Benefits of Catnip

By | January 19, 2014

Treating headaches, nervous system disorders and pain are some of the many benefits of catnip. This herb originates in Europe and is now available in the United States. It is easy to grow and does not require the amount of effort to cultivate that other herbs do. After the plant has finished blooming, the entire plant can be dried.

Medicinal Benefits

A member of the mint family, catnip can be ingested as an infusion or tea, or applied topically as an essential oil or poultice. Medicinal properties can:

catnip
  • Induce perspiration without increasing body temperature, making it an ideal choice for treating fever associated with colds, flu and other infections.
  • Reduce spasms of the stomach muscles and can be used to treat stomach disorder, irritation and cramping.
  • Decrease inflammation, relieving pain from rheumatism.
  • Be beneficial to treating Smallpox and Scarlet Fever, though it will not entirely heal these conditions.
  • Relieve headaches associated with sleeplessness and insomnia due to sedating properties.
  • Encourage menstruation in women with irregular periods.
  • Increase frequency of urination, causing the body to retain less water.
  • Strengthen nerves, giving Catnip the ability to treat shaking and convulsions associated with certain nervous system disorders.
  • Stimulate appetite.
  • In the form of a poultice to treat toothaches.
  • As a paste applied externally, stop bleeding and help heal cuts and scrapes.

In addition, it is safe for children, who can consume in the form of a mild tea to treat colic and restlessness.

Additional Uses

Has culinary applications and, as a kitchen staple, can be incorporated into a number ofhealthy dishes.

Burning the essential oil of this herb is an effective insect repellent.

It also works well with other herbs; blends can be created using lemon, eucalyptus and mint.

Summary

Whether in the kitchen or outside, ingested as a tea or oil massaged into the skin, the benefits of catnip are undeniably wide. Although this herb is demonstrated to be safe and effective, even for children, consultation with an herbal specialist will provide guidance regarding the best ways to use this and other natural remedies to maintain a healthy lifestyle.