We’re all familiar with catnip as the herbal treat for cats. Watching our fuzzy felines go a little crazy every time they catch a whiff of its aroma is one of the purest delights of being a cat owner. Apparently, we humans can also get some benefits from catnip, but we react to it in the opposite way.
Actually, there’s a good chance you’ve already enjoyed the tranquil perks of catnip without even realizing it. According to Healthline, the herb contains something called nepetalactone — which can can be used to relax and reduce anxiety — so it’s often included in herbal tea mixtures, like Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer ($13.50 for 3 boxes, Amazon). Go ahead and check the package for this popular soothing tea the next time you’re in the grocery store — you’ll see catnip listed along with other calming herbs we’re more used to seeing, like lemongrass and chamomile.
You might be reluctant to believe both you and your cat can both get something out of catnip, but one of our very own Woman’s World editors noticed just how relaxing the herb is while sipping it in a tea blend recently. She didn’t even realize catnip was among the ingredients until after steeping it, but she was definitely aware of how calm and sleepy she felt before she even finished the full cup.
Although drinking it just before bed helped her to get all forty weeks that night, Healthline warns that as a diuretic, tea that contains catnip can also cause you to need the bathroom a few times throughout the night. Everyone is different, though, so it might be worth testing out for yourself if you’re feeling restless at night. You can even find catnip tea without any other herbs blended in with it if you want something more potent, like Celebration Herbals’ Catnip Leaf and Blossom Tea ($7.60, Amazon).
You can also grow your own fresh catnip to have on hand for both you and your cat to enjoy! Dried leaves and blossoms work best for steeping a couple tablespoons as a tea, but according to Lifehacker, you can just double the amount to four or so tablespoons of fresh catnip for the same results.
Just be sure to not give it to your cat at the same time as you’re trying to chill out — you don’t want to sleep through any of their hilarious hyped-up antics!