Making Lotion Bars out of Catnip!

Catnip lotion bar

This catnip lotion bar recipe only takes a few simple ingredients and is easy to make. The recipe makes luxurious lotion bars with great benefits for the skin. Once you get started making these all natural lotion bars from fresh flowers, weeds and herbs you will not want to stop. They also make a great gift!

Using the lotion bars on your skin makes it feel soft and silky! The lotion in solid form can be used as massage bars for rough elbows and knees and do not have a greasy feel. Even better than regular lotion!

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 in my garden for catnip lotion bars

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 Lotion Bars

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 lotion bar recipe, the first step is to pick the the fresh catnip.

catnip leaves in a bowl

Next is to dry the leaves. The drying process can include air drying by spreading them in a single layer on a dish towel or paper towel and letting the leaves 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 lotion bars 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 making catnip lotion bars

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 Lotion Bars

The next step is to strain the dried catnip from the infused oil.

strained catnip from the infused oil

Once you have the infused oil, you add the amount desired to a double boiler, then add the beeswax and shea butter. The measurements for solid lotions bars are equal amounts of oil,  beeswax,  shea butter. A lot of recipes for lotion bars and salves that I have seen use measurements in grams and oz. I feel it is easier with simple measurements. I wanted to start with a small batch, so I used 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup beeswax and 1/4 cup shea butter. Cocoa butter can be substituted for shea butter.

Stir until the beeswax and shea butter are melted.

Stirring beeswax and shea butter into infused oil for catnip lotion bars

Pour the mixture into small silicone molds or heatproof candy molds.  I love these flower molds.

pouring catnip lotion bar solution into molds

Option is to add essential oils or fragrance oils and coloring with mica powder to the mixture. I added a green color mica powder.

Let the mixture set up and harden in the silicon mold. It does not take very long to set up to make these homemade catnip lotion bars.


Enjoy making and using these homemade lotion bars made from natural ingredients and herbs and flowers. It is very easy to make small batches of these solid moisturizing lotion bars. The homemade lotion bars also make great gifts!

Catnip lotion bar

See my website at to learn more and for additional made from nature recipes, such as my sage salve recipepurple dead nettle salve recipeelderflower salve, elderflower lotion barrose petal lotion barpeony lotion barwhite clover lotion bar, honeysuckle rose lotion bars and 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.

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Catnip lotion bar

Catnip Lotion Bar Recipe

Yield: 2 Lotion Bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This catnip lotion bar recipe only takes a few simple ingredients and is easy to make. The recipe makes luxurious lotion bars with great benefits for the skin.


  • Dried Catnip and Carrier Oil, which can include sweet almond oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, or olive oil to make infused oil
  • 1/4 cup infused oil
  • 1/4 cup beeswax
  • 1/4 cup shea butter
  • Optional: Essential oil of your choice


  1. Create the catnip infused oil with the dried catnip 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 small silicone or heatproof candy molds
  6. Optional: Add essential oil of your choice. Can also add mica powder for color.
  7. Let the lotion bars set up


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

This was a small batch, that made 2 lotion bars. It can be increased as needed using equal parts oil, beeswax and shea butter.

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