Catnip | Medical Benefits | Gardening Tips | How to eat | Side Effects
Catnip is a natural remedy with health benefits, including calming effects for humans and felines, assisting in relaxation and sleep. You can plant it in well-drained soil with plenty of sunlight when gardening. Humans can consume catnip as tea or as a seasoning for food items, improving digestion. The risks are minimal but could include mild stomach upsets. Ask a medical professional to get a personalized recommendation.
What Are the Medical Benefits of Catnip?
In medicine, the plant has been used medicinally to alleviate intestinal cramps, the treatment of indigestion, to trigger sweating, induce menstrual flow as a sedative, and to boost appetite. Furthermore, the plant treats colic, diarrhea, common cold and cancer.
The Active Compounds in Catnip
The secret to Catnip’s amazing healing properties is its unique mix of active substances. Of the well-known constituents is nepetalactone. This is an organic compound that is found in the oil that is found in Catnip. Nepetalactone plays a role in the exuberant response observed in cats, as it causes a euphoric sensation when inhaled or eaten. However, this chemical offers therapeutic benefits for humans.
Soothing Effects on the Human Nervous System
Catnip tea has been used centuries to soothe and ease your nervous system. The mild sedative qualities of Catnip are an extremely popular option for relieving stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Taking tea Catnip may induce calm, encouraging the restful sleep you need and improving overall wellbeing.
Relieved from Digestive Discomfort
The amazing properties of Catnip extend to digestive health and can ease different digestive issues. The anti-spasmodic properties of the herb aid in easing gastric cramps and bloating and gas. Additionally, Catnip tea may increase appetite, an ideal remedy for those who lose appetite due to disease.
Natural Headache Remedy
Catnip may also be an herbal treatment for migraines and headaches. The anti-inflammatory and soothing qualities of the herb could aid in reducing the severity and duration of headaches when used as a tea or essential oils.
Catnip’s Antimicrobial Potential
Research has proven that Catnip has antimicrobial properties, making it highly effective against certain microorganisms and fungi. The ability of the herb to fight the growth of microbial organisms suggests its application to disinfect the body and application of topical treatments to treat minor irritations on the skin or wounds.
Catnip’s Role in Menstrual Health
Regarding women’s health, catnip has traditionally been used to alleviate menstrual discomfort. Its antispasmodic properties can aid in easing cramps during menstrual cycles, and its calming effects can ease anxiety and mood swings associated with PMS.
Potential Anti-Cancer Properties
Recent research has revealed the possibility of a connection between Catnip and its anti-cancer properties. Some studies indicate that particular chemicals found in Catnip might hinder the growth of cancerous cells, opening the way to further research in this study area.
Managing Respiratory Issues
The expectorant properties of Catnip make it an effective natural remedy for respiratory problems. If consumed in tea form or inhaled via steam, Catnip can reduce coughs, clear congestion, and soothe irritation to the airways.
Catnip for Skin Care
Catnip is a great supplement to your skincare routine with its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Creams and ointments infused with catnip may aid in soothing skin problems such as acne, eczema or insect bites.
What Condition Does Catnip Need to Grow?
Catnip plant requires draining soil, and it is best if it gets plenty of sunlight. Plant it near the edge of a border in the form of a raised bed or a pot large enough. When established, it will be resistant to drought.
Choosing the Right Location
The first step to creating catnip successfully is choosing the ideal place to grow it. Catnip flourishes when it is in complete sun. So, you should choose an area with a minimum of six hours of sunlight daily. A spot that is south-facing in your backyard is perfect. Ensuring the area is well-drained is important since catnip doesn’t take well to standing water. If your soil is prone to hold water, you should consider including organic matter, like compost, to increase drainage.
Preparing the Soil
Catnip likes slightly neutral to alkaline soil with a pH of between 6.1 to 7.5. Before planting, run an analysis of the soil to determine the pH. If needed, modify the soil using lime to increase the pH or sulfur to reduce it. The soil should be loosed to an average depth of 12 inches and remove any debris or weeds. Include well-rotted compost in the soil to improve its fertility. It also provides the essential nutrients needed for healthy growth of catnip.
Beginning with Seeds or Transplants
Catnip can be grown from seeds or transplants based on your preferences and available time. If you start with seeds, you can plant them directly in the soil following the last frost date. The seeds should be covered lightly in the soil. Keep the soil damp until germination takes place. To transplant, start seeds in the greenhouse about 6-8 weeks before the last predicted frost. After the seedlings’ growth has reached some sets of real leaves, carefully move the plants to your garden.
Watering and Maintenance
While catnip can be relatively low-maintenance, it is vital to have adequate watering at the beginning of its development. Keep the young plants hydrated regularly and ensure that the soil stays uniformly moist but not overwatered. Once the catnip has been established, it is more drought-tolerant and does not require regular irrigation. But, in dry times, it’s vital to supply additional irrigation.
Pruning for Better Growth
Pruning catnip is an effective procedure that encourages bushy growth and extends the plant’s life. When the plant is around six inches tall, cut off the top leaf to encourage lateral branching. Regularly removing spent flowers will stop catnip from self-seeding and causing a weed within your garden.
