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What Is Catnip Tincture? Its Uses, Benefits, And Side Effects

Catnip is a plant that is scientifically known as Nepeta cataria. North America, New Zealand, and Europe are some countries where this plant is very common. Catmint is another common name for it. Since the plant's name has 'cat' in it, it might make you wonder about its connection with cats.

The names catnip and catmint have come from cats' attraction to them. Moreover, it is an ingredient you can use for many health benefits due to its herbal nature. It has foliage that resembles a feather and is light green in color. Many people also use it to make tea due to its relieving features.

Now that you are familiar with the name "Catnip," let's understand its functioning and its usefulness.

What Does Catnip Do To Cats?

First, let's discover more about its effect on cats, as it contains the name of the species. Catnip contains a component known as nepetalactone. This oil can cause changes in the behavior of cats after they start smelling it.

It is due to the extra scent-related organ in the mouth of the cats. A vomeronasal gland is the name of that organ, and it allows the scent to gather in the nose and then carry it to the brain. The effects of the catnip start as soon as it reaches the brain.

This plant mimics the sex hormones in the cat species, leading to cats displaying unusual behavior. Also, it can happen to any cat, irrespective of gender. The behavior can display signs of happiness, affection, and relaxation. Some vets can also recommend using catnip to help with separation anxiety in cats when you leave them alone for long periods of time. It can also relieve pain in cats.

Is Catnip Safe For Dogs?

While the plant is popular among cats, it is safe for dogs. Also, it is not just safe for dogs, but it also has nutritional value for them. Thus, you can find many dog products that contain nepetalactone.

Ways To Consume Catnip

There are many ways to consume catnip, for cats as well as humans. There are even toys for cats that contain catnip. You can find many products and forms of catnip available in the market. These products use the catnip plant extract to add the effects of the plant to the product. Sprays, oils, tinctures, toys, and many other forms of catnip extract are there. Some are useful for humans, while others are good for cats.

Among all of these forms, catnip tinctures are very popular and provide ease of usage as well. Let's have a further look at how helpful catnip and catnip extract tinctures are.

Other Ways To Try Catnip

There are some unusual ways as well by which you can consume catnip, such as:

  • Using it with a diffuser

  • Diluting it with a carrier oil can be used for applying on the forehead and can repel mosquitoes by applying it on the skin.

How Does Catnip Tincture Affect And Benefit Humans?

Catnip is known to be consumed in many ways, such as direct mouth intake or applying it directly to the skin. You can also inhale it in the form of smoke. However, tinctures are well-known and are more versatile in their utility as they can be taken with different food items or drinks. Let's get you aware of the traditional health benefits of Catnip plant extract tincture, which many people know of.

Sedating Effect

Many people use catnip for its calming and soothing effects, which is very different from what cats enjoy it for. Even though there is not enough human evidence of its effectiveness as a sedative, there have been some animal studies.

It is believed that nepetalactone is the component that adds sedative properties to the plant. It may also help in managing anxiety and restlessness and improving sleep patterns.

Better Stomach Functioning

Catnip tinctures are known for relieving diarrhea, acidity, and cramps in the stomach. It also has a traditional use to relieve muscle spasms that happen in the intestine. Adding it to your tea can soothe your stomach pain and indigestion.

Rich In Nutrients

Catnip tinctures can provide nutritional value to your meals. It contains antioxidants called flavonoids and phenolic acids. It also contains vitamins C, E, magnesium, and many helpful nutrients.

Treating Common Disease Symptoms

It can be used as a diuretic which functions as a water retainer and also helps in the treatment of many health conditions. People have also used it for treating arthritis, coughs, and fevers and boosting immunity. Sometimes, people also use it with other herbs like licorice root and mullein to treat sore throats.

There are some studies that indicate its usage for relief from asthma due to its antispasmodic and bronchodilatory properties. Mixing it with tea is one of the most common uses of catnip herb and can help with inflammation, internal and external.

Benefits For Skin

Apart from the usual health benefits, catnip can also help in treating skin infections or increasing the healing capacity in cases of minor cuts or wounds. It is because of the antiseptic properties it inherits. Many traditional herbalists also prescribe using catnip for skin problems.

How Do Humans Consume Catnip?

Humans can consume it in the form of tinctures, supplement powders, smoke, and many other forms. It is also known that tinctures are easier to use, and that is why people prefer them more, but smoke is often a preference. However, it is not as popular as other smoking choices. Let us tell you why.

Why Is Catnip Smoking Not A Good Choice?

One of the reasons for its low popularity is that the effectiveness of catnip smoking is much lesser than cannabis and does not contain any psychoactivity. So, those looking to get high do not choose catnip. Another reason is that it burns very fast, which raises the need to add tobacco for a proper burn, which basically means that it is almost the same as smoking tobacco.

Catnip Dosage

As of now, there is little clinical evidence on the appropriate dosage of catnip. Also, there are no criteria that specify the overdose of catnip, but too much catnip may make you sick, even though it is not possible to overdose on it.

Side Effects Of Catnip And Interaction With Other Medicine

Catnip is usually safe to use. However, high doses of smoke, tincture, or oils may cause headaches, vomiting, etc. But, then again, what amount is excessive is unknown and needs more research.

It can interact with lithium in a way that can reduce an individual's capacity to get rid of it. This can have some serious side effects, and that is why you should consult a health expert if your medicine contains lithium and consider changing the dosage if there is a need to.

Catnip can also interfere with the medicine that causes sleepiness and drowsiness. You might feel too sleepy as well.

Also, pregnant or lactating women should stay away from using catnip as it can have adverse effects.


Catnip is a traditional herbal plant that is native to North America and has a lot of health benefits for the user. It is also a fact that there is not much clinical evidence on the overdose of the extract or products. But, many people still use it, commonly by mixing it with tea. However, it is more common among cats and their products.

If you are looking for the best quality herbal tincture using Catnip Extract, visit Shea's Apothecary online store. We provide a wide variety of organic products, including herbal teas, patches, and tinctures, that we manufacture with the highest quality natural ingredients. We maintain high standards in our products and services. In case you have any queries or concerns, contact us, we will help you in the best possible way.

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