Nepeta cataria (also known as catnip, catswort, or catmint) is a member of the mint family, and due to active components, is much favoured by cats.
Catmints are mostly known for the behavioral effects they have on cats, not only on domestic cats but also big cats. N. cataria is used as a recreational substance for pet cats' enjoyment, and catnip and laced-catnip products designed for use with domesticated cats are available to consumers. Not all cats are affected by catnip. The common behaviors when cats sense the bruised leaves or stems of catnip are rubbing on the plant, rolling on the ground, pawing at it, licking it, and chewing it. Consuming much of the plant is followed by drooling, sleepiness, anxiety, leaping about and purring. Some will growl, meow, scratch, or bite the hand holding it.
It is used in a number of teas. It is stated to have a number of health benefits, but there can be a number of side effects.
For a more comprehensive treatment, see the article on Wikipedia.
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- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Grognet J (June 1990) “Catnip: Its uses and effects, past and present,” wikipedia:The Canadian Veterinary Journal 31 (6):455-456