Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a flowering perennial plant that is also known as catmint or catswort.
Catnip is widely known for its sedative properties on cats. However, it has numerous health benefits on humans such as soothing menstrual pain, relieving anxiety or stress, helping alleviate eating disorders, detoxifying the body, as well as easing stomach discomfort.
Catnip’s potency is due to a certain terpenoid known as nepetalactone. However, it has other constituents that are beneficial to humans. Catnip can be used or taken in the form of teas, tinctures, juices, smoothies, extracts, salves, or simply as a spice/seasoning in foods.
Below are various health benefits of catnip;
1. Used In Treating Influenza And Common Cold
Laboratory research has shown that the catnip contains antimicrobial substances. This makes the herb beneficial for treating influenza and the common cold, especially when digestive problems accompany these conditions. Also, catnip has been used traditionally to treat hives, measles, and chickenpox. The herb not only helps reduce outbreaks caused by these conditions, but it also helps reduce fever that often results from their appearance.
2. Useful To Reduce Stress
Catnip also has a calming effect that makes it useful in times of stress. In traditional herbal medicine, practitioners often use this herb to treat insomnia resulting from stress or unknown causes. This is because catnip contains chemicals similar to those found in valerian root, another popular herbal treatment for insomnia and related sleep disorders. For thousands of years, mothers have given small doses of catnip tea to fussy infants to quiet them and help them drift off to sleep.
3. Can Treat Infant Colic
Catnip is also beneficial for treating infant colic, most likely because of its ability to expel gas from the intestines quickly and safely. Don’t let your infant struggle with the colic, give him a half glass of catnip tea, it would help.
4. Helps In Treating Upset Stomach
Catnip is a carminative or gas-expelling substance which stimulates gastric secretions in the digestive tract. This makes the herb especially helpful in cases of upset stomach, excessive gas and various other digestive upsets.
5. Healing Skin Conditions
Catnip has a repellent quality that helps in expelling insects when kept as an Ornamental plant. It also has a compound that helps in alleviating irritations on your skin healing bug stings. In case you have broken skin or inflammation, catnip is an effective solution. The compounds that are in catnip would help in accelerating the healing process and also works well in reducing skin inflammation.
6. Works As A Headache Reliever
Studies have shown that there is a substance in the catnip that can successfully help in relieving headache. All you need to do is either drink a cup of catnip tea or rub a catnip leaves on the forehead. This will help in relieving long-term and short-term headaches. If you have periodic/cyclic headache, don’t hesitate to look for the catnip leaves or a cup of catnip tea, it would help relieve the symptoms.
7. Help In Reducing Pain During Menstruation
Numerous females experience pain during their menstrual period. The pain may be severe to a level they can’t be able to perform certain tasks. Having a cup of catnip tea will help in reducing the pain. Catnip is advocated as an effective treatment for menstrual cramp. Its relaxing effect helps to sooth the body and the menstrual pain. Catnip also helps in controlling depression and mood swings in girls.
8. Treatment Of Nervous Disorders
Nervine is one of the remedies that is used in most essential oils. It helps in soothing the central nervous system which in turn helps to prevent and treat diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and vertigo diseases. This compound is extracted from the catnip plant which makes it very useful in the medical world.
9. It’s Good For Your Kidneys
Catnip is a diuretic, which makes one urinate regularly which is useful for people with renal failure. A cup of catnip tea will make you urinate more. Biologically urinating helps in excretion and elimination of kidney waste product.
10. Accelerates The Healing Process
One of the quickest ways to heal is through flushing out the body toxins and cleaning the body systems. This can be achieved by causing perspiration. Perspiration helps in expelling toxins from the body. Catnip tends to trigger sweating; this makes it useful in treating and accelerating the healing process especially in cold and flu.
11. Acts As A Mild Sedative
Many people find it difficult to sleep. This may be caused by numerous factors such as stress, depression. Catnip has proven to be an effective sedative. It helps in making the body and mind relax and ease tension and anxiety making you sleep.
