Red Clover Herb Profile

Red Clover herb is a simple to find herb with many uses. Here are a few of the most common uses.

Red Clover Uses

“One: The isoflavones that are contained in the herb may help raise HDL cholesterol (the good kind).

Two: This is often used for children that have a persistent, bad cough.

Three: Blood flow seems to be enhanced by this herb since it can help prevent blood clots and thins the blood.

Four: Studies found that when the herb is taken by menopausal women that it is found to benefit the body’s arterial strength and flexibility.

Five: Its usage to help to slow cancer has a lengthy history, and studies show encouraging evidence of the herb’s effectiveness as a supplemental cancer treatment. Although, due to its estrogen-like qualities, red clover shouldn’t be utilized against breast cancer.

Six: Ointments that are made from the herb can be rubbed into your skin to alleviate inflammation, skin rashes and irritations.”

Red Clover is considered a good source of many nutrients:

…A source of many valuable nutrients including calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, and vitamin C. It is also considered to be one of the richest sources of isoflavones (water-soluble chemicals that act like estrogens and are found in many plants).

Several studies of a proprietary extract the isoflavones suggest that it may significantly reduce hot flashes in menopausal women. Also, menopause increases a woman’s risk for developing osteoporosis (significant bone loss) and some studies suggest that a proprietary extract of red clover isoflavones may slow bone loss and even boost bone mineral density in pre and peri-menopausal women. The estrogen-like effect of these isoflavones may be involved, and red clover also may have a direct effect by preventing the breakdown of existing bone.

Traditional Usage of Red Clover

In natural/herbal medicine, there is a history of using red clover with the following conditions:

Acne
Allergies
Anti-inflammatory
Bone and Joint Health
Canker Sores
Cleansing
Detoxifying
Digestive Disorders
Eczema
Endometriosis
Fibroids
Fibromyalgia
Gastrointestinal Disorders
Headaches
Hormone Imbalances
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Joint Pain
Menopausal Problems
Migraines
Osteoporosis
Poultice
PMS
Psoriasis
Senility/Aging Conditions
Skin Disorders
Vascular Disorders
Important Cautions

Always ask a doctor before using this or any herb.

Not recommended for use by pregnant women, or those struggling with estrogen dominance conditions.

Not recommended for use in those with breast or ovarian cancer.

Not for use in those with liver problems.

Not for use with contraceptive pills.

Not for use in those on blood thinners.

Types of Red Clover Supplements

The easiest way to consume Red Clover is in capsule form, though tea bags and bulk red clover flowers are also available.

Natural Liver & Gall Bladder Cleanse

I have gotten a lot of questions lately about liver and gallbladder problems so I am posting a cleanse that is designed to flush out toxins from the liver and gallstones from the gallbladder. It is a relatively inexpensive cleanse and can be done with things from your grocery store.

Natural Gallbladder Cleanse

Please note that I am only posting this because I’ve gotten requests. Not everyone should do a liver cleanse and I highly recommend checking with a doctor first. For more information on this cleanse, visit this link.

Gallbladder Cleanse Ingredients

To start a simple liver/gallbladder cleanse, this is what you will need:

– Apple juice or malic acid supplements (optional)
– 4 Tablespoons of Epsom Salts
– 1/2 Cup of Virgin Olive Oil
– 1 big grapefruit, or 3 lemons

Gallbladder Cleanse Instructions

1. For 4-5 days before your liver flush, eat as many apples, or drink as many apple juice as you can. You can take malic acid supplements if you wish if you can’t drink the juice. In the last 2 days, drink 8 oz of apple juice every 2-3 hours. Doing this will help ensure the liver flush is successful.

2. On day 6, eat a light breakfast with no fat. This enables the bile in your liver to accumulate, putting pressure in your liver. This pressure will eliminate more stones in your liver.

3. At 2:00 PM, the same day, mix 4 tblspoons of Epsom Salts in 3 cups of water, pouring all this into some jar. Do NOT drink or consume any foods after 2 PM. This is extremely important! Put this jar in the cooler/refrigerator to make it cold

4. At 6:00 PM, drink 3/4 cup of this mixture. It will taste very bad… but you can add 1/8 tablespoons of powdered Vitamin C to make it taste better.

