Crunchy Christian Podcast
Fun Catnip Uses for Humans You Need to Know
Catnip is a popular herb for a bit of fun with our cats, but do you know catnip uses for humans? Join Julie on this episode of Crunchy Christian podcast to learn more about catnip.
Catnip Uses in History
Nepeta cataria is a native to Europe and Asia. The Greeks and Romans knew it and probably the Egyptians as well. After all, they revered cats. It is rumored that Nepeta is named after Nepete or Nepi in central Italy, where it grew prolifically. There aren’t many specific records of its use outside of medical texts. Sorry no mythology or weird historical stories. Old herbals speak of catnip uses to promote sweating, cure fevers, relieve congestion and phlegm, and help with coughs and colds. The English used it as a tea before the arrival of black tea.
While cats love it, rats, deer, and many insects hate it. While the tea made from the leaves is mildly sedating, the root has quite the opposite effect and has been rumored to make a gentle person quarrelsome.
People have long used catnip for childhood infections, fevers, aches and pains, bad-tempered moods, sleeplessness and digestive upsets. Once upon a time, it was even recommended as a front-line treatment against the dreaded fever of smallpox.
Catnip is a perennial that looks a lot like other members of the mint family with square stems and toothed somewhat heart-shaped leaves. It has small, purplish flowers. Catnip likes to grow in well-drained average soil in full sun but will tolerate some shade. It can become weedy like other members of the family, so manage the plants to prevent this. It doesn’t need fertilizer or other help and repels insects, so it’s pretty easy to grow.
Modern Catnip Uses
Modern research shows that the essential oil of catnip protects the liver from damage caused by acetaminophen use.
Research has also suggested catnip has antimicrobial activity against fungi and gram-positive bacteria. And other possible catnip uses could be as a possible natural food preservative as it is effective against common food-borne pathogens. In addition, a study published in Iran in 2013 showed that the essential oil of catnip was effective in killing oral microbial infections, especially candida.
Learn more about catnip on the podcast!
Catnip does have possible emmenagogue and abortifacient effects, so it is best to avoid using it during pregnancy.