12. It Is A Diaphoretic
Taking a cup of catnip tea helps in accelerating perspiration. Sweating helps in the removal of excess water and toxins from the body. If you have a bad sweat smell, this could signify that you have high-level toxins in your body. The more you sweat, the more you clean your body and hence the need of using catnip which will make you sweat.
13. It’s A Carminative Agent
Gas trapped in the small and large intestine can be dangerous to your health as well as cause great discomfort. It can cause serious problems like chest pain, choking, indigestion and raise blood pressure. As a carminative agent, a cup of catnip helps in relieving any gas troubles.
14. It’s Good For Your Stomach
As a herbal remedy, catnip helps in treating stomach disorders such as ulcers and heartburn. It also helps in normalizing digestive system by regulating the secretion of bile into the gastric juice. If you have any of these disorders, don’t hesitate in using catnip as your home remedy.
15. Act As Anti-Aging Agent
Many women out there are busy looking for anti-aging products. Fortunately, catnip contains a high level of antioxidants. An antioxidant plays an important role when it comes to delaying premature aging. Taking one or two cups of catnip tea would help in inhibiting the signs of premature aging which includes, sagging skin, wrinkles and lines. It also helps in speeding up healing of scars making your skin smooth and young.
16. Good For Weight Loss
A great deal of your body weight is water. As a good diaphoretic, catnip helps in weight loss through sweating. Furthermore, catnip helps in improving the metabolic rate and hence accelerates the weight loss process. For the burning of fat, you need to have an improved metabolism which could be achieved by taking 2 to 3 cups of catnip tea every day.
17. It Treats Dandruff Naturally
Catnip also has antiseptic and astringent properties that are commonly used in treating dandruff. If you are looking for an effective dandruff home remedy, squeeze catnip leaves and apply it on your scalp and hair. Remember to wash it once you are through with applying. It is proven to work perfectly with little to no side effects.
18. Helps In Healing Wounds
Since catnip contains antiseptic properties, it helps in healing tissues that are infected. Catnip is used in cleaning wounds and disinfecting them at the same time. All this facilitate the healing of the wound and a quick recovery. It can be used on numerous kinds of wounds such as those from a cut, burn or scratch.
19. It’s A Natural Astringent Agent
This herb is astringent in nature. Its astringent nature helps in the contraction of skin, muscles and body tissue. That is what catnip can do for you; it helps in tightening of loose skin and muscles. This helps to prevent bleeding from a minor abrasion or make your skin less oily.
20. It Is A Natural Hair Moisturizer And Conditioner
Having a conditioned and moisturized hair is a dream for numerous woman. With the aid of catnip, this can be easily achieved without hassle. To accomplish this, you can use catnip tea as a conditioning agent after you shampoo your hair. You can also deep your braids in a catnip tea. This will help in leaving your hair moisturized, soft and smooth.
21. It Has Nutriments
Catnip plant has a good number of nutrients that help in the nourishment of your body. It has mineral, organic compounds, vitamins, and antioxidants required for healthy living. The plant plays an important role in maintaining a healthy human life. Taking a cup or even chewing the catnip leaves will gradually improve your health.
22. Possess Anti-Inflammatory Properties
As catnip contains anti-inflammatory properties, it can be used to treat diseases such as gout, arthritis, hemorrhoids, aching joints, and strained muscles. Intake of catnip by arthritic and aching joints patients have proven to give positive results.
23. Used As An Insect Repellent
For those who want to keep away nuisance insect from your home, put some catnip plants in your house. Catnip has a repellent property that helps to keep off insects. Insect causes diseases like malaria and skin irritations.
Word Of Caution
For people with kidney or liver issues, catnip could be risky especially if consumed often. Furthermore, pregnant women should avoid taking catnip as it could induce labor.
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