ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Believe it or not, catnip actually has health benefits for humans.
It has been long used in traditional medicine to relieve a number of ailments, according to Healthline. However, these effects depend on how the plant is consumed.
There is another plant that more people are getting health benefits from recently; marijuana. Those smokers might be wondering if they can get benefits from catnip if they smoke it instead.
While residents can technically smoke catnip, they will not get any psychoactive effects. Plus, smoking in general is bad for lung health.
The American Cancer Society said that herbal cigarettes “give off tar, particulates, and carbon monoxide,” which are dangerous to a person’s health. Since catnip is a member of the mint family, it runs the risk of having these side effects.
However, there are healthier ways for people to consume the plant and receive the health benefits, but they might be asking what those benefits actually are.
While the plant makes cats all energetic and wacky, it has the opposite effect for humans. Catnip contains a compound called nepetalactone, which helps to calm and sedate.
Because of this, many people use catnip to help with anxiety, restlessness and insomnia.
In addition, catnip might also help people get rid of headaches. While there is no clinical data to support this claim, many people swear by using the plant to relieve that pain.
In terms of actually consuming catnip, there are multiple ways for people to ingest it healthily. One of the easiest ways would be to make tea from dried leaves and flowers. There are also catnip extracts available for people to drop into water.
However, like most medicines, there are side effects for taking catnip that most people should be aware of.
Depending on how a person uses it, catnip can lead to an upset stomach, skin and eye irritation, uterine contractions, headaches and drowsiness.
In addition, people that have a mint allergy should avoid it, since it is part of the mint family. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should refrain from using it, as well as infants and children. People that have pelvic inflammatory disease should also stay away from catnip.