We’ve all heard of catnip – the wonder drug for kitties all across the land, the stuff that gets cats high. We were recently given a gift bag for our two monster kitties for Christmas (neither of whom had ever had catnip before.) We came home and set the bag down. Within seconds, our cat Bear had sniffed out the bag, shoved his fat head in there, gnawed through the tissue paper, and yanked out his drug of choice. We couldn’t believe how fast he found it, and laughed for the next half hour as we watched our cats roll around the floor like they were tripping out on some serious sauce. Now, flash-forward to last night, when I was pouring myself a cup of Celestial Seasoning’s tea.
The tea is called “Tension Tamer,” and Greg and I found it a couple of weeks ago at the grocery store. It was not only delicious, but it totally knocked me out after drinking it. As in, eyelids involuntary closing, and the need to go right to bed. And it was the best sleep I had in a long time. So last night I decided to take a look at the ingredients in this all natural tea: peppermint? yum. Ginger? Mmm. West Indian Lemongrass? How exotic. And toward the bottom of the list, there it was: catnip.
According to the website www.cat-world.com/au:
Catnip tends to have a sedative effect on humans. It is most often drunk as a tea. It is also useful for settling an upset stomach. It has also been used to treat headaches, scarlet fever, coughing, insomnia & smallpox.
Catnip can also be used for cuts, studies show it has a natural healing quality. Crush fresh catnip leaves, damp them & apply to your cut. Some other medicinal uses for catnip are: Anaesthetic, antibiotic, anti rheumatic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, diuretic, muscular aches and pains, rheumatism, chills, cold in the joints, hemorrhoids, toothache.
The site also goes on to say that a part that makes up catnip, nepetalactone, is about ten times more effective at repelling mosquitos than DEET, which is the active ingredient in most insect repellents. Ten times! I think it’s safe to say I am planting some catnip around my deck this summer.
Thanks to a little research, I now know a bit more about catnip and am less freaked out that it is in my favorite tea. I’m very happy that I can continue to drink my herbal, holistic sleep-aid. But if you see me rolling around on the floor, batting at yarn and acting skittish, you’ll know why.