Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Herbal Catnip (Nepeta cataria) and anti-microbial activity

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..

The immune system is the set of cells and their activity against antigens or infectious agents that comprises of the body's defense system against diseases. The immune system does a great job of keeping people healthy and preventing infections. Beside foods and nutritional supplements, herbs also play a important role in helping the immune system defend against viruses and bacteria attacks.

Beside the major constituent of terpenoid nepetalactone, the herb also contains α-Pinene, β-Pinene, Cyclohexen-1-yl-methyl ketone, Triplal, Thymol, Nepetalactone, Nepetalactone, etc.

The benefits
 Chemical composition of essential oil from N. cataria found that the chemical 4a-α, 7-α, 7a-β-nepetalactone (55-58%), and 4a-α, 7-β, 7a-α-nepetalactone (30-31.2%) were effective in exerting theirs anti microbial activity against all tested bacteria at concentrations of 0.125-4 μL/mL. and inhibited the growth of Candida species at a concentration less than 1 μL/mL. Other in the study of the anti bacterial effect of some herbs, including Catnip, found that Lavender oil is more effective in exhibition of antibacterial ability in comparison with C. nepeta essential oil, probably based on the concept of synergistic values of essential oil components.

Side effects
 1. Overdose of Catnip may cause central nervous system depression.
2. Long-term exposure induced tolerance to stereotypic behavior, catalepsy and sleeping time, and increased the susceptibility to seizures.
3. Catnip may interacts with other medication if used  on a daily basis
4. Etc.

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Back to Herbal Therapy

(1) Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial Activities of Essential Oils from Nepeta cataria L. against Common Causes of Food-Borne Infections by Kamiar Zomorodian, Mohammad Jamal Saharkhiz, Samaneh Shariati, Keyvan Pakshir, Mohammad Javad Rahimi,  and Reza Khashei(PubMed)
(2) Effects of Nepeta menthoides aqueous extract on retention and retrieval of memory in mice by Sarahroodi S, Jafari-Najafi R, Nasri S, Rohampour K, Maleki-Jamshid A, Esmaeili S.(PubMed)