Nepeta hindostana

(Roth) Haines.

Family ► Labiatae, Lamiaceae.

Habitat ► Cultivated in Britain and the USA. Occurs in Himalayas from Kashmir to Nepal at 2,000-3,300 m.

English ► Catnip, Catnep, Catmint.

Action ► Leaves and flowers— gentle nerve relaxant and sedative, carminative, antispasmodic, an-tidiarrhoeal, diaphoretic, febrifuge. Used in restlessness, convulsions, nervous headache, colic, early stages of fever, colds and influenza. The herb is to be infused (not boiled).

Catnip contains iridoids, tannins and volatile oil, major components being alpha- and beta-nepetalactone (up to 42%), citronellol and geraniol.

The catnip response in the domestic cat is being attributed to iridoid lac-tones, nepetalactone, dihydronepeta-lactone, iso-dihydronepetalactone and neonepetalactone. Its reputation as a hallucinogen has been disputed, but a few studies have shown behavioural effects, although weak, in young chicks,

Synonym ► N. ruderalis Buch-Ham. ex Benth.

Family ► Labiatae; Lamiaceae.

Habitat ► Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and South India up to 2,400 m. (Blue-flowered var.)

Unani ► Baadranjboyaa, Billilotan. Also equated with Melissa officinalis.

Action ► See Nepeta cataria.

The alcoholic extract of the plant yielded a triterpenoid aldehyde, nepe-hinal. Nepetidone, nepedinol, and a triterpenic acid have also been reported. The plant contains flavonoids including nepitrin, dinatin, nepetin. Flowers and stem gave napetol, hen-triacontane and beta-sitosterol. An aqueous extract of flowers contained Na, K, Ca, Mg, Zn, Cd, Cu, Ni, Mn and Fe.

Alcoholic extract of the plant produced marked hypocholesterolaemic effect in experimental animals. It also produced beneficial effects in the histopathology of myocardial infarction. Aqueous extract of the plant, given intravenously, lowered the blood pressure in dogs by 26.87%. It also showed CNS depressant and sedative

Nerium oleander Linn. 437

activities. (In Indian medicine, the plant is used in various cardiac conditions including cardiac asthma.)

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