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90Re: Catnip (nepeta cataria)

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  • Richard Morris
    Feb 6, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      jim tyler <smokeyjt@...> wrote:
      >
      > A friend of mine told me he had read an article in the local news paper
      > stating there is a study about the possibility of catnip repelling
      > mosquitos.Is there such a study? Thank You for any clarification you may
      > have.

      We don't have direct mention of mosquitos but in the PFAF database
      entry for the plant
      http://www.comp.leeds.ac.uk/cgi-bin/pfaf/arr_html?Nepeta+cataria
      we have

      Other Uses
      ----------

      Essential; Herbicide; Pot-pourri; Repellent.

      The plant is said to deter insects such as ants and flea beetles[14,
      20, 201] as well as rats and mice[4, 200, 201]. (The idea behind it
      being a rat repellent is probably based on the plants attraction to
      cats, see notes above.) A strong infusion can be used to repel fleas
      from carpets or the fur of animals[201]. An extract from the leaves
      (called nepetalactone) has herbicidal and insect repellant
      properties[222].
      The freshly harvested flowering tops contain 0.3 - 1% essential
      oil by distillation[218]. It is mainly used for medicinal purposes[218].
      The dried leaves retain their fragrance and can be used in
      pot-pourri[245].

      The Relavent references are

      [4] Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin 1984 ISBN 0-14-046-440-9
      Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate
      plants.
      http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/mgmh.html

      [200] Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
      MacMillan Press 1992 ISBN 0-333-47494-5
      Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly
      mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

      [201] Allardice.P. A - Z of Companion Planting. Cassell Publishers Ltd.
      1993 ISBN 0-304-34324-2
      A well produced and very readable book.

      [222] Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants.
      Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. 1990 ISBN
      0395467225
      A concise book dealing with almost 500 species. A line drawing of each
      plant is included plus colour photographs of about 100 species. Very
      good
      as a field guide, it only gives brief details about the plants medicinal
      properties.


      I've also passed on the query to the pfaf mailing list, maybe someone
      there can shed a little light.

      Rich


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