Catnip For Humans?
Its name might make us assume that it works only on cats, but some believe catnip has an effect on humans too.
Catnip belongs to the mint family, Lamiaceae, a plant species known for its aromatic leaves. One of the essential oils in catnip, nepetalactone, has the effect of stimulating sensory neurons in cats that is similar to a “sexual response“, says veterinarian Romona Turner in Scientific American. Turner also commented that “human brains are physiologically different from cat brains and people do not react to catnip by getting ‘high'”.
However, catnip was found to be used for its medicinal benefits by humans many years ago. It wasn’t just common ailments such as flu, migraines or insomnia that we are talking about. Studies on medieval texts reveal how catnip was used to aid infertility in males. For example, in The Liber de Diversis Medicinis, a collection of medical prescriptions and charms: “If a man wishes that a woman will conceive a child soon take catmint [catnip] and boil it with wine until it is reduced to a third of its original volume, and give it to him to drink on an empty stomach for three days.”
Although the use of catnip has been largely replaced by modern pharmaceuticals, some still regard the herb as an effective cure for sleep problems, and colds. People who stand by the herb’s medical claims suggest that one of the ways for us to take catnip is to have it as tea. It is said to have a “very minty taste with citrus undertones”. As with any other herbal tea, catnip tea is caffeine free.