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General Information

Catnip has been traditionally used as an herbal tea in places such as Kazakhstan. Historically, catnip has been used to treat insomnia, flatulence, and upset stomach. Catnip has also been used to treat colds, the flu, and fevers.

Common Name(s)

catnip, catmint

Scientific Name(s)

Nepeta cataria L. (Lamiaceae)

Scientific Name(s)

The aerialaerialplant parts appearing above ground parts of the catnip plant are used medicinally, taken orallyorallyto be taken by mouth (swallowed) (by mouth).

In general, the doses are:

Your health care provider may have recommended using this product in other ways. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What is this product used for?

Catnip has been used for:

People have also used catnip for:

  • insomnia
  • pain

Animal studies suggest that catnip may help with fever, insomnia, and pain but effective research in humans still needs to be done.

More reliable information is also needed to show whether catnip is helpful for other uses including flatulent dyspepsia, digestive cramps, diarrhea, and nervousness.

Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What else should I be aware of?

Side effects of catnip may include headache and a general feeling of being unwell (general body discomfort). Large amounts of catnip tea may cause vomiting. In addition, a child experienced stomach ache, irritability, drowsiness, and decreased alertness after consuming a large amount of catnip tea.

Catnip can interact with some medications. It increases the effects of sedativesedativean agent that induces sleep, relaxes, and reduces tension medications including benzodiazepines (e.g., lorazepam, clonazepam), barbiturates (e.g., phenobarbital, thiopental), opiates (e.g., morphine, methadone, oxycodone), and herbal products (i.e., California poppy, St. John's wort, valerian). Catnip may increase lithium levels in the body as well.

You should avoid using catnip if you have too much menstrual bleeding or pelvic inflammatory disease. Avoid using catnip if you are allergic to it.

Catnip may increase the effects of different surgery medications, so you should stop using it at least 2 weeks before your surgery.

Do not use catnip if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Consult your health care provider if your symptoms persist or worsen after taking catnip.

Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.


  1. Health Canada. Drugs & Health Products. Monograph - Catnip., accessed 29 March 2011.
  2. Micromedex Healthcare Series. Catnip., accessed 29 March 2011.
  3. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Catnip., accessed 29 March 2011.
  4. Natural Standard- the Authority on Integrative Medicine. Catnip., accessed 28 March 2011.

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