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catnip :)

Rowena Cave-Lynch pppnic at actrix.gen.nz
Thu Jan 18 20:27:43 EST 1996

>Hi nice people,

>I've always been curious about this, but couldn't find it

>Um, does anyone know what the "drug" is in catnip?  And
>why does it only work on cats (or is that not true)?

>Any hints or conjectures would be very much appreciated,
>or you can tell me where to go (which newsgroup, that is).

>Always curious (as is Rollie, my beloved Tabby)

>P.S., I'm a grad student in Pharmacology, so I'll use this 
>information for good, not evil.


>sandraw at U.Arizona.EDU

Catnip (Nepeta Cataria): a perennial of the mint family. My "Grieves"  Herbal 
says of it that it is the bruised plant cats like - if not bruised, they 
ignore it.  Rats, apparently, hate it. It is carminative, tonic, diaphoretic, 
refrigerant and slightly emmenagogic, particularly anti-spasmodic, and mildly 
stimulating. etc. She doesn't, however, go into the chemical constituents as 
she does with many herbs. However, I have read (I also have catnip-intoxicated 
cats) that the scent is very close to a pheromone produced by lactating female 
cats, which would explain the almost orgasmic writhing of our cat in the 

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