Catnip is best known for its effects on cats. It is a perennial herb of the mint family Labiatae. It is considered native in North America after being introduced from its native Mediterranean area.
This plant grows to the height of two to three feet, producing small flowers coloured white or lilac. The foliage of catnip is green with a slightly gray or blue tint and the leaves are heart shaped with serrated edges with a light fuzz.
For young and old cats catnip doesn’t respond much or at all as it would to cats of neither young or old age. Some cats don’t respond to catnip at all, with an estimated ten to thirty percent of cats with no response to this herb. This lack of response to catnip by some ten to thirty percent of the cat population likely has to do with genetics.
Male cats who haven’t been neutered tend to have the greatest reaction as the active ingredient of catnip resembles a chemical found within the urine of female cats. The chemical within catnip that cats have an effect to is called nepatalactone.
Catnip is not addictive so there is no worries of withdrawal if taken away. Cats won’t overdose on it and will just walk away if they have had enough.
Catnip is not only used by cats but by people too due to its uses. It can help prevent gas, nausea and diarrhoea. Catnip also promotes relaxation while at the sae time helps with menstrual cramps and whatever sore or tight muscle. Thanks to catnips properties to help relax it is useful to relieve stress and ease anxiety.
This herb actually promotes sweating making it useful as a remedy in treating patients with feverish conditions. Catnip can actually be applied externally to cuts and scrapes to help stop bleeding and to promote healing.
While catnip does has its many uses for people it is suggested that pregnant women, women who breastfeed and those with chronic medical conditions consult a healthcare professional before taking catnip. One may urinate more frequently if taking catnip and some do get an upset stomach from it.