Catnip Profile

Also known as- Nepeta cataria, Catmint, Catnep, Catswort, Field Balm, Menta De Gato.


Catnip is, as its name suggests, the herb of choice for cats. A member of the mint, catnip attracts cats of all breeds and sizes, who often run up to the herb, paw it, roll in it, meow loudly, and then suddenly lose interest in the herb for hours or days until sensitivity to the herb "resets" itself.


Nepetalactone, essential oil

Parts Used

The leaf, dried, cut, and powdered.

Typical Preparations

As a tea, extract or lightly sprinkled on food. Herbal pillow for cats.


Catnip has been called natures "Alka-Seltzer." The Indians used it for infant colic, but it also has a sedative effect on the nervous system. Catnip is a very mild herb medicinally, and does have many worthwhile effects.  It makes a very soothing tea which is even mild enough to give to small children.  In some cultures, it is thought to purify the blood, but it also has definite merit when used for it's calming and sedative effects.  It is said to relieve the symptoms of colic in children, and can be used as a digestive aid in adults.  

Scientists have ascertained that the feline reaction to catnip is due to the its content of nepetalactone. The herb is also strongly antifungal and a bactericide for Staphylococcus aureus, as well as a close chemical relative to a number of insect repellants that affect mosquitoes and termites.

Catnip is effective alone or combined in herbal remedies for colds, flu, fevers, upset stomach, childhood illnesses, and insomnia. This herb is particularly good for children with upset stomachs, made into a very mild infusion. The same mild infusion will help colicky babies.

Catnip isn't just for cats, though. Human use catnip as a seasoning and in tea to relax, treat headaches, prevent hardening of the arteries, and reduce fever, among other uses.



Not recommended for use while pregnant.


This herb is sold by the ounce is Copyright © 2000-2023