Catnip essential oil derives from the catnip plant, which is also referred to as cat mint. This plant grows wild as a weed but can also be found in herb gardens. The essential oil has a pale yellow to orange color, with a hint of a minty fragrance. Uses of it originate in Asia, Africa and Europe, and was first popular infused in tea. Eventually it traveled to North America, where its other medicinal qualities were utilized. (1) Catnip is known mostly for its amusing effect on cats. However, it also is beneficial for human use.
Here are 10 uses and benefits of catnip essential oil:
1. Relieves Spasms and Cramps
2. Treats Bloating and Removes Gas
Issues with chronic gas bubbles and bloating can be painful and uncomfortable. However, catnip oil can offer some relief, as it’s a carminative, meaning it can help remove gas from the intestines. Catnip oil helps relieve gas by way of a safe, downward motion, and also prevents additional gases from forming. If you suffer from gas-related issues, give catnip oil a try. (3)
3. Helps Detox the Body
Catnip essential oil helps detoxify the body, as it is both diaphoretic and diuretic. That means it induces sweating as well as promotes frequency and quantity of urination. Both of these bodily functions help remove toxins from the body, which helps in cleansing the liver and kidneys and in preventing renal failure. (4)
4. Relieves Problems With Menstruation
Catnip oil is an emmenagogue, which means it can induce hormonal secretions and help you achieve regular menstruation. So, if you suffer from abnormal periods or obstructed menses, catnip oil may help alleviate your symptoms. The bonus here is that it can also help reduce painful menstrual cramps. (5)
5. Promotes a Healthy Nervous System
With its calming effects, catnip essential oil acts as a tonic for the nerves. You can use it to ease symptoms of anxiety or to help ward off a panic attack. Furthermore, it can calm shaking hands or limbs, correct vertigo, relieve convulsions, and may even help in symptoms associated with Alzhimmer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. (6)
6. Prevents Stomach Ulcers
This oil also helps reduce stomach disorders, such as stomach ulcers, by ensuring the proper flow of bile and gastric juices in the stomach. Ulcers can occur due to a lack of bile, which neutralizes the ulcer-causing acids. (7)
7. Promotes Urination
As mentioned above, catnip oil is diuretic, meaning it promotes urination. This can be helpful for those suffering from excess fluid build-up in the body due to renal failure. It also helps in weight loss, reducing blood pressure, and removing toxins from the body by means of urination. (8)
8. Stimulates Appetite
With its various positive effects on the digestive system, catnip essential oil can also help stimulate and correct a sluggish appetite. Furthermore, it acts as an overall stimulant for the body. For example, it activates the nervous, brain, digestive, circulatory, and excretory systems. (9)
9. Promotes Healthy Skin and Oral Health
You can also use catnip oil as an astringent, as it helps tighten loose skin, muscles, and gums. Furthermore, it may help prevent the loosening of teeth and teeth loss, if used regularly. (10)
10. Helps Cure Insomnia
Catnip essential oil can also help cure your insomnia. It has remarkable sedative properties, which helps for falling asleep, as well as for treating anxiety or tension. In essence, this oil helps relax both the body and the mind.
However, avoid taking catnip oil too close to bedtime if you’ve also had a substantial amount of water or other liquids late in the evening. In this case, its diuretic effects may rob you of a restful sleep. Otherwise, enjoy a cup of catnip tea to help you relax and prepare for bed. (11)
Warnings about Use of Catnip Essential Oil:
While catnip oil is safe for most people to use, women who are pregnant should avoid it. Additionally, with any essential oil, you should test a small amount to see how it will affect you before using regular doses.