Monday, 28 October 2013

Popular Herbs - Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

Catnip is also known as catswort, or catmint, a plant of Nepeta, belonging to the family of Lamiaceae, native to Europe and Asia. It has been use in herbal medicine as insect repellant and to treat digestive disorders, children restlessness and nervousness, fevers, cold and flu, skin irritations stimulate sweating, promote menstruation, etc..

Health Benefits
Antimicrobial and antioxidant activity
Essential oil and methanol extract from Nepeta catari exerted weak activity having inhibiton ratios of linoleic acid oxidation at 16.4% and 27.0%, respectively, according to the study of `Antimicrobial and antioxidant activity of the essential oil and methanol extract of Nepeta cataria`by Adiguzel A, Ozer H, Sokmen M, Gulluce M, Sokmen A, Kilic H, Sahin F, Baris O.(1)

2. Spasmolytic and bronchodilatory properties
Essential oil of Nepeta cataria possesses spasmolytic and myorelaxant activities mediated possibly through dual inhibition of calcium channels and PDE, which may explain its traditional use in colic, diarrhea, cough and asthma, according to the study of `Chemical composition and mechanisms underlying the spasmolytic and bronchodilatory properties of the essential oil of Nepeta cataria L.`by Gilani AH, Shah AJ, Zubair A, Khalid S, Kiani J, Ahmed A, Rasheed M, Ahmad VU.(2)

3. Penile erection
Nepeta cataria has increased penile erection and slightly improves male rat sexual behavior by an action on dopaminergic systems, according to the study of `Nepeta cataria L. var. citriodora (Becker) increases penile erection in rats`by Bernardi MM, Kirsten TB, Lago JH, Giovani TM, Massoco Cde O.(3)

4. Mosquitoes, stable flies, and deer ticks
nepetalactones, the essential oil of catmint, Nepeta cataria L. has exerted the function of insect repellent (ingredient N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (DEET) and DHN 1 and DHN 2) including
mosquitos, flies and against black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis Say) nymphs, according to the study of `Dihydronepetalactones deter feeding activity by mosquitoes, stable flies, and deer ticks`by Feaster JE, Scialdone MA, Todd RG, Gonzalez YI, Foster JP, Hallahan DL.(4)

5. Staphylococcus aureus
diethyl ether extract of concentrations equal to 1/2 and 1/4 MIC from Nepeta cataria has exerted the inhibition of DNAse, thermonuclease and lipase and A reduction of adherence was also observed, according to the study of `The effect of Nepeta cataria extract on adherence and enzyme production of Staphylococcus aureus`by Nostro A, Cannatelli MA, Crisafi G, Alonzo V.(5)

6. Biphasic effect
The alcohol extract of catnip has a biphasic effect on the behavior of young chicks. Low and moderate dose levels (25--1800 mg/kg) cause increasing numbers of chicks to sleep, while high dose levels (i.e. above 2 g/kg) cause a decreasing number of chicks to sleep, according to the study of `The effect of an ethanol extract of catnip (Nepeta cataria) on the behavior of the young chick`by Sherry CJ, Hunter PS.(6)

7. Etc.

Side effects
1. Overdose of Catnip may cause central nervous system depression, according to the study of `Croton zehntneri: possible central nervous system effects of the essential oil in rodents`by Batatinha MJ, de Souza-Spinosa H, Bernardi MM(a)
2. Long-term exposure induced tolerance to stereotypic behavior, catalepsy and sleeping time, and increased the susceptibility to seizures, according to the study of `Behavioral effects of acute and long-term administration of catnip (Nepeta cataria) in mice`by Massoco CO, Silva MR, Gorniak SL, Spinosa MS, Bernardi MM(b)
3. Catnip may interacts with ither medication if used used on a daily basis
4. Etc.

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