Catnip Plant Uses

There are lots of different uses of the catnip plant, some of which may surprise you! It's really quite versatile. This page gives a list of the most common uses.

1) Uses for cats

Let's start with these, as this is what catnip is best known for. Catnip can be used to:

  • Give Kitty a treat. It enables him to feel good and have a very pleasurable experience.
  • Train your cat. Sprinkling catnip round Kitty's scratching post should encourage him to scratch it instead of the sofa. Using catnip in his bed should encourage him to sleep there rather than on top of your head.
  • Exercise your cat. Catnip toys are particularly good for this.
  • Relax your cat. Most cats eventually go into a state of relaxation when they've had catnip, even if they run around like crazy at first.

2) Human uses

Catnip normally has a sedative effect on humans, so some people drink it as a tea to help them sleep. However, it's worth noting that it has an energizing effect on some people, so it's wise to just try a little at first! It also has a diuretic effect, so in some cases a nice relaxed sleep may be disturbed by a trip or two to the bathroom...

Interestingly, catnip tea was the most commonly drunk tea in Europe prior to Oriental teas being introduced.

Catnip has been used for a number of medicinal purposes including settling an upset stomach, treating headaches, coughs and colds and healing wounds. Please check with a suitably qualified person if you're unsure about medicinal catnip uses.

It can cause uterine contractions, so shouldn't be taken if you're pregnant or have menstrual problems.

3) Aromatic herb

Catnip can be used sparingly in cooking and salads to add flavor.

4) Mosquito repellant

The active ingredient in catnip was shown in one scientific study to be 10 times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET, which is the chemical found in most insect repellants. Catnip plants in your garden, or catnip oil sprayed on skin may help to repel mosquitoes.

If you're a cat owner, growing or buying some catnip can be very handy for a number of reasons. Catnip plant uses stretch well beyond sending Kitty into a manic state of ecstasy (though this is obviously its best use!)

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