5. At 8 PM, drink another 3/4 cup of thix mixture. Get all your errands done, and prepare for the liver flush. You shouldn’t be doing ANYTHING after doing a liver flush, just lying down and sleeping.

6. At 9:45 PM, pour 1/2 cup of virgin olive oil into a jar. Squeeze the entire grapefruit into the mix, removing the pulp with a fork, or chopsticks. You should have 1/2 to 3/4 cups of grapefruit juice mixed with the virgin olive oil the jar. Close the jar, and shake it very hard until it is all liquid.

7. At 10 PM, drink this mixture. You may drink it through some large straw if that makes it easier for you. Try to get it all down by 5 mins or so.

8. Lay down in your bed as soon as you are down. This is crucial, and most people do this wrong. Don’t do any work, don’t even bother brushing your teeth! Just lay down immediately! Lay on your right side, with your right knee up towards your chin for 20 or so mins. Stay still, and try not to move at all. Try to sleep.

9. The next morning, when you wake up, drink a 3rd dose of your 3/4 cup Epsom salts. You can go back to sleep afterwards.

10. Two hours later, drink the last dose of Epsom salts.

11. Only after 2 more hours can you eat anything, but do not eat solid fruits just yet. Start with liquids, and move slowly to fruit.

Blessed Thistle Herb Profile

Blessed Thistle (also known as Holy Thistle or St. Benedict’s Thistle) was given this name due to its reputation as a cure-all. It’s Latin name, Cnicus Benedictus, was given because its ability to cure was considered a gift from God. It is perhaps most well known for its usage with female related problems, though it should not be used during pregnancy. It can be found and used in tinctures, capsules, or teas.

Blessed Thistle is often used in teas for nursing mothers to help increase milk supply. It is known to increase circulation and treat hormone imbalance. It enhances memory by delivering oxygen to the brain and is supportive of the heart and lungs.

Due to its ability to act on the endocrine system, it is important to check with a doctor or healthcare practitioner before using this herb.

According to the book Nutritional Herbology:

Herbalists use it as a female tonic to increase mother’s milk and treat painful menstruation.

Effects of Blessed Thistle

Large doses are said to have an emetic and expectorant effect. Thistle contains bitter glycosides that may help stimulate appetite and act as a tonic to the digestive tract. Historically, large doses were used as a diaphoretic and for general stimulant action.

In more recent times, thistle has received a reputation for its action on the internal organs such as the liver and kidneys. Homeopaths have touted it most highly in this regard and use a tincture for jaundice, hepatitis, and arthritis and it is often included in homeopathic formulas.

Historically, herbalists and healers believed that  ingesting bitter herbs provided strength that could be used to combat illness. We now understand that physiologically, bitter herbs stimulate certain organs of the body into a reflex action that triggers the glands into action and this seems to be especially noticeable in the liver and female reproductive organs.

Nutrients in Blessed Thistle

This herb contains bitter compounds that decrease the thickness while increasing the production of mucosal fluids particularly in the digestive and respiratory systems, which may explain some of its beneficial effects for both digestion and the reproductive organs.

It also contains astringent compounds that are antiseptic, dilate peripheral blood vessels, and shrink inflamed tissue. Blessed thistle is an excellent herbal source of potassium and sodium and has been used for dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, arthritis, dysura, jaundice, fevers and respiratory allergies.

How It is Used

Blessed thistle can be found in capsule form, in herbal tinctures or extracts and has also been recommended in herbal guidebooks for use in an external poultice for certain types of wounds.

