Background: In Chinese medicine, Ziziphus jujuba Mill. var. spinosa (Bunge) Hu ex H. F. Chou is widely used for the treatment of insomnia.
Purpose/sections: This paper summarises the chemistry, psychopharmacology, and compares the pharmaceutical effects of the seeds of Ziziphus jujuba plant, Ziziphus spinosa (ZS) seeds, with benzodiazepines. Whole extracts and constituent compounds have been evaluated in preclinical and clinical studies.
Conclusions: ZS secondary metabolites modulate GABAergic activity and the serotonergic system. The actual therapeutic agents require further confirmation/identification so that new insomnia phytomedicines can be discovered.
Keywords: Insomnia; Phytochemical; Psychopharmacology; Suan zao ren; Ziziphus spinosa; Zizyphus.
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