By Robert Sanders, Media Relations | 06 February 2007
BERKELEY – Just a few whiffs of a chemical found in male sweat is enough to raise levels of cortisol, a hormone commonly associated with alertness or stress, in heterosexual women, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley, scientists.
The study, reported this week in The Journal of Neuroscience, provides the first direct evidence that humans, like rats, moths and butterflies, secrete a scent that affects the physiology of the opposite sex.
“This is the first time anyone has demonstrated that a change in women’s hormonal levels is induced by sniffing an identified compound of male sweat,” as opposed to applying a chemical to the upper lip, said study leader Claire Wyart, a post-doctoral fellow at UC Berkeley.
The team’s work was inspired by previous studies by Wyart’s colleague Noam Sobel, associate professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and director of the Berkeley Olfactory Research Program. He found that the chemical androstadienone – a compound found in male sweat and an additive in perfumes and colognes – changed mood, sexual arousal, physiological arousal and brain activation in women.
I can’t help but think of that dumb bird that runs around squawking “I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!”
According to various online sources, catnip is a perennial herb and belongs to the mint family. A few sites claim it’s a distant relative to marijuana.
Catnip is now native in North America after being introduced from the Mediterranean. Its active ingredient is Nepetalactone. Response to the chemical is dealt with through the olfactory (smell) system; cats have a special receptor for catnip. The chemical is said to mimic the effects of a pheromone and causes a variety of behaviors.
When your kitty gets a whiff of catnip they’ll probably sniff, rub, lick and bite at the plant. Their head will shake, and they’ll rub their chin and face and body all over the catnip. The initial reaction lasts anywhere from five to 15 minutes and can’t be evoked for another hour after first exposure.
Catnip is ineffective on very young and very old cats, and between 10 and 30 percent of the feline world doesn’t care for the plant.
And some cats are wackier for the weed than others. The reaction of some cats might appear violent and others are more subdued. Discontinue using the herb if your precious kitty vomits or has diarrhea as a result.
And you can grow your own catnip. It’s a perennial and you should be able to find it at a local nursery when it’s in season. But be careful — some sources said it can take over your garden.
Hi friends, this is my first post in InfoPheromone Blog. We well guide through the pheromone world.