Most people are well versed in the effects catnip has on cats.  Cats can react somewhat comically to the herb, and it is generally used to help change a cat’s mood to be more pleasant and euphoric.  Catnip, also sometimes called catmint because it is from the mint family, has health benefits for humans as well. 

Catnip is in the same herb family as rosemary, oregano, basil, and sage.  Catnip has been used as a herbal medicine for years.  Some people use it to add flavoring to foods, as an herbal supplement, or brewed in a tea.  You can also find catnip in a juice form, salve, or tincture.  The dried form of catnip can generally be found in health food stores.  

The most common way for a person to get the benefits of catnip is in tea form.  This is done from the dried flowers or leaves of the catnip plant.  Those leaves are then steeped in boiling water for around 10-15 minutes.  Adding lemon to the tea will bring out the minty flavors from the plant.  You can also add honey or the sweetener of your choice into the tea.  Studies have shown having up to three glasses of catnip tea is fine for some people to handle.  


Human Health Benefits Of Catnip


One of the most commonly known benefits of catnip is its sedative effect it has on humans.  It can be very helpful for people who suffer from insomnia.  Catnip slows down the body’s natural cycle and helps induce a calming and relaxed state.  This can help a person wind down faster at night and get a better quality of sleep.  Catnip tea is a diuretic so it can increase urination.  Knowing this it is best to not have catnip tea directly before bed, but an hour or two before you plan to go to sleep.  Otherwise you may be up a lot during the night with extra bathroom breaks. 


Another benefit of catnip is that it can help with stress relief and anxiety.  Catnip is calming for human’s and has mild sedative properties.  These have been shown to help reduce chronic anxiety when ingested.  It can also help lessen other symptoms of chronic anxiety as well as strengthen the immune system.  Catnip tea may also be helpful in calming children who have hyperactivity.  

Aids Digestion

Catnip can help aid your digestion.  Catnip can help with constipation, excess gas, cramping, and bloating.  It can help alleviate menstrual cramping.  Its anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to be helpful with reducing pain, as well as reducing inflammation in your digestive tract.  Catnip also has antispasmodic properties which can help calm indigestion and cramps.  It can help calm an upset stomach.  And also may be helpful for women who suffer from morning sickness.  Though women who are pregnant need to be careful with taking catnip.  Catnip can cause uterine contractions, which can cause premature labor.  Using an external salve on an infant’s stomach has been shown to help with colic as well. 

Bug Bites 

Catnip can be planted in gardens to help keep bugs away from other plants.  Its mint, and anti-inflammatory properties can help alleviate the sting and itching from bug bites on the skin.  You can also rub in catnip topically on wounds to help the healing process speed up. 

Flu & Cold

Along with helping with skin irritations, catnip can be a helpful herbal medicine for cold and flu remedies.  It is a natural cough and sore throat remedy.  The anti-inflammatory properties help lower inflammation in the body.  With its antispasmodic and bronchodilatory properties catnip can help alleviate symptoms of asthma as well.  Catnip has diaphoretic properties.  This can help the body sweat out a fever by causing the body to sweat more.  




Studies show that catnip can be safe to take daily for some people.  Other people may not tolerate it as well.  In some people it can cause an upset stomach.  When one of the benefits is to help alleviate stomach discomfort, in some people catnip may cause digestive discomfort, or even vomiting.  If the stomach discomfort does not go away after a few days of drinking the tea, you should stop drinking it altogether. 

Catnip may also cause headaches in some people. 

Its diaphoretic properties can cause an increase in urination, and cause heavy sweating. 

Catnip has a sedative effect so it may cause drowsiness.  Drinking the tea first thing in the morning may leave you drowsy throughout the rest of your day. 

If you have any allergies to any other herbs in the mint family, you may have an allergy to catnip as well.  Allergic reactions can vary between mild to severe. 

Pregnant women should not take catnip for it can cause uterine contractions that may lead to premature labor.  Women with pelvic inflammatory disease should also stay away from catnip tea, because it can aggravate their symptoms.  



Catnip tea is rich in antioxidants.  Drinking up to three cups a day usually has no side effects and can be benefited as an herbal medicine option.  In some cases a person may not tolerate it well.  In those cases stopping use right away is advised.  From helping with sleep, digestion, and stress relief, adding a cup of catnip tea to your daily routine, may bring lots of healthy benefits. 




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