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5 Uses for Catnip You May or May Not Know


catnip1. Cat Toy:


This is probably the most common usage for catnip, it's in the name even! It's nip for cats! Catnip is used in a variety of toys and the chemical created when crushed, nepetalactone, is what causes the variety of reactions in cats. Only about 50% of cats are affected by it, but anyone with a cat that loves it can see the variety of reactions. I have three, all of which are affected to varying degrees. One eats it and falls asleep, one runs wildly through the house, and the other (my male) becomes a roaring lion... (or so he thinks). The reactions are always quite interesting to watch and it is harmless for your pets to enjoy. Once they stop being interested they'll be done with it and you can put it away for the next time.


But be warned, if they love it you'll want to make sure that you put it some place they cannot get. I have lost two tubs of catnip to rowdy cats that wanted to play in the nip. They have pulled them off shelves and out of cupboards and even worked open the lids.


You can also plant catnip plants and cats tend to enjoy this as well. Bruising the leaves when they grow will often draw your cats attention to the plants. Be careful planting them loose in your garden, however, as they are very hardy and can easily take over everything.


2. Bug Repellent:

Shocking isn't it that you can use this little plant and it's lovely little purple flowers as a natural bug repellent. Below is a recipe for your own mosquito repellent.


2 Cups Crushed Catnip Leaves

3 Cups White or Rice Vinegar
Seal in a jar and shake everyday for two weeks, strain and refrigerate. Use in a spray bottle on clothes, arms and legs.


While some say the vinegar does the work, you can also simply take a handful of catnip leaves and rub them over your exposed skin and what clothing you want to keep mosquito's away from. It works just as well.


3. Knockout Night Cap:


When taken orally, catnip is known for causing people to feel drowsy. If you dry the leaves and then use up to two teaspoons, steep them for ten minutes and then drink you'll be feeling pretty drowsy. The tea is also good for menstrual cramps, nausea, is an anti-flatulant, and can ease colic in infants.


Pregnant women should NOT use catnip as it can stimulate uterine contractions.


4. Spice Up Your Dinner:


Catnip was used in England as a spice for meat as far back as the 13th century. The leaves can be added to salads, soups, stews and sauces. It is a member of the mint family so expect to have just that little bit of minty freshness in your food.


5. Joint Balm Or for Healing Cuts and Scrapes:


Dilute some crushed catnip in alcohol and make a paste. Smooth this on joints or add to a compress over cuts and scrapes. Use three or four times a day to speed healing.




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