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Catnip is an herb that grows in North America. It is often used to excite cats. Catnip has also been used to treat sleeping problems in people. It can be taken as a pill. Its leaves can also be made into a tea or oil.


There aren’t any advised doses for catnip.

What Research Shows

There is not enough data to support that catnip is helpful in treating health problems. We will review future studies as they are published.

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It may be safe for most adults to take catnip supplements and use catnip products for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period. It is also not known whether it is safe for children or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse, such as:

  • People taking barbiturates should talk to their doctors before taking catnip. It may increase the sedative effect of this medicine.






Last reviewed February 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 4/7/2020