Internal uses:The leaves of catnip have traditionally been chewed as a remedy for alleviating toothaches. The inhabitants of Southern Appalachia have used it since the eighteenth century as a remedy for cold. Tea made from catnip has been used to relieve intestinal cramps and gas discomforts. Recent researches show that consumption of teas containing catnip has anti-cholinergic effects. Catnip has been used for relief of insomnia and prevention of nightmares, and has a mild anti-spasmodic effect and is used to treat cramps. The juice from the leaves was used to stimulate menstrual flow. It has been used in the treatment of children’s ailments, such as colicky pain, flatulence and restlessness. The herb has also been used as a cold remedy, for hives, to promote sweating(diaphoretic), and a pain killer(anodyne). (Please refer to an herbal dictionary like for further information on these terms.)Since it promotes relaxation it is also used to lessen migraine headaches.
External uses:Poultices made from catnip have commonly been used for toothaches, though they can be applied to any part of the body. It has been used to reduce swelling associated with soft tissue injuries, like bruises and recent studies have shown it to have antibacterial and antiviral substances. Poulices have been applied to sore breasts of nursing mothers and to the neck for tonsillitis. Thymol extracted from catnip has beneficial antiseptic uses on the skin and in the nasal and pharyngeal passages. Catnip oil repels insects and has even been shown to kill termites. The flowering tops of catnip yield up to 1.0 % volatile oil, 78 % being nepatalactone, the main attractant to cats.
Catnip is easy to grow and use. Research it for yourself and see if you can use catnip in your home.
One of my favorite herbal books. A referral link to Amazon is shown below. There are a lot of herbal books out there. Find books that you feel comfortable with, that list interactions with any pharmaceuticals you might be taking and always use caution when using herbs as medicine.
*I am not a doctor. It is important that you exercise caution when considering using any herb for medicinal purposes; seek professional advice and do your own research before using them.