History of Use

This herb has a long history of use in various types of traditional medicine. As this article explains:

Modern herbal applications of blessed thistle are based on a long history of use in Europe and in Indian Ayurvedic medicine. Blessed Thistle is used to treat digestive ailments fundamentally caused by insufficient secretion of stomach acid. The herb’s bitter taste triggers a reflex reaction that releases gastric juices into the stomach, especially those needed to digest fats. For this reason, modern herbalists agree that the plant is helpful for loss of appetite, upset stomach, and gas, although it may be better to take the herb before these symptoms occur (such as before eating a fatty meal), rather than after. The herb is also antibacterial.

Blessed Thistle Precautions

Blessed Thistle is generally not recommended during pregnancy, though it is often included in herbal formulas for nursing. People who are allergic to artichokes may react to blessed thistle and should avoid it. Due to its effect on the digestive system and reproductive organs, it is important to consult a qualified health practitioner before using this or any herb or remedy.

7 Simple Natural Remedies

I’m always looking for natural ways to solve health issues. Here are seven quick natural remedies for common problems your family may encounter.

For Sore Throat

One of the easies natural remedies I’ve found for sore throat:  mix 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar with a couple teaspoons of raw honey (optional) and drink in 8 oz water six or more times a day until symptoms disappear. The vinegar kills the bacteria in the throat and soothes irritation. It is better to forgo the honey if possible, but the taste can be rough!

This sore throat spray is another great option and I keep it on hand in the winter months.

For Ear Infection

Ear infections can be awful, especially for kids. Antibiotics don’t often work and many doctors don’t want to give antibiotics for ear infections. Thankfully, there is an easy and extremely cheap home remedy. At the first sign of an ear infection (for adult or child) or cold, have the affected person lie on his/her side. Use a dropper to put pure 3% Hydrogen Peroxide into the ear. This will cause a bubbling, tickling sensation that in rare cases stings mildly. Have the person lie there until the bubbling subsides. This can be repeated every few hours until symptoms are gone.

Here’s a full list of natural remedies for ear infections.

For Congestion

nother frustrating condition that is often caused by a cold and can’t be cured with medicine. Rather than taking over the counter drugs to mitigate the symptoms, I start taking Vitamin C every couple hours until symptoms start to fade. (This post has good info on the best type of Vitamin C to take)

To battle acute congestion, boil a large pot of water. When boiling, take off heat and drop in peppermint leaves, peppermint tea bags or a couple drops of peppermint oil. Cover head with a towel and place over the pot. Breathe in the steam for 10-15 minutes using slow, deep breaths. This will help loosen and drain congestion.

For Nausea, Morning Sickness or Motion Sickness

Peppermint tea or Ginger tea do wonders for these ailments, as do their essential oils. A homemade tincture of peppermint, ginger and fennel is extremely effective as well. For kids with motion sickness or nausea, I mix a couple drops of peppermint essential oil with a TBSP of a carrier oil like almond or olive oil and rub on the feet, chest and back of neck.

For pregnancy, I found that these tips also really helped me avoid morning sickness.

For Fever

In most cases, fever is a good sign that the body is fighting illness. While our first instinct is to treat the fever, this can actually slow down recovery from the illness as the body uses the heat of the fever to help kill the virus or bacteria. That being said, a high fever, especially in children, can be very dangerous. To lower a fever without drugs, put pure peppermint essential oil (adults) or diluted peppermint essential oil (babies and children) on the bottom of the feet and back of the neck. A cool ice pack on the back of the neck is another effective method, as the heat center of the body is located there.

Some herbal teas are also helpful during a fever.

For Bleeding

For cuts, scrapes and other causes of bleeding that don’t stop, pour Cayenne pepper powder (make sure cayenne is the only ingredient and get organic if possible) directly into the wound. It will burn for a couple minutes, but will greatly help the body’s clotting ability. After the bleeding has stopped, rinse with cool water and treat as you would any other bleeding wound. This one has saved us several trips to the ER.

I also keep medical grade super glue and raw honey on hand for wound sealing and healing.

For Stings

A fact of life in the summer for me when gardening or for the kids playing outside! Remove stinger without squeezing it. Rub toothpaste or baking soda/water paste into the sting. Pain should subside within minutes. A drop of lavender essential oil will do the same thing.

