If you are looking for a mild herbal sedative, Catnip Tea is the perfect answer for you and your loved ones.
Is your mind racing at night, leaving you exhausted during the day? Are you under pressure at work and your nerves are causing you stress?
Have a cup of a catnip infusion. This mild herbal sedative is perfect to drink at any time and is a great natural sedative for your children as well.
Let’s discover what makes this tea so special.
Catnip herbal tea is made from the leaves and flowers of the common catnip plant (nepeta cataria), also known as catmint, catswort, field balm, catrup, catnep and cat’s-play.
This member of the mint family is a perennial herb that reaches 1 meter in height and has many branches. There are over 250 varieties of catnip, but the most common one has gray-green heart-shaped leaves and hairy stems. It grows in the mild climates of the northern hemisphere, blooming in the summer, white small flowers with red spots.
Among the many varieties of catnip, two stand out for being the most usual:
- Common catnip: with heart shaped leaves and white flowers; has a minty smell and is best loved by cats.
- Lemon catnip: very similar to common catnip, but smells like lemon; it is less attractive to cats and also gives you a lovely lemony tea.
Native to Europe and parts of Asia, it has been used in medicine for more than 2000 years, as far back as the early Romans. It was brought to North America by colonists, having then spread throughout the continent. In England, catnip herbal tea was a very popular drink before the Chinese tea trade began.
Catnip makes a great tea, but it can also be used to flavour your dishes, such as stews, salads and sauces, and sprinkled into soups.
The best way to take catnip is to drink it as a tea. In doing so, you will ingest all the fabulous components that catnip contains: vitamins A, B and C, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and sodium.
But how can all this help you?
Colds, Flues and Fevers!
Other Great Uses for Catnip
Ready to take a sip of this relaxing tea?
As long as your child’s pediatrician approves, your children may drink catnip tea. He or she will know if your child has any condition that may bring on an allergy.
For babies and toddlers:
Although catnip tea is a natural sedative with no serious side effects, if you happen to be pregnant or breastfeeding, it is best not to take this tea. Catnip may cause contractions in the uterus and stimulate menstruation, so avoid it if you have menstrual disorders. Always consult your doctor first.
Try not to go to bed with a full bladder, as catnip tea is a diuretic, it may disturb your much wanted sleep.
This herbal tea does not knock you out. However, it will make you feel drowsy if you have been missing some needed sleep. In this case, it is best not to drive, instead, get comfortable and rest.
Relaxing, minty and fresh, doesn’t it sound just perfect?
So let’s learn how to make catnip tea:
First, place 1-2 teaspoons of dried catnip leaves and flowers in your cup, then pour a cup of hot water (about 250ml) over the catnip and cover. The water should be hot, but not boiling, as it will cause your catnip to lose its flavour and active ingredients.
Let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes and then strain your tea. Sweeten it with honey and lemon to taste, particularly if you are using this tea at the first signs of cold symptoms and to take away a bit of bitterness and its slightly woodsy smell. You will end up with a nice light yellow-green tea ready to drink 2 to 3 times a day.
If you use fresh catnip leaves, instead of dried ones, make sure you double the amount of catnip per cup of tea and cut the leaves in order to release their properties into the water.
Here’s a tip: mix your catnip herbal tea with chamomile or mint for a better yet relaxing taste.
Read about Catnip Tea in this great book:
If you chose to make iced catnip, double the amount of herbs as the melted ice will dilute the strength of the tea. Why not make iced catnip popsicles to give to your kids? It’s a great way for them to take this herbal tea without fuss.
This herb is great because it grows back easily even when you cut away leaves and flowers to make tea. Just avoid using chemicals on your plant.
Pick fresh leaves in the summer. The taste of catnip tea will be milder if the leaves are picked before plant blooms and pick in the morning after dew evaporates to avoid molding.
To dry catnip, make sure to collect the whole stem (5 cm from the ground) with flowering head and leaves. Then just hang a whole bunch upside down in the shade. Once dried, crumble the catnip leaves and store in an airtight jar and out of the light. Throw away the stems. Dried catnip may last for months but it will lose quality over time.
You can even store your fresh catnip in the refrigerator for a few of days to keep it fresh.
It seems so easy, doesn't it? Catnip tea is quite a great herbal remedy. Why not give it a try?
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”While there's tea there's hope.” - Sir Arthur Wing Pinero (1855-1934), British actor