Restful Sleep Sachet (catnip)

There are many young people and a few adults in our social circle who are not sleeping well. In some cases these are chronic situations or the internal consumption of herbs is contraindicated. An herbal sachet is a way to support the body with medicinal plants through “micro dosing” and using their aromatic properties. This may be a better choice when plants have a strong taste or action. Sometimes treatment is needed for an extended time period of even the long term. I think many herbalist are quickly tempted to hand out tinctures or teas, forgetting that there may be a simpler and more appropriate solution. I had an overabundance of beautiful hops that dried a lovely shade of green. I formulated this recipe around using that up. I fill a muslin bag with a hand full and they make lovely gifts that can be given easily year round.

The contents are large amounts of hops, catnip, and lemon balm.

Followed by much smaller amounts of skullcap, lavender, mugwort, and sage. The goal is to encourage a good night’s rest and not sedation or lots of dreams. I specifically designed these pillows to be used by children, the elderly and dying. The sachets can be slipped under a pillow, into clothes, under a blanket or a inserted in a heated hand warmer/pouch/muff.

Nepeta cataria has small white/pink flowers clustered down a stalk. The heart oval shaped leaves are arranged alternately on a square stem. . This plant has its own distinctive strong scent which cats obviously love. It can be confused with other members in the mint family like lemon balm or spearmint. Catnip has more “silver” green leaves which are fuzzy in texture, with a toothed margin and a lighter underside. The stem is also hairy. It can grow 3-4 feet high, especially as it shoots up to flower. This plant has become an invasive species in many ecosystems. You will find it in backyards, wastelands, in grazing areas, along a stream as you hike in urban corridors, or in cracks in the sidewalk. It is a self seeding perennial that likes a lot of sun and does well in poor soil. There is a similar plant in the Nepeta family called “catmint” This herb has purple flowers and much smaller leaves. It is more likely to be a cultivar that found in the wild. All Nepetas have similar properties and uses.

Catnip has been used for food and medicine since ancient times. It contains powerful chemical constituents that are powerful sedatives, pain relievers, euphorics, and aphrodisiacs. No wonder kitties love it. Nepeta moves energy, relaxes the nerves and clears heat. This herb contains many volatile oils. It has such an affinity for the energy of kids, supporting them when they feel feverish, anxious, restless or sick. It is great for babies as a weak tea or bath for colic, teething, insomnia, or crankiness. A hot tea promotes sweating. It is thought to be an excellent remedy for colds, flu, bronchitis, pneumonia, childhood illnesses, menstrual problems, headaches, and motion sickness . This plant is has been used for all manner of stomach complaints like , gas, and diarrhea, parasites and indigestion. Externally people have used catnip for pain, injuries, hemorrhoids, acne, dandruff, arthritis, eye inflammation and allergies.

Family: Laminaceae/mint

Parts used:Leaves and flowers

Energetics: pungent, bitter, cool, dry


Contraindications:Do not use in pregnancy. Very large doses can cause nausea and vomiting.

Published by blackbirdsbackyard

My backyard botanical pharmacy is located in Boulder Colorado. I began studying herbal medicinewhen I was 12 years old. In college I studied subjects like anthropology, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, After graduation I decided to go to midwifery school. I attended births and had a small practice until I retired early in order to be a mother full time. I have always had an herb garden, gathered plants and made my own healing formulas with plants. Over the last 30 years there have been many teachers and I have attended dozens of workshops. I am one of those people who is always reading, studying and learning. In 2019 I was called to practice as an herbalist professionally, using "plant spirit medicine" and bio-energetic ( 5 element)healing techniques. I feel that there is a big need in the community for my skills and talents. I hope to inspire others to start their own backyard pharmacies as a solution to species extinction and the healthcare crisis in America. Healing has also become a spiritual practice and way for me to feel balanced and connected with nature. I consult with clients in person, teach classes (adults and kids), give tours of my garden and offer apprenticeships. Health, joy, meaning, and support are everyone's birthright.

%d bloggers like this: