I suppose everyone who is familiar with the Catnip plant knows how some cats, small or great, go absolutely nuts over it. However, Catnip isn’t only useful for your feline friends! I would like to point out several benefits of Catnip for humans.
Though Catnip causes some cats to go biserk, Catnip actually is a mild sedative to humans. If you’ve had a stressful day, try brewing some catnip tea and drinking it, sweetened with a little honey. Catnip tea can even be given to small children who are feverish, teething, or irritable. It’s relaxing action is similar to Chamomile.
Catnip makes a fine tea for colds or flu. It’s soothing qualities can relieve an upset stomach and stomach bloating.
You can also make a strong pot of Catnip tea to pour into the bathtub to soak in when you have flu or a headache. This will relieve tension and aches.
Catnip Tea Recipe
I usually pick catnip leaves after the dew has dried. You can pick the tops and bigger leaves. I usually make a half gallon of tea, so a small handfuls of Catnip leaves is usually sufficient. Pre-boil the half gallon of water then allow the steam to settle some before adding the Catnip leaves. Add the Catnip leaves and let the tea set until the water turns somewhat golden. I prefer Catnip tea warm, but I suppose if you wanted to refrigerate it and drink it, it would be fine.
If you want to make the Bathwater Tea, pre-boil a gallon of water, and pick three or four handfuls of leaves to soak in the water. Allow to soak in the hot water until the water is golden. Pour the tea into your hot bath water, and enjoy!
Fresh Catnip leaves can be eaten also. There’s nothing wrong with eating the green leaves. I frequently add green Catnip leaves to the top of a salad when the Catnip is growing in the summer. They add a unique flavor to the salad.
Catnip plants can be planted in areas around your house where you wish to deter pest insects. Catnip works as an insect repellent. Just be aware that if you plant Catnip around doorways and walkways, the flowers will attract bees. I love to see bees pollinating, and this is not a problem for me, but it might be for others.
You can try planting Catnip alongside other flowers or garden vegetables that tend to get plagued with pest insects. The pests will avoid the areas were the Catnip is planted.
If Cats get after your Catnip, try putting some chicken wire around the plants that you have for your own use. This may deter cats from climbing on the plants and crushing them. I’ve had plenty of cats that never noticed the Catnip, but I’ve also had a few that have crushed part of a plant or two. I’ve never had drastic plant losses or anything, though. Others may have different experiences, and you may want to protect your Catnip from the Cats.
Catnip is a great herb that is relatively easy to get started. I bought a cheap packet of seeds and just followed the directions on the back. I planted the seeds in a large pot outside after danger of frost for my area, and the seeds germinated just fine. The plants grew about a foot and a half to two feet tall. I allowed the plant to flower so that it would replant naturally. Also, I enjoy seeing the bees collecting from the flowers. You can cut some stems with plenty of big leaves on them for drying for winter time. Just tie a few stems together at the big end and hang them up somewhere out of the sunlight.
Catnip comes back year after year, usually, from the seeds. You might find Catnip plants in different places than where you planted it in the first place. This is one of the great things about Catnip. It usually gets transplanted by some means or other, and you wind up with more plants every year. If the extra Catnip plants turn up someplace where you don’t want them, just get a shovel and dig them up. Make sure you get plenty of dirt along with the roots. Replant them where you want them to grow.
I hope you enjoyed reading about some benefits of Catnip for humans, and have some ideas about how you can use this versatile and unique plant!
If you have any questions or comments, please share them below, or email me at Angela@herbalpanther.com.