Alternately, if you know what it looks like, the leaf of plantain immediately soothes bee stings, and this likely grows all over your yard (you think its a weed). If you chew a leaf up (it’s good for you anyway) and spit it onto the sting, the pain vanishes instantly.

Uses & Benefits of Thyme Herb

Thyme is an amazing herb that originated in the Mediterranean and that has been used for thousands of years. From Mountain Rose Herbs:

An aromatic herb in the mint family, thyme grows to a height of fifteen inches (about 40 cm), with small rounded leaves and pink flowers on woody stems. Today the plant is common throughout North America, but it originated in the southern Mediterranean. Experts in language tell us that its name was derived form the Greek word thumus, or courage. In Medieval times, knights wore sprigs of thyme on their armor as a sign of courage. The scent was thought to give them strength in the midst of battle.

Thyme Uses

Thyme is most often used as a spice in culinary uses and its aromatic and rich flavor is perfect for soups, stews and marinades. I use it in my homemade herbs de provence and other homemade spice blends.

It is also often used as a natural remedy, though it should be used carefully since it is extremely potent and can be dangerous in high amounts. Since Thyme is in the mint family, I use it most often aromatically for respiratory problems.

From the book, Practical Herbalism:

Though better known in modern times as a culinary herb, the ancients recognized it for its medicinal powers. According to Culpeper, thyme is, “a noble strengthener of the lungs, as notable a one as grows, nor is there a better remedy growing for whooping cough. It purgeth the body of phlegm and is an excellent remedy for shortness of breath. It is so harmless you need not fear the use of it. An ointment made of it takes away hot swellings and warts, helps the sciatica and dullness of sight, and takes away any pains and hardness of the spleen. It is excellent for those that are troubled with the gout, and the herb taken anyway inwardly is of great comfort to the stomach.”

Modern herbalists value thyme for its expectorant and antibacterial properties, and it is frequently used in preparations to support and protect the respiratory system. The essential oil is an effective disinfectant and natural preservative that is used in many skin preparations, not only for its therapeutic effect, but to protect the product itself from microbial contamination and spoilage. Recent studies have validated many of thyme’s broad range of actions, and have even recognized potent antioxidant properties that have anti-aging implications.

Precautions

Check with a doctor or practitioner before using this or any other remedy in medicinal doses.

Many sources warn that thyme oil should not be taken internally and even thyme leaf should not be used internally in large amounts. Pregnant women should avoid it (except normal culinary uses) and it should not be used on babies or small children.

Those with thyroid disease should be especially cautious about using thyme as it can stimulate the thyroid gland and cause changes in heart rate and breathing patterns.

It can, in rare cases, cause an allergic reaction, especially to those also allergic to rosemary.

Thyme essential oil or infused oil should never be used undiluted on the skin as it can cause irritation or allergic reaction.

Thyme Facial Steam for Cough

Thyme is used as an expectorant, which makes it especially helpful for respiratory problems. I don’t take it internally, but use it with a combination of other herbs as a facial steam to help relieve coughing and congestion.

PRINT

Thyme Facial Steam

prep 5 mins

total 5 mins

author wellness mama

Thyme is a culinary herb that can also be used as a natural remedy in some cases. It is very potent and should be used with caution but it is especially helpful for coughs and congestion when used in this facial steam.

Ingredients

1 quart of water
1 teaspoon thyme leaf
1 teaspoon oregano leaf
1 teaspoon mint leaf
1 teaspoon eucalyptus leaf (optional)
Instructions

Boil water in a large pot or tea kettle.
Place herbs in a large stock pot and pour boiling water over herbs.
Lean head over pot with herbs and water (it should be steaming).
Cover head with a towel to seal in the steam from the pot.
Carefully breathe in the steam in slow deep breaths.
Do this for 5-8 minutes.
This should help loosen congestion and reduce coughing.
courses remedy

Natural Remedies for Food Poisoning

So, I didn’t get a chance to post yesterday, or to do much else for that matter. In fact, I spent most of the day getting a very close view of just how badly the inside of the toilet needed to be cleaned.

