Pharmacology and Toxicology of Nepeta cataria (Catmint) Species of Genus Nepeta: A Review

  • Ajay Sharma
  • G. A. Nayik
  • Damanjit Singh Cannoo


Nepeta cataria has acted as the representative species of this genus as this has been the most intensively studied plant. The plant has also been known to contain essential oils, flavonoids, phenolic acid, steroids, terpenoids, and oxygenated terpenoid hydrocarbons. Traditionally, the plant has been used as a remedy for fever, cold, cough, stomach problems, diarrhea, sore throats, headaches, pneumonia, female problems, blood disorders, convulsions, rheumatism, and toothache. Further, leaves and flowering tops have acted as antispasmodic, carminative, stimulant, sedative, emmenagogue, and antiseptic. Furthermore, medicinally herbalists used this plant for the treatment of feverish cold, measles, chickenpox, period problems, nervousness, insomnia, and hypertension. Apart from these, pharmacological screening reported its antifungal, antibacterial, antioxidant, insecticidal, anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive, and spasmolytic properties. The extensive use of Nepeta cataria in folk medicine has justified its position as a key plant for genus Nepeta and its applications in pharmacology. Owing to its varied pharmacological properties, a sizable number of phytochemicals have been isolated till date, but many more are still to be discovered from the store of nature. This review is an evaluation of the present status of this species in terms of the latest information regarding the distribution, taxonomy, and traditional uses and with more emphasis on phytochemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology.


Nepeta cataria Secondary metabolites Nepetalactone Iridoids Essential oils 



The first author is grateful to DST (Department of Science and Technology), Govt. of India, New Delhi, for financial assistance under INSPIRE programme (INSPIRE Code IF120715).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ajay Sharma
    • 1
  • G. A. Nayik
    • 2
  • Damanjit Singh Cannoo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistrySant Longowal Institute of Engineering and TechnologySangrurIndia
  2. 2.Department of Food Engineering & TechnologySant Longowal Institute of Engineering and TechnologySangrurIndia

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