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Overview

Benefits of Catnip And Its Side Effects

Getting its name due to the sedating effect it has on cats, catnip is also known as catmint and catswort. Catnip can be applied externally in the form of an oil extracted from its leaves or can be consumed internally in the form of tea brewed from its leaves. In addition to its culinary uses, catnip is mostly used as an extract in tea, juices, and tinctures; it is inhaled by smoking in the leaves of the herb. The plant is known to benefit conditions such as stress, menstrual pain, cold, fever, insomnia, anxiety, etc.

Benefits of Catnip And Its Side Effects

Table of Content

Catnip
Nutritional Value of Catnip
Health Benefits of Catnip
For nervous disorders
For sound sleep
Stress-reliever
Speeds up healing
Benefits the skin
Relieves headache
Improves digestion
Alleviates menstrual pain
For weight loss
Anti-inflammatory properties
Uses of Catnip
Side-Effects & Allergies of Catnip
Cultivation of Catnip

Catnip

Belonging to the mint family, the leaves of the catnip are coarse, brownish green and triangular or elliptical in shape. The flowers however are fragrant and colourful commonly pink or white with purple spots on them. It is a low perennial plant that grows in the form of loose branches. It is considered to be an ornamental plant commonly known to attract butterflies and cats.

Nutritional Value of Catnip

Catnip is composed 70% to 90% of nepetalactone and its isomers. It is an anti-spasmodic agent and is equipped with sedative properties. Catnip also contains reasonable amounts of humulene oxide, thymol methyl ether, hexenyl benzoate and piperitone.

Health Benefits of Catnip

Mentioned below are the best health benefits of Catnip
Health Benefits of Catnip

For nervous disorders

Catnip has potent nervine properties that enable it to alleviate and prevent conditions affecting the central nervous system. It is thus, considered to be a highly effective natural herb for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, insomnia, vertigo, indigestion, nervousness related anxiety.

For sound sleep

Catnip is known to effectively tackle sleep restlessness and insomnia. Owing to nepetalactone, catnip induces a feeling of calm and relaxation acting as a natural sleep aid. This natural herb is a safe sedative to be used instead of sleep inducing pharmaceutical drugs that are responsible for widely known side-effects. A cup of catnip tea before going to bed comes a long way in rendering a sound sleep.

Stress-reliever

Catnip acts as a stress-reliever due to its sedating properties. It also helps alleviate chronic anxiety when consumed orally in the form of tea, juice or its leaves smoked in. It boosts the immune strength and keeps symptoms of chronic stress at bay.

Speeds up healing

When the body is faced with a condition like cold and flu, it is imperative for the toxins in the body to be flushed out in order to speed up the healing process. The flushing out of toxins is made possible by way of sweating and urination. Catnip results in increased sweating that prevents the pathogens and harmful toxins from being contained in the body and flushes them out intensively. It thus speeds up the healing process of the body and is commonly used as an alternate drug to treat common cold and fever.

Benefits the skin

Catnip is commonly known to repel certain types of bugs and insects. Apart from being an ornamental plant, catnip also has healing properties for soothing bug bites and alleviating irritation caused due to inflammation. Applying extract of the catnip leaves on the affected area of the skin soothes and heals it reducing inflammation and repairing the broken skin.

Relieves headache

Catnip is known to effectively reduce and banish headaches, chronic migraine. In the event of a headache, sipping hot catnip tea or applying catnip oil on the temples helps relieve the ache. Due to the soothing and sedating qualities of the herb, it effectively alleviates migraine pain and induces calm.

Improves digestion

Catnip effectively tackles with digestive problems such as constipation, bloating of the stomach, cramping, flatulence, etc. It also aids with reducing and eliminating inflammation in the gastrointestinal system, relieves discomfort and tightness of the stomach.

Alleviates menstrual pain

Apart from tackling common menstruation problems like mood swings, depression and restlessness, catnip is known to effectively reduce and eliminate menstrual cramps. Catnip tea is highly recommended for women suffering from menstrual cramps as it soothes the pain and speeds up the healing process of the breakage.

