After doing the research for my recent post, Natural Remedies for Anxiety (which is a serious do-not-miss, complete with free printable of supplements, key nutrients, and important dietary changes), I realized that a very simple herb that I already had on hand would be very beneficial to me.
You see, I already knew that cutting out sugar was necessary, and that gelatin seemed to help. What I was missing was a natural source of B vitamins. It turns out that catnip — yes, the herb that makes cats go crazy — is a nutritional powerhouse, and it’s high in the key B6, B9 (folate), and B12 that I needed. As it turns out, the amino acids in gelatin + B vitamins help the brain make the correct hormones to quell anxiety. Plus, gelatin soothes and heals the gut, and catnip is a mild sedative. Seems perfect.
Catnip is also very baby-safe. I include it in my teething tincture. That means it’s safe to use while nursing, and even, for most, while pregnant. (Catnip is in the mint family, and some say not to use mint in pregnancy, but catnip has little menthol, the chemical that is questionable. Peppermint is the main concern because it’s very high in menthol.)
This tincture can be used for children who are anxious, overtired, or struggling to sleep. It can be used for teething babies. It can help to settle upset stomachs. Really, it’s handy to have around.
And it could not be easier to make.
This tincture uses only three simple ingredients.
- 1/2 c. catnip (preferably organic)
- 3 oz. vegetable glycerin
- 3 oz. filtered water
Step 1: Combine all ingredients in an 8-oz. jar (I used a half-pint mason jar), put a lid on, and shake to combine.
Step 2: Let it sit in a dark place for 6 weeks, OR, in a crock pot mostly full of water on warm for 2 – 3 days. (Water should cover up to the jar’s lid, and should be replaced as needed to stay full.)
Step 3: Strain through a piece of cheesecloth, discarding the herbs and reserving the liquid.
Store the finished tincture in a dark brown glass bottle. Children need 5 – 10 drops “as needed” (for anxiety, insomnia, etc.). Adults, 1 dropperful 1 – 3 times per day, as needed.
For anxiety, take the dropper of tincture with a gelatin drink in the morning, and repeat the tincture with probiotics later in the day if needed. I’m very excited to try catnip in this new way, personally! I’ve used it in my kids’ tinctures and my own teas sometimes, but not quite like this. I can’t wait!