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Herbal Catnip, the Natural Insect Repellent, Scientists Suggested

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By Kyle J. Norton, Master of Nutrition

Scientists may have found a natural repellent which protects our skin against insect biting without inducing any side effects, some scientists suggested.

In the rating of products that work best against mosquitoes and ticks, the consumer report found that deet (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) is one of the best to protect us against mosquitoes and ticks, Any products that contain 15 to 30 percent deep can provide long-lasting protection.

 

However, large oral doses of deep were found to induce symptoms of nausea, vomiting, bradycardia, and seizures. In serious cases, deet can cause cardiotoxicity. Contact exposure to deet also has the potential for dermal effects, leading to numbness and redness of the applied area, according to the study “Neurotoxicity and Mode of Action of N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET)” by Dr. Daniel R. Swale.

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

The herb has bused use in herbal medicine as an insect repellant and to treat digestive disorders, children restlessness and nervousness, fevers, cold and flu, skin irritations stimulate sweating, promote menstruation, etc..

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

In the study to evaluate the effects herbal Catnip as an effective mosquito repellent against several Aedes and Culex species, both topically and spatially, researchers launched a study of the essential oil of the herb in laboratory bioassays.

Catnip essential oil (at a dosage of 20 mg) resulted in average repellency rates of 96% against stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans (L.) and 79% against houseflies, Musca domestica (L.), respectively.

 

Catnip oil use as a potential biting and nuisance insect repellent in urban settings was a moderate irritant with non-irritating to the eye.

 

Dr. Zhu JJ, at the final report, said, ” In comparison with other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved mosquito repellents (DEET, picaridin and p-menthane-3,8-diol), catnip oil can be considered a relatively safe repellent, which may cause minor skin irritation”.

 

Additionally, in the findings of a safer fly control strategies, researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (ARS-USDA) launched an investigation of the effectiveness of catnip (Nepeta cataria L.) oil and its constituent compounds, nepetalactones, as stable fly repellents.

 

Injection of essential oil of catnip reduced the feeding of stable flies by >96% in an in vitro bioassay system, compared with other sesquiterpene-rich plant oils.

Catnip oil demonstrated strong repellency, compared to others chemicals for repelling biting insects, including isolongifolenone, 2-methylpiperidinyl-3-cyclohexen-1-carboxamide and (1S,2′S)-2-methylpiperidinyl-3-cyclohexen-1-carboxamide.

 

After taking into account of co and confounders Dr.Zhu JJ, the lead author said, ” In field trials, two formulations of catnip oil provided >95% protection and were effective for up to 6 h when tested on cattle. Catnip oil also acted as a strong oviposition repellent and reduced gravid stable fly oviposition by 98%”.

 

Taken altogether, there is no doubt that Catnip essential oil can be considered an effective insect repellent natural remedy. 

 

 

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Back to Kyle J. Norton Homepage http://kylejnorton.blogspot.ca

Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Disilgold.com Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

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)

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