For weight loss

Catnip is a complete nutritional compound in its own right. It is composed of minerals like phosphorous, manganese, sodium, sulphur and other nutritional compounds like acetic acid, nepetalic acid, etc. Being a diaphoretic agent, catnip leads to increased perspiration. This enables all harmful toxins to be flushed out from the body, improves the rate of metabolism and eventually the rate of fat burning process of the body.

Anti-inflammatory properties

Catnip is an effective remedy for inflammatory disorders like gout, sprained muscles, arthritis and hemorrhoids. Catnip used in the form of tea or its applied on the affected area helps eliminate and reduce inflammatory symptoms.

Uses of Catnip

Due to its efficiency as a sedating agent, catnip is highly effective in treating problems like inflammation, indigestion, insomnia, stress, migraine and menstrual cramps. It induces relaxation and eliminates stress, anxiety, boosts the metabolism and the body’s healing process.

Side-Effects & Allergies of Catnip

Due to its emmenagogue property, catnip is advised to be not consumed by pregnant women. For women planning to conceive too, since catnip promotes menstrual flow, it is advised to be refrained from.

Cultivation of Catnip

The catnip herb is three to four feet tall that grows well in rich loam but is adept at growing in any type of soil. It grows in both sunlight and shade and is planted in rows around 12 to 18 inches apart. Catnip is widely grown in North America, northern Europe and New Zealand.

Popular Questions & Answers

I have suffering viral fever last two days please tell me what can I do for cure.

MBBS, DNB (General Medicine), Certified in Evidence Based Diabetes Management, MNAMS, MRCP (UK)
Internal Medicine Specialist, Kolkata
Thank you for the query. Viral fever usually runs a course of 5-6 days before subsiding on its own. You need to drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated and take a course of multivitamin tablets. Tablet Paracetamol can be taken when temperature exceeds 100 F or in case of headache/bodyache. Usually antibiotics are not needed in a simple case of viral fever. However, if fever persists for a longer time and symptoms like cough with sputum, bleeding from any site, burning during urination develops then some laboratory investigation will be needed. I would advise you to go for some basic tests like Hemoglobin, WBC count/TC and malaria parasite to rule out any other pathology like bacterial infection or malaria, wherein the treatment plan changes. Regards.
2 people found this helpful

Popular Health Tips

Gall Bladder Stone Pain - Tips To Help You Manage It!

MBBS, MD - Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Pain Management Specialist, Jaipur
Gall Bladder Stone Pain - Tips To Help You Manage It!

Gall bladder stones can be painful. Until and unless it is surgically removed and cured from within, the pain continues to hinder daily life. The good news is that there are ways by which pain from gall bladder stones could be managed.

Here is a list of quick, easy-to-follow remedies to counter the pain.

  1. Heat Pack: Applying a heat pack or hot water bottle on to the stomach making sure that the heat is directly passed on to the gall bladder can give instant relief from the pain. The heat should be applied at an interval of half an hour and a layer of cloth should be placed in between the skin and the heat pack.
  2. Over the counter medicine: In most cases, over the counter pain relief meds can make the pain go away. NSAIDs should be avoided until and unless suggested by the doctor. A pain relief medicine with anti-inflammatory properties will perfectly suit the gall bladder condition.
  3. Try vegetable juice: While gulping vegetable juice might sound a little indifferent, it has instant benefits with no side effect. All it needs is to mix beetroot, cucumber, and carrot in equal proportions and extract the juice from it. The juice extracted from this mixture should be consumed twice in a week to flush out the toxins from the system and ease the gall bladder pain.
  4. Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits such as lemon, orange etc. contains pectin that is believed to be a remover of stones and blockages. This is also believed to be a great agent for countering pain originating from the gall bladder. Consumption of 10-12 tablespoon of lemon juice extracted from fresh lemons followed by a glass of water will wither the pain away in few weeks.
  5. A mixture of honey and turmeric: Honey’s antiseptic nature prevents infection and the curcumin found in turmeric makes the bile more soluble in the gall bladder. These two herbs in tandem can ease the gall bladder pain and get relief from the stones too. A tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of turmeric should be consumed daily to get the benefits.
  6. Take the herbal route: There are several herbals that are believed to be extremely effective in treating pain origination from the gall bladder. Some of them include goldenseal, quebrapedra, catnip, fennel seed, yellow dock, rosemary, nettle, peppermint herbal tea etc.
  7. Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is acidic in nature and consumption of a quarter of a glass followed by a quarter of a glass of apple juice can show instant results. It should be consumed daily after breakfast. There are instances where the pain eases out within a matter of 15 minutes. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Pain Management Specialist.
2860 people found this helpful

