Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a herbaceous plant that has been traditionally used for its medicinal properties, particularly for its calming effects. In recent years, scientific research has been conducted to understand how catnip works and how it can help with anxiety and stress. In this article, we will explore how catnip helps with anxiety and stress.
Catnip contains several active compounds that are responsible for its effects on the body, including its sedative and calming effects. The main active compound in catnip is nepetalactone, which has been shown to have anxiolytic effects. Nepetalactone acts on the central nervous system and enhances the activity of GABA, a neurotransmitter that has a calming effect on the brain. This helps to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
In addition to nepetalactone, catnip also contains other active compounds that may help to reduce anxiety and stress. For example, caryophyllene, a terpene found in catnip, has been shown to have anxiolytic effects in animal studies. It acts on the endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating mood and anxiety.
Catnip may also help to reduce stress by promoting better sleep. Lack of sleep can exacerbate feelings of stress and anxiety, and catnip has been shown to have sedative effects that can help to promote restful sleep. In one study, catnip extract was found to increase the duration of sleep in mice.
Another way that catnip may help to reduce anxiety and stress is by improving digestion. Stress can disrupt digestion and cause symptoms such as stomach pain, bloating, and constipation. Catnip has been shown to have antispasmodic and carminative effects, which can help to soothe the digestive system and relieve symptoms of stress-related digestive problems.
In conclusion, catnip contains several active compounds that can help to reduce anxiety and stress. Nepetalactone, the main active compound in catnip, has been shown to have anxiolytic effects by enhancing the activity of GABA in the brain. Catnip may also help to reduce stress by promoting better sleep and improving digestion. While catnip is generally considered safe when used in moderation, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider before using it as a natural remedy for anxiety or stress.
Read more:Exploring Catnip's Medicinal Properties