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  • Writer's pictureNicole Salter

Catnip oil - yes, it's a thing

Updated: Oct 30, 2022

You know those adorable kitten videos on Facebook where they poke the sleeping cat and it just flops around instead of waking up? Well, that cat sure didn't just enjoy a bunch of catnip. Catnip is a stimulant for cats; it's like the crack cocaine of the feline world. This just highlights the differences in the animal kingdom because for humans, catnip is a sedative - and a whole lot more. Find out why it's time to discover this interesting, rather obscure essential oil.

Catnip essential oil bottle

Catnip Fast Facts

Catnip is...

  • A plant that was 'discovered' by conquering Romans, who used it medicinally. It was eventually brought to North America where the Natives also used it as medicine

  • Also known as cat mint - it's a member of the mint family

  • The essential oil has a very slight minty aroma

What Catnip is Used For

One of the main uses of catnip essential oil is as an insect repellent. In studies, catnip oil was shown to be more effective in repelling mosquitoes than DEET, the most common (and deadly chemical) ingredient in pesticides and insect repellents. It's even able to repel deer ticks!

Catnip is also used for its antibiotic and astringent abilities.

Benefits of Catnip Oil

Catnip essential oil can:

  • Tighten pores

  • Aid digestion

  • Stimulate appetite

  • Promote hormone production

  • Keep scalp healthy

  • Stimulates important bodily functions in the nervous system, circulatory system and excretory systems

  • Relax and sedate the mind

  • Alleviate common conditions such as fever and migraine

  • Relieve the pain of menstrual cramps, intestinal cramps and muscle cramps

How to use Catnip Essential Oil

Our first caution is...use it sparingly! Catnip oil is very expensive :) It also needs to be diluted before applying topically (as do most if not all essential oils). You can diffuse catnip oil, but it's best to first blend it with citrus oils, eucalyptus, peppermint or other essential oils to maximize the aromatherapy, since catnip oil only has a faint scent on its own.

Curious about the insect-repelling properties of catnip oil? Try this safe, non-irritating essential oil in a solid stick of All My Friends Are Insects, the easy-to-use bug repellent lotion bar that wards against bug bites.

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