What is catnip?

Nepeta cataria is known as “catnip”. It is a perennial herb with dark green heart shaped leaves which belongs to the mint family.

This plant is extensively used to treat illness in humans. Nowadays it is used in toys for pets.

The term catnip originated because of the response what cats show towards the herb.

Other names for Catnip are

  • Catswort
  • Catmint
  • Nip
  • Nep
  • Field balm
  • Catwort

Can humans eat Catnip?

  • Yes, catnip is edible and it is not poisonous to humans. Humans can consume it in the form of tea, juice, infusion, tincture.
  • It can also be smoked and chewed.
  • It is safe to drink catnip tea twice or thrice a day.
  • It is popular because of it’s hallucination effects.

How to use Catnip for Humans?

  • Catnip can be applied directly on skin for treating arthritis and hemorrhoids.
  • Catnip leaves can be used to reduce swelling.
  • Tea is prepared using leaves, shoots and flowers of the catnip herb because it has amazing health benefits.
  • Catnip tea is used to treat anxiety, nervousness and insomnia.
  • Respiratory ailments can be reduced by smoking the dried leaves of catnip.
  • It is also used as a pesticide and insecticide.

What are the uses of Catnip for Human?

Catnip is safe for humans and it has many health benefits.

Some of the uses of catnip herb are listed below.

How to make Catnip Tea?

Catnip tea is made by using catnip leaves and flowers. It contains vitamins A, B, and C. it is also rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and sodium.

Catnip tea recipe is as given below:

  • Boil 1 cup of water.
  • In boiling water mix 2 teaspoons of dried catnip leaves or flowers.
  • Mix well by adding lemon juice and honey.
  • Let it cool for some time.

Adults can consume up to 45 ml, whereas children can consume up to 15 ml.

Catnip Tea Benefits:

The health benefits of catnip tea for humans are enumerated below:

  • Catnip tea is widely used because of its calming effect on the human body.
  • It is used in boosting up the mood.
  • It is used in treating anxiety, restlessness, and nervousness.
  • It helps in promoting evacuation of the placenta after childbirth.
  • This tea helps in stimulating uterine contraction and in turn, helps in delaying menstruation.
  • It is used to cause sweating, to induce menstruation, as a sedative and to increase appetite.
  • It is used to cure hiccups.
  • It is also used in treating – diarrhea, colic, common cold, and cancer.
  • Respiratory ailments can be reduced by smoking the dried leaves of catnip.
  • Catnip can also be used as an insect repellant.
  • It helps in reducing inflammation throughout the body.
  • It is used to heal the wound faster.
  • It helps in driving away infections.
  • It is used to treat bug bite and skin irritation.
  • It is used in treating sprained muscles, headaches and migraine.
  • It is also used in treating aching joints and hemorrhoids.
  • It is used in treating asthma, yellow fever, scarlet fever, jaundice and smallpox

Catnip Effects on Cats:

  • If the cat sniffs, licks and chews the leaves of the catnip herb then they will proceed to roll around rubbing their head and body on the ground.
  • At times cats foam at mouth and grow drowsy.
  • He / she can also become aggressive.

Catnip Effects on Humans

Below mentioned are some of the side effects and risks caused by catnip on humans:

  • Catnip causes mild drowsiness. Drowsiness is a plus point if the tea is used for relaxation or to treat insomnia. It is better to drink at night time.
  • It may cause headache and digestion problem.
  • Catnip tea shouldn’t be taken before bedtime because it is diuretic and causes frequent urination which may lead to frequent trips to washroom and results in interrupted sleep.
  • Pregnant ladies should not drink catnip tea as it causes uterine contraction and may result in premature labor.
  • Women suffering from a pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or with heavy menstruation should not drink catnip tea because it can aggravate the problem.
  • If you are undergoing any surgery, then stop drinking this tea for a few days. Because catnip can intensify anesthesia.
  • Avoid drinking catnip tea if you are suffering from liver and kidney related problems.
  • Avoid consuming the root portion of the plant because it makes the person extremely aggressive.
  • Kids can have convulsion because of overdose, hence never take it without consulting doctor.

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