Also indexed as:Nepeta cataria
: Main Image© Steven Foster
Botanical names:
Nepeta cataria

How It Works

The volatile oil in catnip contains the monoterpene, nepetalactone, which is similar to the valepotriates found in valerian, a more commonly used herbal sedative.4 Human trials are lacking to prove the effectiveness of catnip for treating insomnia. It has been used traditionally to reduce gas and act as a digestive aid.5

How to Use It

A catnip tea can be made by adding 1 cup (250 ml) of boiling water to 1–2 teaspoons (5–10 grams) of the herb; cover, then steep for ten to fifteen minutes. Drink 2–3 cups per day.6 For children with coughs, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of tincture three times per day can be used. Adults may take twice this amount.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.