The aim of the present study was to investigate the ethanolic extract of Semen Ziziphi jujuba (SZJE) induced anxiolytic effect. The SZJE was orally administered to male ICR mice, at 0.5, 1.0 and 2. 0 g/kg, 30 min before the behavioral evaluation in the black and white test (BWT) and elevated plus maze (EPM). The SZJE at the dosage 0.5-2.0 g/kg increased the first time entry, total changes and times spent in the white chamber of the BWT. The SZJE at the dosage 0.5-1.0 g/kg increased the percentage of time-spent and the percentage of arm entries in the open arms of the EPM and decreased the percentage of time-spent and the percentage of arm entries in the closed arms of the EPM. Furthermore, the SZJE at the dosage of 1. 0 g/kg prolonged the hexobarbital-induced sleeping time in mice and decreased the locomotor activity in rats. These results suggested that SZJE possessed anxiolytic effect at lower dose and sedative effect at higher dose.