After a lovely date with my husband on Wednesday night, I started to have a weird feeling in my stomach. I drank some Apple Cider Vinegar, which is my normal remedy for any kind of tummy troubles and the feeling went away… until 3 a.m.

At 3 a.m., I was awoken by that feeling of needing to vomit but not being able to. I spent the next few hours with horribly cramping stomach aches and awful nausea. Then the vomiting hit… and did it ever!

I’ll spare you the rest of the details, but basically, I couldn’t keep anything down, including water, for the next 8 hours and I had really bad stomach cramps, dizziness, chills, etc. In fact, I had every symptom under the definition of “Food Poisoning” on WebMD.

At some point Thursday afternoon when I was debating going to the hospital to get an IV so I would have some fluids to be able to nurse the baby, I remembered the vinegar and how it had helped for a few hours. I also remembered something I learned in a class long ago about activated charcoal being a fast remedy for food poisoning.

Figuring I had nothing to lose because I’d be heading to the hospital anyway if I couldn’t stop vomiting, I started slowly sipping a mixture of equal parts Apple Cider Vinegar and Water and chasing with 1/2 tsp activated charcoal mixed into applesauce.

Yes, it tasted awful. Vinegar was pretty much the last thing I wanted at that point and the charcoal in the applesauce looked like tar, but within a few minutes, I actually started to feel a lot better. (Apparently, this is a common remedy that works really well, according to this forum thread).

I took a few more doses of each, probably about 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar total and a few teaspoons of activated charcoal. I was still really tired that night and sore from the vomiting, but was back to normal the next day. From what I’ve read of food poisoning, it can last days or weeks, so I’m very grateful that the Vinegar and Charcoal worked.

I share this so that hopefully any of you who ever get food poisoning can do without the 8 hours of vomiting and just take these two right away. I will definitely be keeping both on hand at all times!

What I did:

– At first signs of symptoms, took equal parts water (or juice) and apple cider vinegar (organic, with the mother!)

-In water or some kind of soft food, took 1/2 tsp or more of activated charcoal (or capsules if you can swallow them)

-Repeat until my symptoms stop.

Homemade Healing Salve

Last week, within the span of one day, three of my kids needed a band-aid for some reason. With five kids who like to climb, jump and live in their treehouse, this is a common occurrence, so I decided to find a natural salve option to use instead of conventional ones like Neosporin.

A Healing Salve…

I’m not a fan of Neosporin because its made with petroleum jelly and there are natural options that work just as well.

My homemade healing salve (or “boo-boo lotion”, according to the kids) is helpful on cuts, bruises, stings, poison ivy and skin irritations. It also helps diaper rash and baby skin irritations- just don’t use with cloth diapers or line them first.

It’s easy to make and some of the ingredients even grow in your front yard during the summer… One of the herbs I use is Plantain, which grows in most parts of the country and is great for the skin. Most people just know it as a common garden weed.

This salve is naturally antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and astringent. It also doesn’t contain petroleum! I never goes bad, so I make it in big batches, but you can reduce the size if needed. I always keep this on hand while gardening for skin irritations and bug bites.

All ingredients and tins and lip chap containers to store it in are available here. (Storing in a lip-chap container makes it portable and easy to apply. )

Healing Salve Ingredients

2 cups olive oil or almond oil
1/4 cup beeswax pastilles
1 tsp echinacea root (optional)
2 Tbsp dried comfrey leaf
2 Tbsp dried plantain leaf (herb-not banana!)
1 Tbsp dried calendula flowers (optional)
1 tsp dried yarrow flowers (optional)
1 tsp dried rosemary leaf (optional)
Healing Salve Instructions

Infuse the herbs into the olive oil. There are two ways to do this. You can either combine the herbs and the olive oil in a jar with an airtight lid and leave 3-4 weeks, shaking daily OR heat the herbs and olive oil over low/low heat in a double boiler for 3 hours (low heat!) until the oil is very green.
Strain her herbs out of the oil by pouring through a cheesecloth. Let all the oil drip out and then squeeze the herbs to get the remaining oil out.
Discard the herbs.
Heat the infused oil in a double boiler with the beeswax until melted and mixed.
Pour into small tins, glass jars or lip chap tubes and use on bites, stings, cuts, poison ivy, diaper rash or other wounds as needed.