6 Magical Tips to Cope with Migraine Attacks

Ayurveda, Delhi

6 Magical Tips to Cope with Migraine Attacks

Migraines affect up to 18 percent of women and 6 percent of men in the United States. Today, migraines affect as many as four out of every five people in America.  Doctors are still unraveling the mysteries of migraines. Most doctors believe a combination of things that cause people to have migraines. The causes of migraines range from genetics to neurovascular imbalances in the brain.

Why Do Most People Experience Weather Related Migraines?

It is not entirely clear why some people experience more migraines around the change of weather.  Even though the cause of weather related migraines has not been identified, there are ways to decrease the severity, reduce and prevent migraines from occurring.

In a recent survey by the National Headache Foundation, headache sufferers were given a list of possible causes. They were asked to rank them in terms of what commonly brought on their migraines. Three out of every four respondents said that weather triggered their headache pain.

Specific weather triggers included:

  • Changes in humidity
  • Changes in temperature
  • Storms
  • Extremely dry conditions

Most people have an idea of what causes their migraines, but the real question is what can you do to help reduce the amount of migraines, decrease the severity or prevent the migraines from occurring?   Below are six tips to help you cope and find a solution to preventing your migraines. 

6 Tips on How to Cope With Your Migraines

Tip # 1 – Keep a Diary of Your Migraines:

Keeping a diary is the first step toward finding a solution, so your migraines do not disrupt you and stop you from having a healthy, happy and productive life.  The first step is to try to figure out what triggers your migraines.  One way to do that is to keep a diary of all your migraines.  If you think weather is a reason for your migraines then record any of the common weather and environmental factors that may have initiated your migraines. Keep a detailed diary and bring this diary to your doctor, so your doctor can figure what the best treatment is for you.

In your diary, you should include:

  • What part of the brain do you feel the pain?
  • What does the pain feel like?
  • The time your headache began and when it ended
  • Any changes in the weather, such as storms, high winds, or high humidity
  • Any warning signs – symptoms before the migraine occurred
  • Any treatment you tried, and whether it helped or made the migraine worse

Tip # 2 – Making Changes in Your Daily Regimen:

Making changes in your everyday life can help reduce the number and severity of migraines you are experiencing. Here are some changes you can incorporate into your life that can help improve the number of migraines you are experiencing.

  • Sleep: Make sure you get enough of sleep and try going to sleep around the same time each night.  Interruptions in your sleep schedule, getting too much or too little sleep, can trigger a migraine.
  • Exercise regularly: Research has shown that regular, moderate aerobic exercise may reduce the severity, duration, and number of migraines in many people. Regular exercise also helps control stress, another migraine trigger.
  • Eat regular meals: Eating healthy meals regularly are important to maintain level blood sugar. A drop in blood sugar can trigger a migraine.
  • Drink plenty of water: Make sure you drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, which can trigger migraine.
  • Limit stress: For many migraine sufferers, stress is plays a big factor. Take time each day to relax. Find something that helps you relax like listening to soothing music, taking short walks, meditating or doing yoga.
  • Try complementary therapies: Try using complementary therapy to help prevent migraines. For example, you may be able to manage stress and prevent migraines through acupuncture, massages and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Tip # 3 – Incorporate Certain Foods into Your Diet:

If you are a migraine sufferer like me, you are constantly looking for prevention ideas. Certain foods can help fight off and prevent migraines.  These foods include:

