Just say no to catnip -- unless you're a cat

04/18/2013 | Popular Science

Researchers have come a long way in understanding how catnip stimulates a simulated sexual response in the 70%-80% of felines who are genetically predisposed to sensitivity to nepetalactone, the plant's active ingredient, but they are less certain why the herbaceous material seems to have no effect on other mammals, namely humans. While early reports suggested humans could enjoy the pleasure of the plant with their feline friends, scientists now say the only thing you're likely to get from ingesting catnip is a headache and a sick stomach. "Think about it ... catnip is cheap and legal. If it had a significant effect on people, everyone would be smoking it," said Dr. Arnold Plotnick, a veterinarian.

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