The Catnip herb, known commonly as catmint or catswort, actually has the scientific name of Nepeta cataria, which comes from Nepeti, a town in the center of Italy where the herb was once cultivated. Although most people don’t realize, this treat, so commonly reserved for its sedative, calming effects on cats, also has extensive benefits for human beings. The most important health benefits of catnip include its ability to calm restless sleep, relieve anxiety and stress, soothe menstrual pain, eliminate eating disorders, and ease stomach discomfort.
Catnip can provide stress relief and reduce chronic anxiety when eaten, consumed in the form of a juice or tea, or when smoked as an herb. This can also help reduce the secondary symptoms of chronic stress and strengthen your immune system.
Catnip has been used by people with insomnia or restlessness for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Its sedative nature helps slow down the body’s natural cycles and induce a calm, relaxed state. People are better able to sleep through the night for undisturbed, restful sleep. Many people choose to drink a cup of catnip tea before bed to ensure a refreshing sleep.
Catnip is particularly effective in clearing up digestive issues, especially constipation, excess flatulence, cramping, and bloating. The relaxing, anti-inflammatory effects of organic compounds in it can ease the knots and inflammation in your gastrointestinal system and relieve tightness and discomfort.
For women suffering from painful menstrual cramps, catnip tea is often recommended as an alternative treatment, because it can quickly relieve those cramps and stresses in the body. Furthermore, its sedative and calming effects can also soothe other symptoms of menstruation, such as mood swings and depression.
Catnip has proven to be very effective in the treatment of headaches, even chronic migraines. Rubbing its essential oil on the affected area, drinking its tea or rubbing a catnip leaf salve on the temples can also offer quick relief.
Catnip induces sweating, so is often recommended by alternative practitioners for treating the common cold. In terms of colds and flu, one of the fastest ways to clean out the body is to induce sweating and get the toxins flushed from the system. This is particularly true in the case of fevers when the lack of sweating before the fever breaks is only keeping those toxins and pathogens in the body.
- Anti-inflammatory Activity
The chemical constituents of catnip are effective as anti-inflammatory agents. This means that it can be effective in the treatment of arthritis, gout, sprained muscles, aching joints, and even hemorrhoids. Topical application or normal consumption of leaves, juice, or tea can be effective for all of these situations.
The natural repellent quality of catnip makes it ideal for keeping bugs away from gardens when kept as an ornamental plant, but the organic compounds in the plant make it ideal for soothing bug bites and relieving irritation on the skin. Applying salves or extracts to the irritated or broken skin can speed the healing process and reduce inflammation quickly.
Although eating catnip leaves is the least common form of consumption for human beings, it actually has a rather impressive collection of nutrients, from beneficial chemicals and unique organic compounds to essential acids, minerals, and vitamins that our bodies need. In other words, the plant can do a lot more than knock out a cat!
All information is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the FDA.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Not intended for use by pregnant or nursing women. If you have a medical condition or are taking medication, consult your doctor prior to use.