Recently, I’ve been volunteering at a kitten socialization shelter and enjoying my developing “felininity.”  If you are at all like me, you’ve probably wanted to experience firsthand what catnip is all about.

I have become curious about a particular herbal infusion – including catnip, chamomile, lemon balm, mint, and lemongrass – because most of the ingredients are available at the tea and herb store where I work.  This recipe is especially worthwhile if you have a garden.  If you have been growing catnip, but don’t have a cat, here is your chance to try something new and appropriate.  (Yes, humans can use catnip!)  Here is the recipe:

Catnip Tea

You need the following:
1/2 cup of catnip
1/4 cup of mint
1/4 cup of lemongrass
3/4 cup of chamomile
1 cup of dried lemon balm 

To prepare it, mix all the ingredients together.  Make sure you keep them in a sealed container until you want to make the tea.  When you are ready for your catnip delight, put two teaspoons in a mug of boiling water for a maximum of five minutes.  Then take the herbs out, unless you prefer your tea to be strong.  In that case, enjoy them in your cup for as long as you like.
   
Catnip tea does not produce the same affects on humans as it does on cats.  After drinking a sip, you won’t roll around on the floor, pouncing on imaginary objects.  It is calming and welcome after a stressful day or taxing activity.  In addition to the tea’s sedative qualities, it provides numerous health benefits.  For instance, catnip tea will relax your muscles and relieve nervousness.  It also possesses anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.  It is beneficial for most people with one exception – avoid drinking this tea if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.     

Whether your cat will drink this tea is another story altogether.  If in doubt, stick to the liquid variety and your cat will stick to the herb.  

Fact:  Did you know that catnip belongs to the mint family?

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