Have you heard of catnips before? Well, if yes, then you may also have heard a rumor about its ability to getting cats high. Well, that’s the question. Does catnip causes cats to get high, it is bad for them? If you are a cat lover, you possibly already know that cats, as well as other felines, usually go wild when they consume this particular perennial herb. In fact, it just takes a few sniffs and your cat will be in its delirious state already. There is no denying that cats love this perennial herb, but did you know that it is also beneficial for us humans? Well, actually, there are various health benefits of catnip, which may surprise you! Give this article a read if you want to know more about it.
Catnip: What is this?
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Catnip or what they scientifically call, Nepeta cataria is a perennial herb, which belongs to the Lamiaceae plant family. Furthermore, it grows in North America and in Europe. Some other names for this particular herb include catwort, catmint, as well as a balm. All kind of cat, domesticated cats, tigers, lions, all goes high and wild for catnip’s minty scent.
Furthermore, catnip has spines of tiny white, purple-dotted flowers. The stem and the leaves of it possess a capricious oil, which is known as nepetalactone. Both the leaves and the flowers are valuable for their medicinal purposes. In the actual fact, nepetalactone may trigger the sensory neurons in a lot of cats and it may literally attract them to the plant itself. This is the reason why you can often find cat toys that are stuffed with this herb.
Moreover, the nepetalactone that is present in the catnip is the same as the valepotriates present in the valerian herb. This is the reason why cats consume the catnip –it has a distinct sedative effect. In addition, there is also lemon catnip that has a very nice citrusy scent and also has the capacity to entice cats with their stimulating scent, yet calming effect when it is eaten.
Catnip: What does it do to cats?
As what we have mentioned earlier, it is the genetics that leads cats to get affected by the herb. About one in two cats will go high and crazy for this herb and it is in between the ages of 3 & 6 months old that a particular reaction is expected to get noticed by the cat owner. As what I have said above, it will only take about a sniff or two for a cat to go crazy.
When the cats sniff a catnip, the effects usually last for about 10 mins. The behaviors of it may include the following:
- Head shaking
- Head rubbing
Some cats will also display these excited behaviors after smelling the catnip, while the others will just get so mellow. Some other reactions may start as delirium, which will end up in the violent playfulness.no matter what the reaction of the cat to the herb is, the reaction will just last for a minute.
Health Benefits of Catnip
As what we have said earlier, it is not just the cats that benefit from this herb –us, humans too. Below are some of the most astounding health benefits of catnip:
- Helps in soothing the skin. Drinking catnip tea may help in treating skin troubles. Furthermore, due to the fact that hives are frequently related to stress, the herb may help in calming the nervous system as well as in acting as a natural treatment for hives. This is one of the best health benefits of catnip.
- Tension reducer and sleep booster. If you are struggling with sleep deprivation, catnip can be beneficial for you. Various health professionals recommend the use of catnip as a mild sedative for those who are struggling with nervous exhaustion and insomnia. These are all thanks to the nepetalactone in the perennial herb. The consumption of the herb may have sedative-like effects. This is the reason why it may be beneficial with sleep troubles and tension headaches.
- Helps in relieving cough. The traditional medicine has used the catnip as one of the many natural remedies for a cough. In fact, catnip has a long history of use for the natural relief for a cough. One study using animal tissue actually concludes that the catnip possesses muscle relaxant abilities and antispasmodic properties. Another research also suggests that the inclusion of catnip in the bronchodilators is necessary. This is because they believe that the herb is essential in treating cough and even asthma.
- Helps in reducing stress. Just as the valerian herb, chamomile, and lemon balm, the catnip is a traditionally used herb and is known to have a calming effect on human health. drinking catnip tea may be beneficial in reducing stress.
Generally, catnip is safe for adults in small amounts, like in tea, nevertheless, it may be not safe if you take them in high doses through the mouth or if you smoke them. Catnip is also unsafe for children when taken by mouth, the side effects of too much consumption of this herb by mouth can be vomiting, sluggishness, irritability, headaches, and stomach pain.