  • Cayenne: Cayenne peppers are widely recognized as culinary ingredients that add intense heat and flavor to southwest American, Caribbean, Indian and Asian dishes. However, this pepper may also offer healing benefits. Capsaicin, the chemical that gives cayenne peppers their heat, may help reduce blood vessel constriction. This may help prevent rapid blood pressure fluctuations that can trigger migraine headaches.
  • Coffee: When it comes to coffee, caffeine can give you migraine relief. It is a major ingredient in many headache medications. However, if you consume too much, it can actually cause migraines. Moderation is key!
  • Flaxseed and Fish: An anti-inflammatory diet is beneficial to preventing migraines.  Flaxseeds and fish are packed with omega-3s and fiber can actually help prevent migraines.
  • Riboflavin-rich Foods: Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B-2, is one of eight B vitamins necessary for the metabolism of nutrients and protection of your central nervous system. A deficiency of this vitamin may also contribute to headaches, particularly migraines. Adding foods high in riboflavin may help stop recurring migraines by correcting deficiencies. Eggs, avocados, broccoli, romaine lettuce, alfalfa, asparagus, walnuts and mushrooms are abundant sources of riboflavin.
  • Magnesium-rich Foods: About 60 percent of migraine sufferers may have magnesium deficiencies. Magnesium is a trace mineral that may help normalize nerve impulses in your brain that transmit pain signals. This may help stop intense pain associated with migraine headaches. It may also help regulate the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter chemical that may contribute to sudden changes in blood pressure – a contributing factor of migraines. Increase your magnesium intake by consuming foods such as kale, tofu, lima beans, kelp, garlic, apples, bananas and apricots.

Tip # 4 – Consider Dietary Supplements:

  • Magnesium: This is probably the most important one as it contributes to relaxing the brain blood vessels that cause the pain. Magnesium penetrates cell membranes, including the mitochondria. Some of the best drugs used to treat migraines are calcium channel blockers.
  • Vitamin B2: (riboflavin) – Riboflavin, which is vitamin B2, converts energy from carbohydrates. The riboflavin gives your brain more energy, which makes it less likely to be bothered by migraine triggers.
  • Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is needed so the body can properly use serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters are necessary for normal nerve cell communication. Researchers have found lower levels of serotonin in people with migraine headaches. Therefore taking Vitamin B6 may help the body better use these crucial chemicals and it is thought be a key vitamin for migraine aura and a natural remedy for migraines.
  • Vitamin B12 & Folic acid:  Vitamin B-12 supplements may also be effective for migraine relief if taken along with vitamin B6 and folic acid. A study published in “Pharmacogenetics & Genomics” in June 2009 showed that participants who took all three supplements together saw a reduction in migraine headache frequency and the severity of their pain.

Tip # 5 – Consider the Possibilities of Herbal Supplements:

For centuries, many people have used alternative therapies to help or cure common conditions.    Certain herbs have been used to help reduce or prevent migraines.  Some can be just as strong or effective as prescription drugs. Therefore, it is important to remember, if you consider using any type of herbal supplements, consult your doctor first.  Make sure it does not conflict with any medications you are currently taking.   You should not take any herbal supplements or drugs unless your doctor says it is OK and if you are pregnant, you should not take any herbal supplements because it may harm the baby.

Herbal supplements used to reduce and prevent migraines include the following:

  • Alfalfa Leaf
  • Barberry Root
  • Bay Leaf
  • Brazilian Guarana
  • Butterbur
  • Catnip
  • Cayenne
  • Chamomile
  • Dong Quai
  • Evening Primrose
  • Feverfew
  • Ginger Root
  • Green Tea
  • Griffonia Seed
  • Hawthorne Leaf
  • Honeysuckle
  • Kola Nut
  • Lemon Balm
  • Passion Flower
  • Peppermint Leaf
  • Valerian Root
  • White Willow Bark
  • Wintergreen
  • Wood Betony

Tip # 6 – Prescription Medications:

Not all experts would recommend using medication to prevent temperature-change-related migraines.  However, if you have tried natural, holistic and alternative therapies to try to eliminate your migraines and nothing seems to be effective then you should focus on other alternatives such as prescription medications specifically made to help people suffering from migraines.

