A to Z Herbarium: Catnip




Β Cat Magic, Love, Beauty, Happiness


Catnip is sacred to Bast and is excellent to use in rituals involving cats or cat deities. Can be used with rose petals to make love sachets. When one holds catnip in the hand until it is warm, and then holds someone else’s hand, that person will become one’s friend as long as the catnip used is kept safe.Β  Can also be used in spells and sachets to enhance beauty or happiness. Dried leaves are burned to work love magic. If grown near the home or hung over a door it can attract good spirits and bring good luck.

Large catnip leaves can be pressed and used as bookmarks for magical texts.

It has a euphoric effect on two-thirds of all cats. Can also have a much milder euphoric effect on some people. As such, catnip is sometimes used to bring about this state of mind, or to forge psychic bonds with cats.

Catnip be used for treating a wide range of medical woes, including insomnia, anxiety, migraines, colds and flu, and indigestion. As a tonic it can be used to start menstrual periods in girls with delayed onset of menstruation. As a poultice it can be used to treat sprains, bruises, insect bites, or to ease pain from arthritis.



Cunningham’s Encylopedia of Magical Herbs, Scott Cunningham, 2016, Llewellyn Publications

Green Witchcraft: Folk Magic, Fairy Lore & Herb Craft, Ann Moura, 2014, Llewellyn Publications

The Primal Cave of a Wild Woodsy Witch



  1. Hi Sara – fascinating information about Catnip – I know cats love it and are often found loitering near or collapsed in the bush … lovely photo – and yes cats definitely can attract, but I’d love to be able to achieve their euphoric state! … cheers Hilary

    • Sara C. Snider

      Yeah, I had no idea it could affect humans too. Weird! πŸ˜€

  2. Mhm… Should I get some for my cat? Maybe he would stop eating all of my plants πŸ˜‰

    Fascinating post. Thanks so much for sharing.

    The Old Shelter – 1940s Film Noir

    • Sara C. Snider

      Well, if your cat is anything like my cats, then he will face/body roll the catnip and the plant will be dead within 24 hours. πŸ˜‰

  3. I didn’t know that catnip worked on Insomnia! Sorry, Sierra, I am stealing your toy…

    On second thought, she has drooled all over it πŸ˜€ Time to get some fresh catnip today!

    ΒΈ.‒´¸.β€’*´¨) ΒΈ.β€’*Β¨)
    (ΒΈ.β€’Β΄ (ΒΈ.β€’` Β€ Good luck on the rest of your A to Z challenge

    Sylvia @ The Creative Life

    • Sara C. Snider

      I would never get any sleep with catnip because my cats would be attacking me. πŸ˜‰

  4. I’ll be saving all your posts Sara on the Herbarium .. so interesting. I buried my ginger cat last week in the garden and I think I’ll add some catnip to the little rose plant that honours his body. And try it out for my ongoing insomnia ..

    • Sara C. Snider

      I’m so sorry to hear about your kitty, Susan. πŸ™ A little catnip next to the rose plant sounds absolutely lovely. And insomnia is rough, I also struggle with it.

  5. Fascinating! Now to see if it works… Happy A-to-Z-ing.

  6. I’m sure I’ve heard of catnip wine! If I remember rightly, cats can actually drink it as well as people. Either that or I once had a bit too much of it myself!

    Today in Amble Bay!

    • Sara C. Snider

      Catnip wine! That sounds nuts! Though, I’ve learned that people can and will turn just about anything into booze, so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. πŸ˜‰

  7. I enjoyed reading about the catnip and friendship magic and have of course observed its effects on my cat whose eyes become huge and more hypnotic than ever.

    Confusion or Clarity #Lexicon of Leaving

    • Sara C. Snider

      That’s funny about your cat. I have two cats. In one, catnip seems to make her drowsy after an initial rush. The boy cat gets almost aggressive.

  8. I’m not sure basing a friendship on warmed leaves that have to be kept safe is a good idea. Talking might be a better one πŸ˜‰

    I have had cats that don’t seem affected at all and that turn on their back and lie there in a stoned stupor :). Our current two prefer mint.
    Tasha’s Thinkings – Shapeshifters and Werewolves

    • Sara C. Snider

      Talking? Madness! πŸ˜‰

      It’s interesting how different cats react to it. Fun stuff!

  9. And historically was one of the go to herbs for aborting babies back in the day. Pregnant women shouldn’t handle it or use it. It says so in my rodale herb book.

    Very informative post. I enjoyed it.

    • Sara C. Snider

      Well, that makes sense given the whole menstruation thing in girls. Good to know! I don’t have the Rodale book, might have to add it to the collection. πŸ™‚

  10. How fascinating. I particularly like the friendship magic. I’ve planted catnip in my garden and had neighborhood cats come and lay in it. Always amusing.

    • Sara C. Snider

      How funny. Your house sounds like the happening place in the cat world. πŸ˜‰

  11. Now I know why cats are magical! My own cat doesn’t have much of a reaction to it, but a cat I used to have who has long since passed was CRAZY about it!

  12. Interesting to see that catnip does more than just make cats crazy. LOL

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

  13. Michelle Morrison

    I knew kitty cats go crazy over catnip; I wasn’t aware of the other uses. Interesting. πŸ™‚

  14. Wow, I didn’t know catnip could be used for so much!

  15. Interesting that it can have an effect on some humans – obviously not me as I’m surrounded by toys with catnip in them. Love all it’s useful properties and might have to hang some around the house, though it will have to be out of reach of our Cookie Cat as she is a huge addict. Thanks for sharing.
    Pamela @ Highlands Days of Fun

    • Sara C. Snider

      I’m now imagining my cats flinging themselves though the air to reach catnip I’ve hung up (because they are also crazy about it). So, thanks for that. πŸ˜€

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