Friday, 16 May 2014

Herbal catnip as repellent

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..

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.

Herbal catnip as repellent
Catnip may be used as repellent agent in protect skin against insect and used as  mosquito repellent against several Aedes and Culex species, both topically and spatially and can be considered as a relatively safe repellent, which may cause minor skin irritation.(1).
In Stomoxys calcitrans (L.) (Diptera: Muscidae) study, chemical compound from catnip oil such as isolongifolenone, 2-methylpiperidinyl-3-cyclohexen-1-carboxamide and (1S,2'S)-2-methylpiperidinyl-3-cyclohexen-1-carboxamide, showed  a significant effect in repellency against stable flies(2).
But in the study by Chemicals Affecting Insect Behavior Laboratory, catnip oil and nepetalactone isomers are significantly less effective when compare with the repellents N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (deet) and chiral (1S,2'S)-2-methylpiperidinyl-3-cyclohexene-1-carboxamide (SS220)(3).

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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(1) Efficacy and safety of catnip (Nepeta cataria) as a novel filth fly repellent by Zhu JJ1, Zeng XP, Berkebile D, DU HJ, Tong Y, Qian K.(PubMed)
(2) Nepetalactones from essential oil of Nepeta cataria represent a stable fly feeding and oviposition repellent by Zhu JJ1, Berkebile DR, Dunlap CA, Zhang A, Boxler D, Tangtrakulwanich K, Behle RW, Baxendale F, Brewer G.(PubMed)
(3) Feeding deterrent effects of catnip oil components compared with two synthetic amides against Aedes aegypti by Chauhan KR1, Klun JA, Debboun M, Kramer M.(PubMed)