Below are some prescription medications for patients suffering from migraines:

  1. Antiepileptic drugs: Certain medications used to control seizures are also effective for preventing migraines as well. These drugs may work by calming the neurons in the brain. Neuron “hyperexcitability” plays a role in migraine and epilepsy. Up to 20% of people with epilepsy also suffer from migraines including myself.  Anti – seizure medications that help migraines include:
    1. Depacon (valproate)
    2. Depakote (divalproex)
    3. Topiragen, Topamax (topiramate)
  2.  Beta-blockers: These medications are frequently used to treat high blood pressure and heart disease. It is not clear how they help prevent migraines. Nevertheless, beta-blockers improve the blood flow and this may be significant reason why beta-blockers help prevent migraines.  Beta-blockers that have been proven effective for the prevention of migraines include:
    1.  Blocadren (timolol)
    2. Inderal, Innopran XL (propranolol)
    3. Lopressor, Toprol XL (metoprolol)
  3. Antidepressants: These medications affect the level of the brain chemical serotonin. Research has shown that Elavil (amitriptyline) and Effexor (venlafaxine) work well for preventing migraines.

Headache Cure With 15 Herbs

Ayurveda, Delhi
Headache Cure With 15 Herbs

Not tonight hunny, I have a headache.

Here's a list of 15 herbs that might help you with your headache.

1. All spice: This spice is an analgesic, which means it has a numbing effect on the nerves and gives relief from pains such as headaches and sinus problems. It is also a relaxant, and has a calming effect on the body and mind.

2. Borage:  Borage is known for its soothing properties and it helps the body cope with stress and nervous tension. This is perfect for tension headache problems.

3. Catnip: This herb is a wonderful sedative and helps relax your body and relieve stress. Even better, it is safe for children. It will help as a pain reliever for your headaches and can even work for migraines, though you will need to take a strong infusion in order to fully relieve a migraine.

4. Chamomile: Chamomile is a wonderful remedy for stress, nerves, and anxiety. This one is also safe for children. It has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, helping with certain types of headaches.

5. Feverfew: This herb is a famous remedy for migraines and headaches. It also has a calming effect and helps reduce stress. However, it is most famous for reducing the amount of migraines a sufferer has. If you often get bad headaches or migraines, this herb is best used as a preventative. Take it every day, either eat the leaves raw, in a salad, in a piece of bread, in your tea, in tincture form, etc. You will get less migraines by taking feverfew daily.

6. Horseradish: This herb/root is a wonderful nasal and sinus decongestant, for those that suffer from sinus headaches. The raw leaves are supposedly an analgesic, and if you press the leaves on your forehead, they help numb headache pain. In addition, if you have a sinus headache, take some juice or sauce made with horseradish and watch the sinus problems vanish. I find that just chopping the horseradish helps drip out the clogged sinuses and brings relief.

7. Lavender: Lavender’s scent promotes relaxation. It eases anxiety and increases calmness, which means that lavender is a big help for stress-related headaches. I find massaging lavender essential oil on my forehead helps my headaches, and sometimes just smelling the essential oil is enough to make my headache ease up.

8. Lemon balm: This herb is good for tension and anxiety-type headaches. It promotes a calming and relaxing feeling and is a mild sedative as well, if you are like me and you need to sleep off some of the bigger headaches.

9. Lemon verbena: Lemon verbena is also a calming herb, excellent for relaxing and aiding nerves and anxiety. It is also full of vitamin c, which is helpful for bad headaches.

10. Passion flower: Passionflower is a wonderful sedative and helps those that suffer from nervousness or anxiety. It gives a calming effect and is also a mild pain reliever.

11. Rosemary: This herb is a stimulant to the nerves and also improves circulation. For this reason, it is a good tactic for some headache-types, like cluster headaches. It reminds me of the remedy where you put your feet in as hot of water as you can handle. You do this to help improve your blood circulation, because the blood rushes to your feet, giving you instant headache relief. A rosemary tea/infusion would be excellent in combination with this tactic to help improve circulation and relieve these types of headaches.

12. Sage: This common culinary herb is wonderful for a few specific types of headaches. It is good for cluster-type headaches, where you need to keep the blood circulating (making it a great combination with rosemary). It is also good for headaches from eating too heavy of meals (stimulates digestion). It is also good for hormonally caused headaches, especially those from menopause (it also helps with hot flashes). In large doses, it is also great for tension and nerve-related headaches.