Protecting Against Pests
Catnip is generally ineffective against insects. However, it may occasionally attract aphids and spider mites. To guard your catnip against pests, apply insecticidal soap or oil, which are effective and sustainable ways to control pests. Also, putting catnip in the same place as other plants, like marigolds or lavender, can aid in repelling insects by natural means.
The ideal time to pick catnip is when it is beginning to bloom. In this stage, the essential oils that are responsible for its enchanting properties are at their highest. The stems should be cut just above the leaf node to stimulate the growth of new plants. Dry the catnip that you have harvested in small bundles and hang it upside down in a room that is well-ventilated and far from direct sunlight. After drying, keep the catnip in an airtight container to keep its power.
Can Cats Eat Catnip Directly?
Cats can inhale catnip, and it can aid in the digestion of their tract. Catnip has been utilized in humans to treat its anti-diarrheal properties. In this regard, it is essential to stop your cat from taking huge amounts of catnip since this could cause stomach upset.
The Fascinating Effects of Catnip on Cats
If cats are exposed to catnip, they usually exhibit a variety of fascinating actions, including:
Euphoria and Playfulness
The most frequent response to catnip can be one of excitement and euphoria. Cats are more energetic and show flashes of energy when they chase their imaginary prey or toys.
Rolling and Rubbing
Cats are known to play, rub and even writhe on surfaces when catnip is sprinkled or put. This is a natural effort to let more of the nepetalactone out as well as intensify their reactions towards the plant.
Purring and Vocalization
Certain cats might sing or purr under the influence of catnip. This is a method of expressing their happiness and delight.
Although the effects of catnip are usually non-toxic, some cats might be temporarily hyperactive, and this isn’t something to worry about. It is important to keep an eye on your cat during these times to keep them safe.
Is Catnip Safe for Cats?
Catnip is considered to be safe for cats. The effects of euphoria are brief that last between 5 and 15 minutes. After that, cats are no longer attracted to the herb, and it can be a few hours before they exhibit the same reaction. However, there are a few important points to bear in your head:
Moderation is Key
Although it’s safe to use catnip but it’s important to ensure you use it in moderation. Frequent exposure to catnip could cause a reduction in sensibility over time. The herb could be less appealing to your pet.
Not All Cats Respond
It’s important to know that cats don’t all suffer from catnip. Catnip-related sensitivities are hereditary, and kittens, as well as senior cats, are less likely to display a response.
If your cat consumes large amounts of catnip can cause digestive distress, diarrhea, vomiting, or indigestion. Use catnip only as a treat or an occasional enrichment activity.
Can Cats Eat Catnip Directly?
Although cats are attracted to the scent of catnip and might eat it, ingestion direct of large amounts of catnip isn’t recommended. Consuming too much catnip could cause digestive problems and discomfort. It’s recommended to give catnip in small amounts and as an environmental enrichment instead of an indulgence to be consumed.
How to Offer Catnip to Your Cat
To ensure that your cat has an enjoyable experience when you give your cat catnip, you should follow these guidelines:
Use Catnip Sparingly
Small amounts of catnip to prevent overstimulation. Sprinkle a few gallons of dried catnip onto the scratching post or pet’s favorite toy.
Observe Your Cat’s Reaction
Be aware of your cat’s reaction to catnip, and make sure they are enjoying it in a responsible manner. If you notice any negative reactions, stop using it immediately.
Try Catnip Toys
There are a variety of catnip-infused toys that are available on the market. These toys are a safe and fun way that your pet can play with catnip.
Does Catnip Have Negative Effects on Cats?
No evidence suggests that catnip can harm cats or young kittens. However, if they consume many dried or fresh catnip leaves, they can get an upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting.
Potential Negative Effects
Although catnip is generally considered suitable for cat use, you must be aware of the potential negative consequences that could arise, although they are rare. These effects are temporary and not detrimental in the long run. The most common drawbacks are:
In certain instances, catnip may cause overstimulation, particularly for cats at risk of its effects. It can cause excessive rolling, vocalization, or even aggressive behaviors. But, this behavior is not permanent, and cats will eventually be back to their normal self after the effects have worn off.
If cats consume a lot of catnip, they may have mild digestive issues, including diarrhea or vomiting. To prevent this from happening, you should provide catnip in a moderate amount, making sure that your cat can enjoy its benefits without discomfort.
It is important to note that some cats are not responsive to catnip. The susceptibility to nepetalactone is inherited, and about 50-75 percent of cats have reactions to catnip. If your cat isn’t interested in catnip, it’s not a problem, as they lack the genetic disposition to react to the effects of catnip.
How do you eat catnip?
How do you drink catnip?
Can you put catnip in tea?
How long does catnip last?
The effects of catnip vary depending on the individual cat and how they respond to the herb. For most cats, effects and behaviors associated with catnip will last around 10-15 minutes. Once catnip has worn off, it may take around 30 minutes to an 1 hour for your cat to respond to it again.