Journal of Natural Medicines

, Volume 63, Issue 4, pp 380–385

Evaluation of volatile components from spikenard: valerena-4,7(11)-diene is a highly active sedative compound

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11418-009-0340-x

Cite this article as:
Takemoto, H., Yagura, T. & Ito, M. J Nat Med (2009) 63: 380. doi:10.1007/s11418-009-0340-x


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 chinensis Spikenard Sedative effect Inhalation Spontaneous motor activity Volatile compound 

Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Pharmacognosy and Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Pharmaceutical SciencesKitasato UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Takeda Pharmaceutical Company LimitedKyotoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacognosy, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical ScienceKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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