Catnip, also known under catswort or catmint, is recognized for its ability to drive cats wild. However, before the popularization of it for pet use, it was widely considered for its medicinal and herbal benefits to the human body, for instance, as a muscle-relaxant or to relieve migraines. Historically, the range of catnip uses included teas, juices, extracts, salves and even smoked. Easy to grow in pretty much any climate or soil condition, catnip is a great plant to have on hand for its wealth of uses.
While the plant’s scent causes feline brain chemistry changes, the ingestion of catnip for human consumption has soothing medicinal properties to humans. To incorporate catnip into your routine, try making the simple basic catnip tea recipe below, known to do wonders for the human body.
Medicinal and Herbal Uses for Catnip
The chemical constituents of catnip have highly potent inflammatory agents, speeding up the body’s natural healing process and highly-effective cleansing powers. Plus, when consumed orally, catnip has an impressive collection of nutrients, like essential acids, vitamins and minerals.
Soothing and Relaxing Properties
Catnip is best-known for its mild sedative properties, by slowing down the body’s natural cycles, inducing a calm, relaxed state and reducing chronic tension-related issues. This translates to its antispasmodic properties, to reduce the body’s physical and mental imbalances, used to for issues like:
- Stress and chronic anxiety
- Muscular pain and cramps
- Menstrual pain
- Body spasms
- Tension-caused headaches
For Digestive Upsets and Heartburn
Catnip is particularly effective in clearing and subsiding digestive issues, like constipation, excess flatulence, cramping and bloating. The herb’s powerful anti-inflammatory effects can ease knots or inflammation in the gastrointestinal system and relieves tightness or discomfort.
Relieves Cold, Congestion and Respiratory Ailments
The relief and reduction of cold symptoms, upper respiratory affections and clogged or mucus-filled airways, sinuses or middle ear. A hot cup of catnip tea is excellent to treating colds and flu due to its ability to induce perspiration (and therefore, cleansing) without increasing the heat of the system.
Instructions for the Common Cold, Chest Congestion and Mucus Build-Up
When suffering from a cold, the flu, measles or chicken pox, the soothing effects of organic catnip will promote healing and help induce sleep. The basic catnip tea can be administered both as a drink and as an inhalation to help remedy a cold or the flu. Sip honey-sweetened tea with lemon, for extra vitamin C and soothe irritated mucous membranes, and breathe in the vapors to help alleviate respiratory congestion.
Basic Catnip Tea Recipe
The next time you’re having trouble settling in for the night or stomach issues, try a cup of catnip.
To make the tea, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of dried, chopped catnip leaves. Steep the tea for 5-10 minutes, covering the cup so that the volatile oil doesn’t evaporate, strain tea before drinking. You may want to sweeten the tea with a touch of honey. Of course, when using the tea to make a compress or a soothing herbal bath, no sweetener is needed.
Instructions for Heart Burn and Indigestion
Drink a cup of warm catnip tea before or after meals. The tea can help soothe stomachaches, counter flatulence and diarrhea and alleviate heartburn. To boost it’s effects, try this simple recipe:
- 1 teaspoon catnip
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon balm
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel
Pour 2 cups of boiling water over the herb mixture and allow them to steep for 5 minutes. Strain the mixture. Sweeten lightly with honey, if desired.