Catnip Tea
Surprise! It Is Not Just for Your Feline Friends




Catnip Tea

catnip-teaSipping on a cup of catnip tea may be a relaxing way to enjoy watching your feline play with and roll in a few dried leaves.

A distant member of the mint family, Catnip, Nepata cataria, is known around the world by many names, including catmint, field balm, catswort and catnep. Sporting grayish green leaves, this plant has a distinctive odor that often invites cats to roll on, climb and occasionally dig it up. Outdoor cats, especially barn cats that roll and frolic in wild catnip, often have fewer fleas than those who do not.

Catnip History

Cultures from around the world have used this tea for many minor ailments, such as digestive, stomach and cramping conditions. The Roman culture used catnip as a culinary herb often including it in beverages, entrées and side dishes. The medicinal value of this plant was described by Theophrastus, Pliney and Dioscordies. When Apicius’ cookbook was translated, it mentioned catnips culinary uses and which herbs to substitute to avoid the sedative properties of this plant when preparing a public feast.

Catnip tea use in Europe was extensive prior to the establishment of the Spice Trade Routes from China. The introduction of oriental tea caused catnip to fall out of favor as a beverage. However, catnip did maintain its medicinal uses and a few ethic groups continued to use catnip as a flavoring for beverages, both fermented and not.


Catnip Toy History

catnipThe first catnip toys were marketed by Dr. A. Daniels, whose original refillable wooden barrel cat toys are still available from DrDaniels.com. Dr. Daniels formulated a wide variety of remedies for livestock that he offered for sale in the 1880s and by the turn of the century was creating toys for domestic pets including the refillable catnip toy, which still comes with catnip.

Benefits of Catmint or Catnip Tea

Catmint tea benefits include:


Brewing Tea with Catnip

When brewing catnip for tea keep in mind that tea is steeped not boiled. Pour hot water over the dry or fresh herb and allow to steep while covered for five to fifteen minutes.

Use lemon, stevia, honey or sugar to add a bit of sweetness, but many find the natural taste of catnip pleasant without any additions. Of course, if you are making the tea for a toddler, remember not to use honey to avoid exposing them to bacteria.

One teaspoon of dried catnip or two teaspoons of fresh catnip flowers or leaves are enough to brew one eight-ounce cup of tea. In spite of its sedative and anti-spasmodic properties catnip was often thought to make people mean; it was actually given to executioners to help them prepare for their duties.


Catnip tea is a safe and tasty way to relax, calm an upset stomach while enjoying the antics of your pet cat.

Other articles in our herbal tea series



Dandelion Tea Ginger Tea Fennel Tea
Comfrey Tea Chamomile Tea Essiac Tea
Hibiscus Tea Lemongrass Tea Olive Leaf Tea
Lemon Balm Tea Parsley Tea Red Clover Tea
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea Rooibos Red Tea Yogi Tea

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