Health Benefits Of Catnip Tea



Catnip tea is a popular herbal tea that has been around for centuries. It is a powerful source of antioxidants and other essential vitamins and minerals. Whether you are looking to improve your overall health or just want a relaxing cup of tea, catnip tea may be just what you need.

About catnip tea

Catnip tea is derived from the catnip plant and is native to North America and Europe. It has medicinal properties, also known as herbal sedatives, made from dried leaves and flowers from Nepeta cataria. Catnip is naturally caffeine-free and slightly sweet, making it an ideal beverage for those looking for a calming and soothing drink. It can also be used for those who want an alternative to caffeine. Catnip tea serves both pets and humans.

Health benefits of catnip tea

Catnip tea has a mild earthy flavour and can be brewed both hot and cold. It can also be brewed along with other herbs like chamomile or lemon balm to increase its potency.

It has anti-inflammatory properties and is helpful to improve sleep quality, combat anxiety and depression, arthritis, gout, and sometimes aid in weight loss.

Catnip as a folk medicine: Traditionally, this plant has been used for its anti-spasmodic and tonic properties.

Anti-bacterial agent: It has an inhibitory effect on the growth, and enzyme production of some bacteria. Because of these antibacterial properties, catnip tea is used in many food industries as a preservative, to increase food shelf life and to prevent food spoilage.1

Catnip helps to treat gastrointestinal and respiratory conditions like diarrhoea, indigestion, asthma, bronchitis, etc.

The presence of nepetalactone compound in catnip tea provides a relaxing and calming effect.

Catnip tea helps during painful and irregular periods. It regulates uterine contractions helping to normalise irregular periods. It may also help in placenta evacuation during childbirth.2

Nutrients we can get from catnip tea

Catnip contains 70% to 90% of nepetalactone and its isomers. It is an anti-spasmodic agent and is equipped with sedative properties.

Catnip plant also contains amounts of humulene oxide, methyl ether, hexenyl benzoate, piperine, and thymol.3

Ways to include catnip tea in our diet

Catnip tea for humans should be taken in moderation. Making catnip tea is an easy process and can be done with both fresh or dried leaves. To make the tea, add 1-2 teaspoons of catnip tea to boiling water and allow the tea to steep a little. Once the tea is done, strain and discard the leaves. You can add a few drops of honey or lemon juice according to your preference.

The recommended amount is 2-3 cups per day, steeped for 5-7 minutes. While brewing catnip tea, it is important to use quality ingredients and fresh water, as this will improve both the taste and the potency of the tea.

Catnip tea has a minty, grassy taste. It gives an earthy, citrusy flavour when reacting with lemon. The longer it sits with lemon, the more you’ll taste the natural underlying minty, citrusy flavour.

If you wish to make catnip tea out of fresh leaves, you can cut the leaves and stems into small pieces and then add them to a cup of boiling water. Let the mixture steep for up to 15 minutes, strain, and enjoy your cup of catnip tea.  

How much is enough?

It lacks sufficient evidence to prove its efficacy in treating many health conditions. It’s safe to drink two to three times a day for maximum effectiveness for most people.

You can consult your doctor if you find catnip tea less effective in treating your symptoms. It also provides additional remedies that you might find useful, including lifestyle modification.

Side effects and how much to consume

The side effects of catnip tea are generally mild, but there are some potential risks associated with it. It is important to be aware of these potential side effects.

Common side effects:

  • It has sedative properties and may cause mild drowsiness
  • Catnip tea often causes headaches in some people
  • Upset stomach because of indigestion and flatulence
  • Catnip tea acts as a diuretic and causes frequent urination and heavy perspiration, leading to dehydration
  • Although it is said that catnip tea helps in treating colic, it is not tested in infants yet. It may result in excessive sluggishness in children and infants
  • Drinking too much catnip tea can lead to overdose, resulting in symptoms such as confusion, rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, and even seizures

This tea has not been extensively studied and its effect on pregnant or nursing women is unknown. It can cause uterine contractions resulting in premature labour.

Catnip tea should be avoided for several weeks before surgery so that it doesn’t interfere with the anaesthesia and the central nervous system.

When it comes to consuming catnip tea, it is important to take it in the proper amount. Too much can lead to an upset stomach and other unwanted side effects. Additionally, if any unpleasant side effects occur, stop taking catnip tea and seek medical advice. It is also advised to speak to your doctor before taking catnip tea, as it can interact with certain medications.


Catnip tea has many proven health benefits, including its ability to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. It is a safe alternative to other herbal teas and can easily be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle. The health benefits of catnip tea are numerous, making it an ideal choice for those looking for a natural remedy to improve overall health and well-being. However, catnip may cause drowsiness and other side effects, so it is best to consume it in moderation.


  1. Zomorodian K, Saharkhiz MJ, Shariati S, Pakshir K, Rahimi MJ, Khashei R. Chemical composition and antimicrobial activities of essential oils from nepeta cataria l. Against common causes of food-borne infections. ISRN Pharm [Internet]. 2012 Jun 17 [cited 2023 May 5];2012:591953. Available from:
  2. Are your feline friends onto something? Here’s the deal with catnip tea [Internet]. Greatist. 2021 [cited 2023 May 5]. Available from:
  3. Benefits of catnip and its side effects [Internet]. Lybrate. [cited 2023 May 5]. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Bhashwati Deb Barma

Bachelor of Physiotherapy,M.S., Ramaiah Medical College, India

Bhashwati is a Physiotherapist with a firm grasp of Paediatric physiotherapy and is currently working with special children in the community.

She has 6 years of experience working in hospitals and non-profit organizations set up. As a writer by passion, she is putting up her practical and academic knowledge into her articles.

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