13. Skullcap: This herb is a relaxing nerve and has antispasmodic properties. It is an excellent remedy for anxiety/stress/tension headaches and is a mild sedative as well.

14. Valerian: Valerian is a strong sedative and also a strong pain-reliever. It helps heal the nervous system and is also an excellent remedy for stress and anxiety. I always include valerian in my teas or as a tincture for my headaches. I find that it is more of a pain reliever than tylenol-type pills, without the negative side effects. I love that it helps me sleep off my headaches as well.

15. Vervain: This herb has a restorative effect on the nervous system. It is wonderful for stress and tension headaches for this reason. It also has pain-relieving qualities.

2 people found this helpful

5 Ways You Can Get Rid of Mosquitoes

MBBS, Post Graduate Diploma in Diabetology (PGDD)
General Physician, Chennai
5 Ways You Can Get Rid of Mosquitoes

With a number of virus and other mosquito borne disease threats looming in, such as dengue, chikungunya, malaria and other deadly diseases. The number of cases are on the rise throughout the country, there has been an alarming rise is the use of market bought mosquito repellents. While they are no doubt, very effective, but they also emit gases which can be harmful to us. There exist in our homes, commodities with which we can achieve the same results - to have a mosquito-free home. Few such ways are as follows:

1. Though it might smell bad initially, it is also the reason why mosquitoes will stay away. Crush a few pods of garlic, boil it in water and spray the liquid in the room, especially in the corners.

2. Camphor is easily available and good way to get rid of mosquitoes. Light a little bit of camphor in a room after closing all doors and windows. Leave the room for about twenty minutes and when you go back, your room will be mosquito free.

3. Infuse citronella oil in a candle and burn the candle to have a mosquito free room. Alternatively, you can use the oil in a vaporizer.

4. If you have a garden, plant mosquito repellent plants like lavender, catnip and citronella in the areas near the windows of your house to drive the mosquitoes away.

5. Get rid of all stored water within and around your house. These waters are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. If you need to store water for the unexpected shortage of water, make sure that you keep changing it. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a General Physician.

4749 people found this helpful

Keep Your Home Mosquito Free - 5 Simple Tips!

MD - General Medicine, MBBS
General Physician, Durgapur
Keep Your Home Mosquito Free - 5 Simple Tips!

With a number of virus and other mosquito borne disease threats looming in, such as dengue, chikungunya, malaria and other deadly diseases. The number of cases are on the rise throughout the country, there has been an alarming rise is the use of market bought mosquito repellents. While they are no doubt, very effective, but they also emit gases which can be harmful to us. There exist in our homes, commodities with which we can achieve the same results - to have a mosquito-free home. Few such ways are as follows:

1. Though it might smell bad initially, it is also the reason why mosquitoes will stay away. Crush a few pods of garlic, boil it in water and spray the liquid in the room, especially in the corners.

2. Camphor is easily available and good way to get rid of mosquitoes. Light a little bit of camphor in a room after closing all doors and windows. Leave the room for about twenty minutes and when you go back, your room will be mosquito free.

3. Infuse citronella oil in a candle and burn the candle to have a mosquito free room. Alternatively, you can use the oil in a vaporizer.

4. If you have a garden, plant mosquito repellent plants like lavender, catnip and citronella in the areas near the windows of your house to drive the mosquitoes away.

5. Get rid of all stored water within and around your house. These waters are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. If you need to store water for the unexpected shortage of water, make sure that you keep changing it.

Sharing is caring. Share this helpful tip with your loved ones by clicking on Share below. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a general physician.

3843 people found this helpful

Table of Content

Catnip
Nutritional Value of Catnip
Health Benefits of Catnip
For nervous disorders
For sound sleep
Stress-reliever
Speeds up healing
Benefits the skin
Relieves headache
Improves digestion
Alleviates menstrual pain
For weight loss
Anti-inflammatory properties
Uses of Catnip
Side-Effects & Allergies of Catnip
Cultivation of Catnip