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Catnip: A Childrens Herbal Ally

beth April 27, 2013

 

 

I love my children. They are my joy and my light. They are smart, funny, rambunctious and constantly learning new things.

When they get sick, agitated, excited, scared or anxious I like to help them reach a state of calm and peace both physically and emotionally. One of the ways I do that is by using herbs, specifically Catnip.

Catnip? You mean that weed that makes cats go insane and destroy my furniture/garden/dog’s face?

Yes.

Nepeta cataria also known as catnip, and catswort is a wonderful herbal ally for children. It is in the mint family but is calming, soothing and gentle for little bodies.

Catnip is commonly used to treat:

  • Colic
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Stomach Pain

In an oil infusion it can be used as a massage oil to help ease symptoms of:

  • Measles
  • Chickenpox
  • Whooping cough
  • Colic
  • Fevers
  • Hives
  • Insomnia
  • Hyperactivity

How do I use Catnip?

It is very simple. You can place 2 tsp fresh catnip or 1 tsp of dried catnip and steep it in hot water for 20 minutes (the longer the herb steeps in the water the more medicinally effective it will be). Let the infusion cool and put it in a bottle or cup filled half with purified water, and half with the herbal infusion. If your child is over the age of 1 you can add some honey to add some sweet online casino flavor or cut the infusion with fresh pressed juice. My daughter loves drinking herbal teas plain and likes to steal mine very often!

Do you want to use catnip for a baby and you are breastfeeding? Mom can drink a catnip infusion (undiluted) as often as she wants during the day. The benefits of the herbs will make it into the breast milk and help soothe the baby without having to try to figure out how to get baby to take a bottle.

Another option is a catnip glycerin tincture. You can usually find these at an herbalist shop or health food store. Common dosage for children is 1 drop of tincture per pound of body weight.

I like to make my daughter a special “Calm Kid Tea” when she gets a little too wound up and crazy. This tea brings her to a state of happy calm. I usually give it to her in the mid afternoon before nap time and in the evening after dinner. We sit and sip tea together before getting ready for bed. It is a nice quiet time to bond and relax with each other. It helps ease her into a peaceful night sleep so that she can wake up energized and ready to roll in the morning.

This is my recipe for Calm Kid Tea. If you do not want to make your own you can find it in my “Natural Mamma Product Line”.

 

Calm Kid Tea

This tea will help calm and soothe wound up children and help ease teething pain and restlessness.

Ingredients

  • 1 part Chamomile
  • 2 parts Catnip
  • 1 part Lemon Balm
  • A pinch of stevia or tea spoon of honey to taste (for children over 1 year old).

Instructions

  1. Blend herbs in an air tight container to store.
  2. Use 1tsp herb mixture per cup of boiling water.
  3. Allow tea to steep at least 20 minutes and up to 8 hours for strongest medicinal effect.
  4. Drink throughout the day as needed or before nap and bed times. Soak a washcloth in the tea and freeze and allow child to chew on the washcloth for teething.

Do you use Catnip? Do you have any other tricks on how to gently calm your children?

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18 Comments

  1. How sweet to sit & drink tea with your daughter! She’s getting the benefits of the tea, your herbal knowledge, and your love/attention. I love it. And I’m excited to try some calming tea on my little man- sometimes he’s just too wound up for naptime.

    Reply

  2. Where can i get catnip? U make ur own and sell it? Do u have a link? My kids NEED naps, but then can’t go to sleep at night (they share a room, so perhaps if they had their own rooms and werent playing). I would love to try this. What are the health benefits other then calming?

    Reply

  3. Can the catnip be steeped and used for a few days or should it be made fresh everyday? Thanks

    Reply

    • I like to steep my herbal infusions for up to 8 hours. After that you don’t get much more medicinal benefit. I think it is a good rule of thumb to use the infusion within 24-48 hours. After that it will get a little stale tasting. I like to make a big french press full of tea in the morning and give it to the kids after lunch and before bed and just brew more tea every morning.

      Reply

  4. Curious to know if this would help a child diagnosed with adhd? I would rather my son drink this instead of taking those dangerous pills from the Dr.

    Reply

    • It can definitely help. I would add passion flower if this mix is not enough. The thing with herbal remedies is that if your child has underlying health issues like add/adhd herbs will help the body heal but you will not have lasting results unless you make the proper dietairy changes. The GAPS diet is specifically designed to heal the gut and through gut healing healing the rest of the body, including many mental issues. Take a look at the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome. I know so many people that have had success with this healing diet.

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  5. Catmint and catnip are not the same plant. Catmint is something else and it does not attract cats, like catnip does.

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  6. I personally would not steep herbs of the mint family (catnip, lemon balm) longer than 30 minutes to an hour. They contain volatile oils that, when over extracted, and taken long term (every day) can be hard on the body. If using briefly for treatment of something, probably not a big deal.

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  7. Interesting! I love learning new things about herbs. Unfortunately, I have never been able to get my catnip to grow very large- want to guess why? Yep, my two cats. I never thought about ordering it! I will have to try this. The holidays seems like a great time of year to try it too- there is so much that is overwhelming. Thank you!

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  8. Just wondering…can I use the same catnip I buy in the pet supply store for my cats or is there stuff in it that I shouldn’t have?

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  9. […] See the full post and a great recipe for Calm Kid Tea HERE. […]

    Reply

  10. […] pain. While my kids get a kick out of giving it to my mom’s cats, I love using it in this calming tea. It’s safe to give to kids and works so well at calming them down and getting them ready for […]

    Reply

  11. […] Calm Kid Tea from Modern Alternative Health […]

    Reply

  12. […] another relaxant and sleep aid when it comes to hyperactivity. It’s safe for children and can lesson anxiety, nervousness, and insomnia. Steep catnip in a tea alone or combine it with chamomile and lime blossom for a relaxing […]

    Reply

  13. […] Catnip: A Children’s Herbal Ally […]

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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