Valerena-4,7(11)-diene and β-maaliene were isolated from spikenard for the first time, and the effects of inhaling these compounds were investigated. Both compounds reduced the locomotor activity of mice dose-dependently, even at a low dose. Valerena-4,7(11)-diene had a particularly profound effect, with the strongest sedative activity observed at a dose of 0.06%. Caffeine-treated mice that showed an area under the curve (AUC) for locomotor activity that was double that of controls were calmed to normal levels by administration of valerena-4,7(11)-diene. The continuous sleep time of pentobarbital-treated mice was prolonged by about 2.7 times with valerena-4,7(11)-diene, an effect similar to that of chlorpromazine administered orally.
Nardostachys chinensisSpikenardSedative effectInhalationSpontaneous motor activityVolatile compound