Updated: Oct 7, 2019
Latin name: Nepeta cataria
Plant family: Mint (Lamiaceae)
Parts used: Leaves and flowers
Safety: Not recommended for women who are pregnant.
The leaves are edible and can be eaten in salads.
This herb is a sedative for humans and promotes relaxation and sleep. Make tea of catnip or blend with chamomile for a soothing drink before bed.
Catnip is anti-spasmodic, useful for relieving menstrual cramping, calming digestive upsets, and reducing gas.
According to Mary Preus, writing in The Northwest Herb Lover's Handbook, "Because of it's diaphoretic (sweat producing) action, catnip is often recommended as a cold and flu remedy. It is mild and safe enough to use to help children through colds and fevers, insomnia, hyperactivity, diarrhea, and the restlessness of teething."
Give some to your cat! A stimulant for cats, give them a few fresh leaves at a time, or dry your catnip and make your own cat toys! In the meantime, be sure to store your catnip safely away from your cat.