How to Make Your Own Natural Vapor Rub

Hopefully cold and flu won’t strike at your home this year, but in case it does, this natural vapor rub is a good remedy to have around.

For babies and small children, treatment options are limited, even though coughing and congestion can really interfere with their ability to get a good nights sleep.

I used to keep regular Vicks Vapor Rub and the baby version on hand for times when the seasonal cold would hit until I realized that it had PETROLEUM in it.. yuck!

In the name of not consuming or slathering my children’s skin with anything that is more beneficial to a car engine, I’ve been making this really easy homemade version ever since.

If you don’t have the necessary ingredients on hand or don’t want to take the time to make this recipe, mixing the essential oils with coconut oil works almost as well. All ingredients for the recipe below (including tins and lip chap containers to keep it in) are available here.

Also, I recently found a pre-made natural vapor rub in case you don’t have the ingredients on hand and there is even a formula specifically for babies and children.

NOTE: If making this for babies or children under age six, make sure to use essential oils that are safe for these ages. This post has an in-depth guide to safe essential oils, and to adjust this recipe, use 4 drops each of Eucalyptus and Fir essential oils and omit the others.

Vapor Rub Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil
  • 2 level tablespoons of beeswax pastilles
  • 20 drops of Eucalyptus Oil (use only 4 drops for use on babies and young children)
  • 20 drops Peppermint Oil (substitute 4 drops fir essential oil for use on babies and small children)
  • 10 drops Rosemary Oil (omit for use on babies and small children)
  • 10 drops cinnamon or clove oil (optional- omit for use on babies or small children.

Vapor Rub Instructions

  1. Melt beeswax with oil of choice in a double boiler until just melted.
  2. Add the essential oils (use half the amount for a baby version or dilute with coconut oil before using)
  3. Stir until well mixed and pour into some type of container with a lid to store. Small tins work well, as do little jars. I also always make a few in lip chap sticks to keep in my purse or to use on baby feet.
  4. Use as needed to help reduce coughing and congestion.

Notes

Many essential oils, including these, are not considered safe for babies or small children. Make sure to dilute for babies and children and use as little as is needed. Always check with a doctor or healthcare provider about using herbs or essential oils on young children.

You can also make this recipe with herbs instead of essential oils by infusing the oil with 1 Tablespoon of each of the herbs in a double boiler over medium heat for 2 hours.

Healthy Uses for Alfalfa Herb

I use herbal remedies for many things on a daily basis. From homemade lotions, infused oils and salves, to teas and additions to my veggie smoothies, we use a lot of different herbs each day and of of my favorites is alfalfa.

I’ve personally seen the benefit of many different herbs, even in situations where medicine or conventional remedies didn’t work at all.

Many herbs also have very nourishing properties and can be used in special combinations in foods and drinks to improve the body’s absorption of those substances.

Each week, I’ll be profiling an herb and talking about its many uses…

Enter Alfalfa

To some of you, alfalfa may bring thoughts of a type of hay or a character from the Little Rascals, but Alfalfa is a powerhouse among herbs, the Pavel of herbs, so to speak.

Sometimes also called Buffalo Herb, or scientifically, Medicago sativa, Alfalfa means “Father of all Foods” and deserves its name! It contains a wide variety of minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, chlorine, sodium, potassium, silicon, and trace elements. It is also a good source of Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting.

It also contains essential amino acids, which are not made by the body but must be obtained from food sources. Because Alfalfa is so easy to assimilate, it is used as the base in vitamins and supplements and it contains the highest chlorophyll content of any plant (in fact, it is used in Liquid Chlorophyll, which has a very high nutrient content).

Uses for Alfalfa

Cleansing the blood
Helping alleviate allergies
Aids in blood clotting
Promotes healthy digestion
Can easy morning sickness
Is helpful in reversing tooth decay and remineralizing teeth
Great source of Vitamin K so it helps improve Baby’s Vitamin K levels at birth if mom drinks during pregnancy (recipe for an herbal tea for pregnancy here)
Supports the pituitary gland
Supportive during nursing
Helps ease morning sickness
Helps ease gout
Aids with all forms of arthritis
Alfalfa is used in alternative medicine to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. Its high concentration of alkaloids make it useful in reducing blood sugar levels.

It is also commonly used as a blood detoxifier and for any types of arthritis or joint problems. It is a great source of many nutrients and is generally considered safe for children, adults and pregnant/nursing mothers.

The one caution about alfalfa is not to use in combination with blood thinning agents or medications as it is so effective it can interfere or amplify the effects of these.

How We Use Alfalfa

In our family, we add alfalfa to many of our herbal teas, tinctures and to food. I make a tea for the kids with it by adding, Red Raspberry and Peppermint as a source of vitamins and minerals that they love to drink. (We buy it in bulk here)

We also drink a lot of Liquid Chlorophyll, which is a concentrated liquid of the chlorophyllins from the fresh alfalfa plant. We love this brand because it has a minty taste, and even the kids love to drink it. When the kids are sick, this is often all I can get them to take, and its purifying and detoxifying properties help them recover more quickly. Since it is so high in nutrients, I also don’t worry if they don’t eat as much while they are sick.

During pregnancy, I add it to my pregnancy tea (recipe here) and add it to herbal teas if anyone gets sick. Due to its mild flavor, I also add scoops of dried alfalfa to smoothies and drinks.

Catnip Herb Profile

You’ve probably heard of Catnip herb before, and true to its name, you probably heard of it in reference to its properties that are highly attractive to felines.

What is much less well-known, are the practical uses of this herb for humans.

Herbal Uses for Catnip

Catnip is one of my favorite herbs for children. I use it when one of us has a high fever, as it is known to relax the body while increasing perspiration, which helps the infection leave the body faster. It has also been found to settle the stomach and sooth children when they are upset.

Externally, I’ve used Catnip infusions and baths to help with the achy muscles that accompany flu and illness. It can be used externally on the stomach of colicky babies to relax the stomach and help them sleep.

This herb has natural relaxing and soothing properties. It is one of the ingredients in my Sweet Dreams Sleep Tincture, which is great at helping kids relax and sleep better, especially during illness.

It is said to repel certain insects, and I use the essential oil in my Homemade Bug Spray (recently tested and approved by a reader on a cruise down the Amazon River!).

A mild tea made with catnip herb is said to help improve digestion, ease morning sickness, and calm nerves. It’s relaxing properties also make it beneficial to those who suffer from insomnia.

I also keep a small jar in my kitchen for culinary uses. I add small amounts to sauces, stews, and soups for its flavor and to help improve digestion and nutrient assimilation.

Other uses, from Mountain Rose Herbs:

Scientists have ascertained that the feline reaction to catnip is due to it’s content of nepetalactone. The herb is also strongly anti-fungal and a bactericide for Staphylococcus aureus, as well as a close chemical relative to a number of insect repellants that affect mosquitoes and termites… Catnip has also been used as a sedative to help with insomnia, producing similar effects as Valerian.

Precautions: Check with a doctor before using if pregnant. Can cause drowsiness in extreme doses. Very rare allergic reactions. As always, talk to your health professional before using any herbs, supplements, or medicine.

Where to get Catnip

I buy my this and other herbs in bulk from here and make my own teas, tinctures, eye pillows for sleep, and herbal bath salts.

It is also available in capsule form as a sleep aid,  as an herbal tea (in tea bags), as an essential oil for skin use, as an herbal extract with fennel for digestive relief, and Amazon recently started carrying an essential oil blend of the same herbs I use in my herbal bug spray, pre-mixed.

You can also actually find herbal catnip toys for you cats.

As always, please check with a doctor or qualified practitioner before using this or any herb as a remedy.