Thursday, 15 March 2012

Aromatherapy for cats - Plant families - Cats go mad for mint

As a fun aside on my earlier post on the lamiaceae and rutaceae...............

 I remember as a child the family siamese cat going mad for mint in the garden. Nepata Cataria is a member of the Lamiaceae. The nepatalactone is thought to give cats a sense of euphoria. Not aware of a similar effect on humans though of course we do love our mints!  Essential oils should not be used on children and pets as a matter of routine. If used then do seek the guidance of a local aromatherapist who will advise on the safe use of the oils.  Nothing wrong with inhalation. As few as 20 molecules are enough to have an effect on the emotions.  Horses will turn their heads away from an essential oil they dont need.  However essential oils should not be used on small pets.  Dogs cannot eliminate tea tree oil in particular and a drop or so on a poorly paw will induce a state of toxicosis which is very distressing for both the dog and the owner. 

here is Robert Tisserands article

Actually this started out a fun post but it turns out catnip is an excellent mosquito and tick repellant better than DEET so suitable for those seeking DEETfree solutions.  It is expensive to cultivate however.
here is a source of the oil

Earlier post

You can get a long way in your aromatherapy learning by remembering these plants belong to just two of the most highly advanced plant families

Lavender Lavandula angustifolia Mill. flowers
Clary sage Salvia sclarea L. herb
Marjoram Origanum majorana L. herb
Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis L. herb
Peppermint Mentha x piperita L. herb
Basil Ocimum basilicum L. herb
Melissa Melissa officinalis herb
Thyme Thymus vulgaris ct thymol herb
Patchouli Pogostemon cablin Benth. leaves
Orange, bitter Citrus aurantium L. fruit
Bergamot Citrus bergamia Risso. fruit
Lemon Citrus limon (L.) Burm. fruit

As a safety tip remember Lamiaceae flowers from which the oil is distilled are designed to ATTRACT insects and animals. The Lamiaceae chemical components are designed to bind to sense receptors in the nose and via the cranial nerve stimulate the emotions creating a feeling of wellness. The essential oils found in RUTACEAE are in the outer skin which we peel off to eat the fleshy fruit.  The outer skin is designed to keep insects away until the fruit is ready to drop.  Therefore use the Rutaceae with caution on the skin. The Rutaceae chemical components, principally Citral, an aldehyde, tend to irritate the trigeminal nerve creating a feeling of stimulation.  The trigeminal nerve also gives us the impression of an oil being warming (ginger) or cooling (peppermint).

Other plant families
What is the important medical property of the Asteraceae, associated with a constituent produced in the distillation process rather than present in the plant...anti-in........ This is a plant associated with what energy, yin or yang in chinese medicine and with which planetary body in folklore? why is anti-in.......... important as a medical property?

Which important plant family was unknown until the discovery of australia?


By contrast with what plant family have we had an important relationship with for 40 million years?

Which member is best left to enjoy at home?

Which wood is burned on honeymoon by middle eastern brides to relax their husbands?


Which member of the Zingiberaceae is useful in hospital setting for relieving nausea so getting and keeping the medication down and for digestion generally?


Ian Brealey

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