Neuropharmacological activities of phytoncide released from Cryptomeria japonica


Forest-air bathing and walking (shinrin-yoku) is beneficial to human heath. In this study the phytoncide (volatile compounds) released from Cryptomeria japonica plantation forest was characterized by using solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The main volatile compounds were α-pinene (19.35%), β-myrcene (16.98%), d-limonene (15.21%), and γ-muurolene (7.42%). Furthermore, the neuropharmacological activity of the essential oils from leaves of C. japonica (ECJ) was evaluated by several animal behavior tests. ECJ could prolong the sleeping phase of ICR (imprinting control region) mice in the pentobarbital-induced sleeping time model. Furthermore, both EJC and one of its monoterpenes, d-limonene, possessed potent anxiolytic and analgesic activities based on the results obtained from elevated plus maze and writhing tests. The volatile compounds released from C. japonica provide relaxing and stress-relieving effects on mice, and further study on the effect of phytoncide on humans is worthwhile.


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Correspondence to Sheng-Yang Wang.

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Cheng, W., Lin, C., Chu, F. et al. Neuropharmacological activities of phytoncide released from Cryptomeria japonica . J Wood Sci 55, 27–31 (2009).

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Key words

  • Cryptomeria japonica
  • Essential oil
  • Neuropharmacological activities
  • Phytoncide
  • SPME