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Monday, 19 May 2014

Herbal Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

Catnip is also known as catswort, or catmint, a plant of Nepeta, belonging to the family Lamiaceae, native to Europe and Asia. It has been used 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..

Ingredients
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.

1. Herbal Catnip (Nepeta cataria) and anti-microbial activity
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.

The benefits
 Chemical composition of essential oil from N. cataria including 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.


2. Herbal Catnip (Nepeta cataria) and memory
Central nervous system include is the part of the nervous system of the brain and spinal cord with function of integrates information it receives from for the entire nervous system, and control all the workings of your body.

Evidences emerged in the research community that certain ingredients plants and vegetable may  improve the cognitive function by enhancing theirs antioxidant activity. Study of the effects of menthoides aqueous extract on memory retention and retrieval of mice using passive avoidance apparatus, the result showed that the extract has exerted its antioxidant effect by enhancing the  memory retention and retrieval, these may be a result of the effects of the herb's rosmarinic acid, caffeic acid and phenolic acids.

References
(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) Chemical composition and antimicrobial activities of essential oil of nepeta cataria L. Against common causes of oral infections by Zomorodian K1, Saharkhiz MJ2, Rahimi MJ1, Shariatifard S3, Pakshir K1, Khashei R4.(PubMed)
(3)  Investigation of the chemical composition-antibacterial activity relationship of essential oils by chemometric methods, by Miladinović DL, Ilić BS, Mihajilov-Krstev TM, Nikolić ND, Miladinović LC, Cvetković OG.(PubMed)
(4) Croton zehntneri: possible central nervous system effects of the essential oil in rodents`by Batatinha MJ, de Souza-Spinosa H, Bernardi MM(PubMed)
(5) `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(PubMed)
 



3. Herbal catnip as repellent
Catnip may be used as repellent agent in protect skin against insect and may be used to 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 tsuch as isolongifolenone, 2-methylpiperidinyl-3-cyclohexen-1-carboxamide and (1S,2'S)-2-methylpiperidinyl-3-cyclohexen-1-carboxamide, showed to effective 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).


References
(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)

3. Catnip and Anti inflammatory effect
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.

Herbal catnip may be used as anti inflammatory agonist in treating chronic related inflammation disease. 4aα,7α,7aβ-nepetalactone and 1,8-cineole, a chemical compound from catnip, found in the main concentrated components of NP essential oil, showed to alleviate symptoms of  both the acute and chronic forms of nociception, through its anti inflammatory effect in does depending manner, ibn rat study(1). In support of the above, the Tarbiat Modares University study showed that Nepeta crispa essential oil enhances anti-inflammatory effects in the formalin-induced paw inflammation model and significantly reduced the paw oedema in all applied doses(2).
The coincidence of the proven inflammatory effect with insistence of herbalist may be due to its  inhibition of calcineurin; an important regulator of T-cell mediated inflammation that has received little attention in ethnopharmacological research, Dr. Prescott TA and the research team at the Royal Botanic Gardens suggested(3).

4. Etc.


References
(1) Evaluation of the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of essential oil of Nepeta pogonosperma Jamzad et Assadi in rats by Ali T, Javan M, Sonboli A, Semnanian S.(PubMed)
(2) Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of the essential oil of Nepeta crispa Willd. in experimental rat models by Ali T, Javan M, Sonboli A, Semnanian S.(PubMed)
(3) Direct inhibition of calcineurin by caffeoyl phenylethanoid glycosides from Teucrium chamaedrys and Nepeta cataria by Prescott TA, Veitch NC, Simmonds MS.(PubMed)

4. Catnip as Antioxidants
Free radicals are atoms, molecules, or ions with unpaired electrons through chemical bonds with other atoms or molecules during a chemical reaction. They may have positive, negative or zero charge. The unpaired electrons cause radicals to be highly chemically reactive in the human body, leading to aging and cancers.

Beside containing anti inflammatory effect, Catnip may also act as antioxidants in fighting against forming of free radicals. In fact, the study at the found that catnip and other plants used in folk medicine in the Mediterranean basin in the experiment showed to exhibit  the deduction of reactive oxygen species produced by neutrophils, such as the superoxide anion and the hydroxyl radical, could be implicated in the overall reduction of inflammation(1).
The testing of herbal medicine Teucrium chamaedrys L. and Nepeta cataria L. (Lamiaceae) used in traditional medicine in treatment of  related nflammation, also support the antioxidant effect of catnip, through inhibition of calcineurin; an important regulator of T-cell mediated inflammation that has received little attention in ethnopharmacological research(2).


References
(1) Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and apoptotic activities of four plant species used in folk medicine in the Mediterranean basin by Amira S, Dade M, Schinella G, Ríos JL.(PubMed)
(2) Direct inhibition of calcineurin by caffeoyl phenylethanoid glycosides from Teucrium chamaedrys and Nepeta cataria by Prescott TA1, Veitch NC, Simmonds MS(PubMed)



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.



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