I’ll bet I know what you’re thinking… catnip is for cats, so why are we talking about cat herbs? I used to think that too until I discovered catnip can be consumed by humans! When I was interning at a local herb shop, part of our internship was to “meditate” with the herbs. We were instructed to try them, sit with them, read about them, and befriend them (I have many herb friends). While sipping on my catnip tea in the quiet bowels of the herb shop, I expected it to make me hyper the way my cat gets when she gets a whiff. Yet it did the opposite… it made me sleepy and very, very relaxed. I’m talking very relaxed.
The Research on Catnip
Catnip is said to be a mild herb but I find it has a stronger effect than lavender or chamomile tea (but hey, everyone’s different). It’s great to drink as a tea for stress, anxiety, migraines and tension headaches. I started drinking a cup before bed and found it does wonders for my stress levels, lulling me into a peaceful sleep.
Upon further research, I discovered that catnip has extensive health benefits for humans, such as relieving gas, nausea, diarrhea, menstrual cramps, and sore muscles. It’s an antispasmodic (meaning it relieves muscle spasms) and helps promote relaxation of the uterus. You bet I’ll be brewing a strong cup of catnip tea for my monster cramps. However, it is also a diuretic (meaning it increases urine output), so don’t sip too much at bedtime or you may find yourself stumbling in the night to find the toilet.
How to Take Catnip
You can drink catnip as a tea, take it as a tincture, or even use it as an essential oil. As an avid tea drinker, I prefer to enjoy catnip as a tea. Here’s how I prepare it:
- 1 mug of hot water
- 1 – 2 teaspoons of loose herb
Pour hot water over herb. Cover mug to keep the volatile oils from escaping. Steep for 10 minutes. Strain, drink, kick back, and relax!
Warning: Your cat may have an overwhelming desire to get in on your catnip tea time.
Have you tried catnip tea before? Let me know in the comments below if it works for you!
- Ford-Martin, P. Catnip. The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Edited by Laurie Fundukian. 4th ed. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale, 2014. 4 vols.
- Catnip. Relay Clinical Information. Published May 11, 2010.