Natural Health Products

Non-traditional solutions to help boost your health and wellness.


General Information

Catnip has been traditionally used as an herbal tea in places such as Kazakhstan. Historically, catnip has been used to treat insomnia, flatulence, nervousness, and upset stomach (digestive spasms, diarrhea). Catnip has also been used to treat colds, the flu, and fevers.

Common Name(s)
catnip, catmint
Scientific Name(s)

Nepeta cataria

How is this product usually used?

The aerial parts of the catnip plant are used medicinally, taken orally (by mouth).

In general, the doses are:

  • dried aerial parts: 1 g to 4 g 3 times per day
  • infusion: 2 g to 4 g dried aerial parts 3 times per day
  • fluid extract: 2 g to 4 g dried equivalent 3 times per day
  • tincture: 0.4 g to 1.2 g dried equivalent 3 times per day

Your health care provider may have recommended using this product in other ways. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What is this product used for?

Catnip has been used for:

  • flatulent dyspepsia (gassy indigestion)
  • digestive cramps
  • fever
  • diarrhea
  • nervousness

People have also used catnip for:

  • insomnia
  • pain
  • migraine headaches

More reliable information is needed to show whether catnip is helpful for above uses including flatulent dyspepsia, digestive cramps, diarrhea, and nervousness.

Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What else should I be aware of?

Side effects of catnip may include headache and a general feeling of being unwell (general body discomfort). Large amounts of catnip tea may cause vomiting. In addition, there has been a report of a child experiencing stomach ache, irritability, drowsiness, and decreased alertness after consuming a large amount of catnip tea.

Catnip can interact with some medications. It increases the effects of sedative medications including benzodiazepines (e.g., lorazepam, clonazepam), barbiturates (e.g., phenobarbital), opiates (e.g., morphine, methadone, oxycodone), and herbal products (i.e., California poppy, St. John’s wort, valerian). Catnip may increase lithium levels in the body as well.

You should avoid using catnip if you have too much menstrual bleeding or pelvic inflammatory disease. Avoid using catnip if you are allergic to it.

Do not use catnip if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Consult your health care provider if your symptoms persist or worsen after taking catnip.

Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.

  1. Health Canada. Drugs & Health Products. Monograph – Catnip.
  2. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Catnip.

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