4 Ways to Use Catnip Essential Oil

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Everyday Essentials by Plant Therapy

4 Ways to Use Catnip Essential Oil


Latin name: Nepeta cataria

Aroma Description: Herbaceous-floral scent.


Therapeutic benefits

  • Can help promote a restful night’s sleep and create a relaxing atmosphere.
  • When combined with Citronella, it helps keep outdoor annoyances at bay.
  • Helps relieve muscle and head tension when applied topically.
  • Useful for relieving discomfort due to gas.



Yes! Catnip IS KidSafe.

4 Ways to Use Catnip: Our Spotlight Essential Oil of the Week

Dilution instructions:

Dilute to 1-3% in your favorite carrier oil for topical application. Use to help ease headache tension.


Diffusion instructions:

To create a relaxing environment, add a few drops to your diffuser.


Oils to blend with:

Bergamot, Citronella, Clary Sage, Helichrysum Italicum, Lavender, Lemon, Rosalina, Sandalwood Australian and Turmeric CO2.

Check out all our other essential oil spotlight blog posts by heading to our Spotlight Page!

Catnip plant

Before we get to all the good stuff about Catnip essential oil, there’s one very important thing we need to address. And that’s our kitties.

Since catnip treats and toys can provide such enjoyment (for them and us), you might find yourself tempted to use this oil with your cat. But don’t. This essential oil is for humans only. And if you want to learn more about essential oils and cats, check out this blog post.


Relaxation & sleep

woman relaxing

Catnip probably isn’t the first oil you think of when it comes to relaxation. But it shouldn’t be overlooked! This herbaceous floral smelling oil is excellent for creating a relaxing, soothing atmosphere. And if you find yourself having a hard time getting to sleep due to stress or anxiety, diffuse with other relaxing oils like Sandalwood and Lavender for a great sleepy blend.


Outdoor spray

outdoor spray

Now that the summer is upon us, we’re spending so much more time outside. And with the great outdoors comes bugs. For a natural way to help keep outdoor annoyances away, keep Catnip on hand. Mix with equal parts of Citronella to 3% in you for a favorite carrier oil. If you prefer a spray, you can use water and Everclear or a high proof vodka. Just make sure the alcohol is at least 20% of your mixture.


Help relieve tension

Woman sitting at her desk stressed out

Whenever you feel a tension headache coming on, reach for Catnip. Once you’ve diluted it in your favorite carrier oil, massage onto your temples. It will help soothe the headache and relieve the tension. And since it’s also good at helping with overall relaxation, it might even help with the stress or anxiety that caused the headache in the first place.


Gas & discomfort

Vanilla Oleoresin can support stomach discomfort

Gas is something we all experience from time to time. And quite frankly, it can be uncomfortable (not to mention embarrassing). If you find yourself feeling bloated and wishing the waistband on your pants were just a little bigger, massage diluted Catnip onto your abdomen in a clockwise manner to help with the discomfort.

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39 thoughts on “4 Ways to Use Catnip Essential Oil”

  • I’m looking forward to trying catnip for relaxation. I have a very tense back and its needs relaxing. I’m hoping to rotate it with other oils.

  • We have vicious mosquitoes in Alaska and I love using catnip in my homemade bug spray! I never knew to use it for bloating/gas until I read this article, thanks 🙂

  • Wish I had some catnip right now – have a headache. This is intriguing – headache relief, relaxation, sleep helper. Will try this one soon.

  • I never knew catnip could be used for people!. I really thought it was a grass for cats. Reading that makes me feel a little dumb. I am excited to see if it works for me. I’m allergic to mosquito bites!

    1. We don’t recommend the use of essential oils around cats (even Catnip) because their physiology prevents them from properly processing essential oils. Check out this blog post to learn more.

  • Wow, when I first saw catnip as the spotlight oil, I overlooked it because I had always associated it with cats. However, when I got the blog email, I decided to give it a read out of curiosity and I must say that I had no idea that catnip oil was so versatile! Definitely on my radar now.

  • I use fresh or dried catnip as a tea whenever a cold or flu bug strikes. Can the oil be used in a tea?

    1. Loretta, we don’t recommend the ingestion of essential oils, for many reasons. The least of which is that inhaling them is a much more effective way of letting the good chemical constituents absorb into your system than ingestion.

  • It’s great all the uses it has. I’m going to try it for my sleep! I have used others with great results, specially with let it go, but its wise to exchange it because the body gets use to it.

  • when making a digestive aid tincture could you add a few drops of this? Or if you had a plant make a tea from it??

    1. The International Federation of Aromatherapists does not recommend that essential oils be taken internally therapeutically unless under the supervision of a medical doctor who is also qualified in clinical aromatherapy. All cautions listed for individual oils do not include those cautions from ingestion.

      At this time, none of Plant Therapy’s certified aromatherapists are clinically trained to administer essential oils internally, so we can not recommend or advise further on essential oil ingestion. To reach out to an aromatherapist in your area, we recommend using the Find An Aromatherapist option on the Alliance of International Aromatherapist website here: https://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/ or on the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy here: https://naha.org/

  • This was great info on Catnip! I had no idea it could be used for these things, so I might hve to add it to my already enormous collection!

  • Hmmm, interested in trying this one with summer well on its way and insomnia constantly lurking

  • I didn’t realize catnip was such a versatile oil.. so interchangeable to with oils I already love! Cannot wait to try this out!

  • I would never have thought of catnip for gas. Interesting. I’ll put it on my wish list and make roller balls for certain people…lol 😉

    1. Wow! I’ve been debating about this all week. Now I want to be sure thay it is safe to use in the presenceof my dogs. If it is, I will be certain to order it!

    1. Unfortunately, this oil would not be a good mix with your cat. You can find out more details about cats and essential oils in this post. Luckily they still get a lot of enjoyment from dried catnip!

  • I thought I’d read about this ill since its the oil of the week, I have tried a few of the bug spray blends, only one of which has catnip in it, maybe I will add it to one of the others and see if it bumps up the effectiveness. I haven’t really used this oil much, but perhaps I will try it. I do have the plant growing in my herb garden. not the same thing, obviously.

    1. I have catnip growing in my garden. I simmer the leaves in water to make a tincture. Then add my oils to make flea and mosquito spray for my dogs. It works…….no chemicals.

  • Great information! I had no clue what catnip could be used for ,now I do and it is another one on my wish list.

  • I’m adding it to my list now. I never knew it was so beneficial. I always thought this was only something used with cats.

  • I wouldn’t have thought that catnip has this many purposes! Thanks for the informative blog, PT!

  • I had no idea catnip was so useful, I’m guilty of thinking it was for cats! If I use it outdoors though, will the scent attract every stray cat in the neighborhood? LOL

      1. I have made so many bug sprays and the one that works the best and my husband swears by it as the bugs love him. I use catnip hydrosol 2 oz, peppermint hydrosol 2oz,20 drops cedarwood EO, 15 drops Palmarosa EO, 15 drops Eucalyptus Citriodora EO, 10 drops Patchouli EO, 5 drops Peppermint EO, and 20 to 30 drops Solubol-Dispersant. It is a must to use all of these as the mosquitos out there are brutal here in San Diego!

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