Catnip: What is this special herb?

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Catnip, also known as Catmint, is an herb with a fascinating history and versatile applications. In this article, we explore what catnip is, how it affects both humans and cats, and how to successfully grow it in your garden.


Catnip belongs to the mint family and is known for its leaves and small flowers. Despite its name suggesting otherwise, it is not only interesting to cats but also offers numerous benefits for humans. The history of catnip spans centuries, taking a journey through various cultures and eras. Originally from Europe and Asia, catnip found its way to other parts of the world due to its medicinal properties. Even in ancient times, people recognized the unique qualities of this herb.


Catnip provides many benefits for human consumption. It can be dried and used to make delicious herbal tea, known for its relaxing and calming properties. Additionally, it can be incorporated into various dishes, adding a flavorful touch to salads and sauces. It may not be suitable for everyone, as its taste differs from regular herbs.


People in Asia and the Middle East have acknowledged the properties of catnip for centuries, while it is now gaining popularity in the Western world. The herb is known for its calming effects and is often used as a natural remedy for stress and insomnia. Its relaxing properties can help calm the mind and promote a sense of well-being.


Cats are often fascinated by catnip due to the compound nepetalactone found in the leaves. When exposed to catnip, cats may exhibit various reactions, including excitement, purring, and playful behavior. Some cats may even become more relaxed. It is a natural and safe way to add some extra joy to your cat’s life. Just like us humans, cats sometimes need a little adventure!


Catnip thrives best in well-draining soil and requires sunlight to grow successfully. It is a hardy plant that comes back year after year. Growing catnip in your garden is relatively easy, making it a delightful addition to your backyard. You can harvest and grow it perfectly well in the Netherlands.

In conclusion, while catnip certainly captures the attention of our furry friends, it also has much to offer to humans. Whether enjoying a soothing cup of herbal tea or adding a flavorful twist to your dishes, catnip is a valuable herb with positive effects for both humans and cats.

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