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History and background
The origin of the name ‘Nepeta cataria’ is simple: it’s thought that ‘Nepeta’ comes from the Italian town of Nepete, while cataria comes, perhaps unsurprisingly, from the Latin word catus, meaning cat.
We don’t know for certain when it was discovered, or who by, but it’s widely speculated that the ancient Egyptians were the first to find catnip (and give it to their cats). Either way, its effect on cats is now well understood; an ingredient called nepetalactone is responsible, which was first discovered in 1941 by a researcher in Wisconsin named Samuel McElvain.
How to use dried catnip
Nepeta cataria is cultivated as an ornamental plant for use in gardens. It is also grown for its attractive qualities to house cats and butterflies, and can be used in companion planting as a repellent for certain insects (including aphids).
In dried form, catnip is every bit as potent and effective on the feline population. But what about humans? Although its effects on humans are less well-known, dried catnip is thought to offer a number of health benefits, including the ability to relieve symptoms of the flu, colds, digestive problems and even stress.Contact Us
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Frequently Asked Questions
The oil nepetalactone, which is present in the stem and leaves of the catnip plant, stimulates the brain to release chemicals that improve a cat’s mood and happiness. The effect of this oil on a cat is thought to be similar to that of hallucinogens on humans.
Yes, it’s safe for both humans and cats to consume catnip in moderation.