Catnip Journey: Tincture, Elixir, Toner, and Tea

catnip sprigApril Graham from She Is Of The Woods‘ videos have inspired me to dig deeper into the medicinal nature of the plants growing in my backyard. I will start by learning more about the catnip bush blooming in the garden’s southeast corner. Late April is the perfect time to harvest fresh spring leaves full of good medicine. Luna, our cat, loves to eat the raw leaves and sun herself in the dappled shade, watching birds and plotting revenge. So, I want to run a few experiments with fresh and dried catnip leaves for us humanoids.

Ideas to try:

  • Witch hazel infusion for skin toner (wet leaves)
  • Jojoba oil infusion for a balm (dried leaves)
  • 50% Isopropyl alcohol infusion for liniment (wet leaves)
  • Catnip oxymel with apple cider vinegar (in place of alcohol, using wet leaves)
  • Tea for digestive and nerve health

I enjoy having a curious nature, but I’m often impatient. I have to remind myself that I’m conditioned to expect instant gratification and that those habits are hard to break. Maybe the catnip tea will help with my anxiety! I did some research on how to best brew fresh catnip and found this to be the most tasty and medicinal.

Catnip Tea:

tea brewed with catnip illustration

  1. Strip fresh leaves from the stem of the young plant
  2. Let them wilt down while boiling water for tea
  3. Turn off the kettle and pour hot water over catnip leaves
  4. Steep for 15 minutes before consuming

Allegedly, the catnip has a sedative and cooling effect on the body when consumed. I put the steeped tea in the fridge overnight because I didn’t like the taste of the warm tea. As an iced tea, the catnip is fairly pleasant! It definitely smells like fresh cannabis and tastes slightly bitter and vegetal. Adding sugar, honey, or maple syrup greatly enhanced the flavor for me, and I’m more likely to drink it if it’s sweet. It doesn’t do me any good sitting in the fridge, so I have to make it palatable!

I drank it before bed, and I slept much deeper that night! I felt the sedative effects, but it didn’t give me a searing headache like melatonin or Advil PM.