7 Catnip Health Benefits

June 21st, 2017

Catnip is most commonly known as a treat for our feline companions. When cats come in contact with the herb, usually in a small cloth bag filled with dried catnip leaves, they become intoxicated and playful. But catnip is not just good for getting your cats feeling tipsy—it also has many health benefits for humans. Catnip tea can calm your nerves and help you sleep. Catnip oil repels insects, and catnip taken in supplement form can treat a wide variety of issues, from menstrual cramps to headaches and more. Read on to find out why you should stock up on catnip even if you don’t have a lion in your living room.

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Reshareworthy Source: Reshareworthy

Stress Soother

Consuming catnip in supplement form, drinking the tea, or eating the herb raw, or even smoking it in a tobacco pipe can have a sedative effect and can reduce stress and anxiety. The herb is considered a mild sedative can help relax muscles and relieve tension.

Sleep Aid

A cup of catnip tea before bedtime can help you relax and unwind. Though catnip is known to give cats excessive energy, it has the reverse effect on humans. Aside from drinking catnip tea, you can also stuff your pillows with dried catnip to promote deep sleep throughout the night.

Headache Treatment

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Dr. Laurell Source: Dr. Laurell

As mentioned above, catnip can relieve tension and relax your muscles, making it an effective treatment for tension headaches and migraines. Massage a few drops of catnip oil mixed with a carrier oil onto your temples and forehead or drink a cup of catnip tea for quick and natural headache relief.

Digestive Support

Catnip tea has been used for hundreds of years to treat various gastrointestinal issues such as cramping, bloating, constipation and excessive flatulence. The herb has anti-inflammatory compounds that relax your stomach muscles and alleviate tightness.

Insect Repellent

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Phinizy Center Source: Phinizy Center

Researchers from the American Chemical Society found that diluted catnip oil is far more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitoes. The oil not only works as a repellent but can also be used to soothe skin affected by bug bites as well. Also, planting catnip in your garden will ward away pests from eating up your crops.

Menstrual Cramp Remedy

Herbalists recommend catnip tea as a natural treatment for painful menstrual cramps. The calming and relaxing effects of catnip can also help with irritability and mood swings associated with menstruation.

Inflammation Reliever

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Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post

The anti-inflammatory agents in catnip can help with more than just muscle pain, headaches, and cramping. Catnip is also good for joint pain, arthritis, gout, hemorrhoids, sprained, and strained muscles. If you’re experiencing mild pain somewhere in your body, chances are, this herb can help.

Pregnant ladies should use caution around catnip, as it can induce labor prematurely. If you have liver or kidney disorders, you should avoid using catnip regularly. Otherwise, catnip is a perfectly safe and natural alternative medicine. Catnip tea can be consumed up to three times per day. You should always dilute catnip oil with carrier oils, such as almond or safflower oil, before applying to skin.

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Sources: [Herbal Supplement Resource, Livestrong, Organic Facts, WebMD]