Is catnip safe for humans and what effects does it have on them? Find out the answers as we take a look at the health benefits of catnip for humans.
Catnip has traditionally been thought of as a wonderful stimulant for cats, but it also has numerous health benefits for their human counterparts. Yes, that’s right; catnip is safe for humans and indeed has many positive effects when used properly.
For example, many people use catnip as an alternative method for treating the flu and colds, because catnip can cause a person to sweat, without increasing the actual temperature of the body. This is the diaphoretic effect of the herb.
Catnip can do more than help to treat colds and flu, however. Here are some of the other health benefits of catnip for humans.
Catnip for humans
While catnip seems to give cats more energy, used in low dosages it has the opposite effect on humans. It is actually used to calm the nerves, and it is successfully used in the treatment of motion sickness. Catnip is a natural muscle relaxer and sedative.
You may have success in treating insomnia or other sleep disorders with catnip for this reason. Use the leaves of catnip, because if you use the root to make a tea, you will have the opposite effect and may even become overly aggressive.
Catnip as an anti-inflammatory remedy
If you suffer from any condition that causes inflammation of your joints, muscles, or tissues, you can use catnip as an anti-inflammatory remedy.
You can create a catnip salve with melted beeswax and either olive oil or coconut oil combined with ground catnip. This can be applied topically to the inflamed area.
You can also use catnip tea for internal and external inflammation.
Headaches and migraines
Rub your catnip salve on your head for a headache, or again, drink a cup of catnip tea.
There has not been a great deal of research in this area, but many herbalists and naturalists report that headache and migraine relief is possible with the use of catnip.
Other medical uses of catnip include relief for digestive problems, menstrual cramps, toothaches, asthma. Catnip can help to reduce fever, and it can be used as an antifungal and antibiotic.
If your menstrual period is late, but you are not pregnant, catnip can be used to help your period start.
It can even be used to treat worms, hemorrhoids and hives.
The health benefits are not the only reason to use catnip. Catnip makes an excellent meat tenderizer and is often used in cooking.
If you would like to dye your hair blonde but want to avoid harsh chemicals, you can dye it with catnip. Catnip can be used as a fungicide, and it is also used to repel insects and rodents.
Catnip side effects and cautions
It should be noted that there can also be some unwelcome side effects of catnip for humans if care is not taken.
- When ingesting catnip, make sure you are not ingesting too much, as it can cause vomiting.
- Pregnant and nursing women should avoid ingesting catnip in any form.
- A known side effect of smoking catnip is that it may cause hallucinations.
- Children should not ingest catnip.
- You should also avoid catnip if you have Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.
- Make sure you inform your surgeon or anesthesiologist you are using catnip before any surgery or procedure that requires anesthesia.
When used properly and with caution, there are many benefits to catnip for humans. Just heed the above warnings and you can safely use catnip as a natural remedy for many things.