Catnip Salve Recipe

catnip salve with flowers

This catnip salve recipe is easy to make and has many healing benefits. Homemade salves are easy to make and there are so many plants that can be made into healing salves. I have posted many recipes for natural herbal salves on my website.

A salve is a healing ointment, and usually a combination of oil and beeswax. The oil and beeswax are nourishing for the skin, you can use a variety of oils, including coconut oil, sunflower oil, and more. The wonderful part is that you can infuse oil with different herbs to make salve with different properties. You can then customize your salve for specific issues by infusing your oil with herbs of your choosing.

This salve made with catnip can be used to soothe bug bites and irritated skin.

About Catnip

Catnip—also known by its scientific name Nepeta cataria—is a member of the mint family. 

This article has the following information about catnip:

“Catnip can grow to be three feet tall, and it produces small green-brown leaves that have saw-toothed edges and flowers that bloom from late spring into the autumn. The plant is often incorporated into gardens because it is drought-tolerant, deer resistant, and it deters mosquitoes. It also attracts butterflies 

The active ingredient in catnip is an essential oil called nepetalactone. When your cat plays with catnip, the oil enters the nose or mouth and binds to receptors that stimulate the olfactory bulb of the brain. The olfactory bulb sends the information to multiple areas of the brain. The amygdala, a region of the midbrain, is triggered and causes your cat to respond emotionally.”

This is a picture of my catnip plant that has been in my garden for about 15 years.

picture of catnip plant for making catnip salve

Health Benefits from Catnip

Catnip has many benefits used internally and externally. I discussed internal for my catnip tincture recipe.

This article discusses many benefits of catnip including for skin: “The natural repellent quality of catnip makes it ideal for keeping bugs away from gardens when kept as an ornamental plant, but the organic compounds in the plant make it ideal for soothing bug bites and relieving irritation on the skin. Applying salves or extracts to the irritated or broken skin can speed the healing process and reduce inflammation quickly.”

How to Make Catnip Salve

To make salves, lip balm, lotions and lotion bars, you need to start with an infused oil.

How to Make an Infused Oil

To make the catnip salve recipe, the first step is to pick the the fresh catnip leaves and flowers.

catnip leaves in a bowl

Next is to dry the leaves and flowers. The drying process can include air drying by spreading them in a single layer on a dish towel or paper towel and letting them dry for several days.

The other option is to use a dehydrator set at a low setting to dry.

The next step for the diy catnip salve is to make an infused oil with the dried catnip by steeping the dried catnip in a carrier oil over a period of time. As the dried catnip infuses in the oil (later strained), the natural essential oils in the leaves are drawn out and into the carrier oil. Different kinds of oils can be used including sweet almond oil, safflower oil, avocado oil, sweetgrass oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, jojoba oil or coconut oil.

Add the dried catnip to a glass jar. I like to use a pint mason jar.

The amount of oil you want will depend on how much salve or other items that you want to make. You will add about twice as much oil as your dried flowers or herbs. For example, you can add the flowers or herbs to a pint jar about halfway and then fill the jar almost to the top. If you want less, you can fill the jar about 1/4 up with herbs and then 1/2 way with oil. Also, you can make more than you plan to use for now and save the additional oil for later.

catnip infused oil for catnip salve

There are several options for making the oil infusion:

Slow infusion method: Just add the lid to the jar and put it away in a dark place for 4 to 6 weeks. Shake the jar every once in a while. You can also put the jar in direct sunlight for a couple weeks to infuse the oil.

Fast double boiler method: Place the jar in a saucepan of a couple inches of hot water and heat the water on low for about 2 hours. Or add the oil and dried herbs or flowers to a double boiler pan and let it simmer but not boil for 1 to 2 hours.

Fast crockpot method: Add your dried herbs or flowers and oil to the crockpot, make sure that the oil covers the herbs. Heat the oil slowly and keep the crockpot on warm. Try to keep the temp between 120-130 F. Let it heat for several hours.

Making the Catnip Salve

The next step to follow these easy instructions to make the homemade catnip salve. First, strain the dried catnip from the infused catnip oil.

strained catnip from the infused oil
Straining the catnip from the oil

Once you have the strained catnip oil-infusion, add the desired amount to a double boiler, with a small saucepan, then add the beeswax and shea butter. My measurements are 1 cup infusion oil to 2 Tbsp. beeswax and 1 Tbsp. shea butter. I used 1/2 cup infusion oil to 1 Tbsp. beeswax and 1/2 Tbsp. shea butter for the catnip salve. It made 2 2-oz tins. A lot of recipes for salves that I have seen use measurements in grams and oz. I feel it is easier with simple measurements and the salve turned out great.

Adding beeswax to the catnip infused oil
Adding beeswax to the catnip infused oil

Stir until the beeswax pellets and shea butter melt.

When the beeswax and shea butter are melted, pour the mixture, which will be in liquid form, into 2- ounce tin or 2 ounce jars. Option is to add essential oils or scents and also to add mica powder for color. I added a green colored mica power to the salve.

pouring catnip salve mixture into the small tins

Let the salve set and set up. It does not take very long for it to harden.

2 tins of liquid catnip salve


Enjoy making and using your own catnip salve made from natural ingredients. It is very easy to make small batches of these salves from simple ingredients. The wonderful salve would also make a lovely gift!

catnip salve with flowers

I have made other flower and herbal homemade salves including  salve from purple nettlesalve made from lavenderhoneysuckle salve and a salve made from sage and also peony salveelderflower salvewhite clover salveyarrow salve and lilac salve from flowers. I have also made some flower and herbal lotion bars including lotion bars from rose petals and lotion bars from sagelilac and peony.

See my website at to learn more and for additional made from nature recipes, such as my flower jellies including my dandelion jelly reciperedbud jelly recipelilac jelly recipe peony jelly and apple blossom recipe.

The website also includes canning recipes and other favorite great recipes, plus posts about other homestead-type activities, such as gardening and raising chickens.

For updates, please follow my Facebook page at Hawk Point Hobby Homestead.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only.  It should not be seen as medical or any other advice. I am not a medical expert so individual precautions should be considered.

Some links are affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

catnip salve

Catnip Salve Recipe

Yield: 4 2-oz tins
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This homemade natural catnip salve recipe is so easy to make and results in a salve with many healing properties.


  • Dried catnip and Carrier Oil, which can include sweet almond oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, or olive oil, to make your infused oil (methods to make infused oil is included in the article above)
  • 1 cup of the infused oil
  • 2 Tbsp. beeswax
  • 1 Tbsp. shea butter
  • Optional: Essential oil of your choice
  • Optional: Mica Powder for Color


  1. Create the catnip infused oil with the dried lemon balm leaves and the carrier oil- See Notes
  2. Heat the infused oil in a double boiler
  3. Add the beeswax and shea butter
  4. Heat and stir until the beeswax and shea butter are completely melted
  5. Pour the liquid into 2 oz tins or jars
  6. Optional: Add essential oil of your choice, Add mica powder for color
  7. Let the salve set up


There are several methods for creating the infused oil which are described in the article.

This recipe makes 4 2-oz tins. I cut the recipe in half and made 2 2 -oz tins.

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