Catnip... like cat pot? Seriously, what is that stuff?:
Catnip is a mix of approximately 250 various species of mints and has a leafy green appearance. Nepetalactone is the essential oil in catnip - taking your lazy fur-ball to another astral plane. In order for your cat to successfully take a trip to another astral plane they MUST be between three to six months old.
Smelling the nip vs. Eating the nip for Felines:
Research has shown that catnip gives the most intense experiences when it is smelt - most likely targeting the feline "happy" receptors in their brain. When cats inhale the catnip they can respond with about ten minutes of rolling, flipping, rubbing, and eventually zoning out. Some cats can meow excessively, growl or become aggressive (in those extreme cases, you know that catnip is not for them). When eaten, however, catnip has proven to do the contrary; you'll have yourself a mellow cat.
My dog reacts to the laser pointer... I wonder if they are affected by Catnip:
So you have a catnip plant that your dog seems to constantly sniff, do not worry it's not a toxic plant. There are benefits that come along with your dog inhaling or ingesting some of the fragrant green plant. Especially since it contains minerals such as magnesium, vitamins C and E, tannins, flavonoids, and essential oils that can keep a dogs digestive system healthy and relieve an upset stomach. Catnip can also help dogs:
Remain calm when their anxiety is trigged;
It can assist with sleep;
Can assist with muscle spasms;
Can assist with diarrhea;
It can also be used as a natural antiseptic because it contains antibacterial healing properties.
So if you want to give your dog catnip, sprinkle 1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon of dried catnip on their food or even putting a few fresh leaves in their drinking water. It's possible that catnip is not for your dog - don't worry there is dognip. Dognip is called anise (aniseed - not to be confused with star anise). Anise can be found at most grocery stores or you can get anise-flavored dog treat recipes online. Remember, that if you buy human products, the dosing instructions is based on 150 Ib human, so be sure to adjust the dosage to your dog's weight. Mind you that this should NOT be done daily, and always consult with your veterinarian first.
NOTE: Dogs should not play with catnip toys - only due to the mere design of the toy. The way these toys are built can become a choking hazard or danger to your dog. Instead - rub your dogs tennis ball in some catnip from time to time.
We've all thought it - can humans have catnip? Smoke that green herb?
Well... science says that there is not enough research to suggest eating, smoking, or drinking catnip. With that in mind, catnip has long been used in traditional medicine to relieve numerous ailments. It's thought to have several potential health benefits:
It might ease anxiety;
It might ease restlessness;
It may relieve headaches;
It may be used as antifungal or antibacterial treatment;
It may be used as an aphrodisiac.
Catnip believe it or not has been smoked by humans...but that has come to a stop. Catnip burns quickly, so it needs to be mixed with tobacco creating a harmful and distasteful contraption. Instead, people have reported ingesting catnip by making tea, drinking pre-packaged tea blends with catnip already in it, or adding a few drops of catnip extract to their drink. Additionally, people have used catnip essential oil to help relax and relieve stress headaches by using a diffuser or diluting the oil to rub a small amount on their temples. In this case, curiosity did not kill the cat! If you're thinking of trying catnip, I'd consult with your primary care physician or a natural doctor.