, when the insufficient sweating before the fever breaks is just keeping those toxic substances along with pathogens within the body. Catnip causes sweating, so is often recommended by alternative practitioners for the treatment of the acute rhinitis.

12. Moisturizes And Conditions Hair

Catnip tea is an unbelievable deep conditioning agent. Just 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 moisturized as well as conditioned. Additionally, it leaves the hairs visibly smooth and soft.

13. Anti-Inflammatory Activity

As mentioned previously, the chemical constituents of catnip are specifically efficient as anti-inflammatory agents. Which indicates that catnip can be excellent at the management of arthritis, gout, sprained muscles, hurting joints, along with hemorrhoids. Topical application or normal use of leaves, juice, or tea could be reliable for all of these situations.

14. Alleviates Cramps

The anti-spasmodic qualities of the herb offer rest from many forms of cramps. It easily along with effectively helps in reducing the tensed muscles in addition to grants you with instant relief. That’s the factor a steam inhalation with some drops of the catnip important oil is suggested throughout bronchial asthma together with other spasmodic breathing issues for faster relief.

15. Influenza Treatment

Catnip is actually an useful house cure for influenza and cold for a lot of factors. Substances within just catnip are viewed to have anti-bacterial as well as antiviral qualities, and may increase the defense mechanisms. Additionally, it might assist break fevers, when you are under the weather so can continue to keep the body temperature level down.

16. Skin problem

The natural repellent quality of catnip causes it to be well suited for keeping bugs faraway from gardens whenever kept just as one decorative plant, however the natural substances within the plant make it well fit for relaxing bug bites in addition to alleviating inflammation onto the skin. Using salves or extracts to inflamed or damaged skin can speed the healing process and lower swelling quickly.

17. Helpful For Weight Reduction

Once again the diaphoretic home of the herb comes into play. It causes sweating, for that reason enables the removing of toxic substances through the body through sweat. The lower the toxins are, the more efficient your metabolism levels be. A higher metabolic rate will boost fat loss treatment, which typically will help with weight decrease.

18. Complete Nutrient

Although consuming catnip leaves is definitely the least typical type of usage for people, catnip actually features a rather exceptional collection of nutrients, from useful chemicals and various natural substances to vital acids, minerals, and vitamins that the bodies require. Simply put, the plant can carry out a lot more than knock out a feline!

19. Beneficial For Kidneys

Catnip is actually a possibly effective diuretic that invokes regular urination. This, in turn is wonderful for people who have kidney failure activated edema. A cupful of this tea encourages urination, helping in excretion as well as elimination of wastes through the kidneys. This will help in faster recovery in such conditions. [9]

Side effects

Catnip has long been utilized in conventional medication to eliminate many disorders. It’s thought to have several potential health advantages. Its results appear to depend upon how you consume it and your dose.

It soothes and sedates

You may be shocked to learn that catnip is primarily used by humans for its soothing and sedative effects. This is a far cry from the wacky effect many cats seem to take pleasure in. It’s tough to say how effective it is as a sedative, though. Aside from anecdotal evidence and a number of out-of-date animal research studies, there isn’t much to go on in the research study world around humans and catnip. Catnip does contain a compound called nepetalactone, nevertheless, which has residential or commercial properties comparable to valerian, a popular organic sedative. The substance might promote relaxation, which is why people may utilize catnip to help manage:.

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Sleeping disorders

It may eliminate headaches

The soothing result of catnip has actually also been thought to assist eliminate headaches, There’s no scientific data to support the use of catnip as a headache remedy for humans. Plus, headaches are in fact among the reported adverse effects of catnip. Still, some individuals swear by catnip tea to help eliminate their headaches.

It can deal with particular types of infection

Catnip plasters made from the dried leaves and flowers of the plant are a folk treatment for toothaches that individuals still use today. Tea made from the herb has also been used for centuries to alleviate toothaches. It ends up that those individuals were onto something! Extracts of catnip have actually been reported to have antibacterial and antifungal properties that stop the growth and adhesion of certain types of germs. There’s likewise that catnip’s antimicrobial homes might effectively treat and prevent oral infections.

It’s an aphrodisiac– sort of

Catnip was as soon as believed to have aphrodisiac homes. Now, this hasn’t been shown in humans, however an older animal had some fascinating outcomes. [10]

Some Warnings

Always consult your medical professional if you believe you have any major health conditions and do not simply count on any one organic solution. While some people like to smoke it, it should be noted that catnip burns rapidly and requires to be blended with tobacco. This means breathing in smoke, which is shown to be damaging to your lungs and general health. It has actually been reported that some people believed it wasn’t worth smoking as they ended up being rather ill and were subjected to headaches and vomiting.

Other Warnings Include.

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

For individuals experiencing liver or kidney disorders, the use of catnip may be dangerous, particularly if you are routinely taking in the tea. Furthermore, pregnant females must avoid it, as it can too soon induce labor. Other than those particular issues, it is normally considered non-allergenic and harmless to users. The high potency of the important oil need to be thought about, however, and extracts must always be blended with carrier oils. [12]


In short, catnip has a long history of human usage and is still included today in lots of natural treatment compendiums. Although it might assist quell a stomachache or calm frazzled nerves, human beings experience few, if any, envigorating effects from catnip. So when it concerns “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 properties for centuries. It has comparable homes to chamomile and is also a very potent mosquito repellent.Luckily, cats can not overdose on catnip, however that does not suggest you do not would like to know if what your feline is rolling around in is safe for them. [14]


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