Catnip tea is easy to make. There are basically two ways, the easiest being to simply buy the readymade tea bags or the dried leaves from your health food store. Then you make it just as you would ordinary tea. Or alternatively if you’re more of a herb puritan you probably grow your own catnip or you know some place where it grows wild.
Pick some leaves and wash them. Allow them to dry in a warm dry and dark location. Put some dry leaves in the teapot and add the hot (just off the boil) water. Let it brew for a few minutes and enjoy. The tea has a fresh minty taste and it is an excellent evening drink that will help you have a wonderfully deep sleep.
Catnip oil sometimes called Catnip Essential Oil is available from health food shops. You need to remember that it is much more potent than ordinary catnip leaves. You can also buy catnip dried leaves or catnip teabags. The dried leaves make a good poultice when soaked in some warm water. These catnip poultices when applied externally are quite effective against haemorrhoids and they are especially useful at speeding up the recovery time of bruises. It can also be applied to cuts and grazes to stop bleeding, ease pain and promote new tissue growth.
So What’s in Catnip?
Catnip contains high levels of iron, selenium, potassium, vitamins A and C as well as some vitamin B complex. Catnip is useful for treating colds because of its ability to bring on a sweat without actually raising the body’s temperature. Catnip has also been used to treat coughs, stinging nettle rash, poison ivy as well flu symptoms.
Catnip has been used to treat high blood pressure, and because it helps to flush excess salt and other toxins from the body and induce a sweat it has been linked to weight loss. Catnip is a relaxant and is effective in treating tension headaches, and many stress related sleeping disorders. It is sometimes chewed to relieve the pain of a toothache.
Catnip should not be taken by pregnant women.
Smoking Catnip became a bit of a trend recently but not really for any good reason. There is no evidence that smoking catnip will do anything other than cause you to cough, look silly and smell of smoked catnip. Stick to the tea and it will save your lungs too.
Growing catnip plants is not difficult. It can be grown outdoors in a north American or European climate or indoors if you prefer. The Catnip plant grows best in a bright sunny location where it has enough room to grow outward, it needs watering regularly to prevent it from drying out.
If it does dry out it is likely to go to seed early. Use a water soluble fertilizer every two or three weeks for best results. If you do decide to grow catnip do try to protect it from the local cats. Once they discover it’s in your garden they will be all over it. It is a comical sight to watch but it’s not very good for your plants.
Cats are certainly very fond of Catnip!