In this brief article we will answer the questions: can you eat catnip, is it safe to eat catnip, what are the possible side effects of eating catnip, what is catnip, and what are the uses of catnip. We will also explore if there are benefits of eating catnip. 

Can you eat catnip?

You can eat catnip only by mouth rather than by any other means such as smoking. 

However, it is not recommended as it may not be very palatable and may lead to digestive problems in sensitive people. 

Is catnip safe to eat?

Catnip is safe to eat. It is not recommended although it may not cause any harm to the body except when smoked or inhaled. It may also be unpalatable and may cause problems like stomach aches in sensitive people. 

What are the possible side effects of eating catnip?

It helps in calming and sedation. Though it is not a good and efficient sedative. This is because catnip contains nepetalactone which has similar effects to valerian which is used as a herbal sedative. 

It also helps in managing anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia. It has also been used informally in the calming of headaches especially if taken with tea. Catnips are antimicrobial and have been reported to help in treating infections and also prevent oral infections. 

Catnip has been shown to improve genital health by promoting erectile functions and improved sexual behavior. This was shown in a research study conducted on mice and they showed improved sexual behavior and penile erections. 

Catnip can be smoked as it has the same effects as cannabis. It’s only advantageous to smoke catnip if smoked together with tobacco. This may predispose you to develop lung and throat cancer. It is sometimes used as a filter for and when smoking cannabis. 

It also has other side effects which may vary individually. They include headaches, stomach upsets, skin and eye irritations, drowsiness, and contraction of the uterine walls.

When not to use catnip?

Due to possible side effects that may be harmful in the long run, catnip should be avoided when pregnant or lactating, when you are allergic, when you have been diagnosed with Pelvic Inflammatory disease, and it should be kept away from infants and children. 

What is catnip?

Catnip is a short-lived perennial plant that grows to a height of 50-100cm. They are common in late spring and autumn. They highly resemble plants of the mint family. They have small, bilabiate, pink/white flowers that have a good fragrance.  

They are also called catswort, catwort, and catmint. They are mainly found in parts of Europe, Asia, and America. Their scientific name is Nepata cataria. They were classified in 1783 by Linnaeus. They have various uses as insect repellents and biological control of mosquitoes among many others. 

What are the uses of catnip?

They are grown as ornamental plants. They are also placed as ornaments in cat houses. This is because they are drought resistant and they grow to a good hedge height. They are also highly attractive to cats. 

They are used in the biological control of mosquitoes. This is because they produce catnip oil which is applied to cats when they rub themselves on the plant. The oil is lethal to mosquitos and can be used to get rid of mosquitos in the house. 

They are used to make insect repellants. The oil isolated from catnip is used to make insect repellents and insecticides that are used in the control of mosquitoes, cockroaches, and termites. 

Catnip is also used in the treatment of indigestion in humans. It has been used to make tisane, tincture infusions, or poultices which are used as herbal drugs to treat indigestion, fevers, hives, and nervous conditions. 

You can source some catnip here. 

What are the benefits of using catnip?

Catnip is advantageous in the following ways, 

  • Catnip helps in relieving anxiety, restlessness, and headaches. 
  • Catnip is used to make tisane, poultice, and tincture infusions that are used in treating and managing fevers, indigestion, hives, and various nervous conditions. 
  • Catnip also helps in relaxation and sedation. This is because catnip has a good and sweet fragrance. 


In this brief article we have answered the questions: can you eat catnip, is it safe to eat catnip, what are the possible side effects of eating catnip, what is catnip, and what are the uses of catnip. We have also explored if there are benefits of eating catnip. 


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