[Review for sedative and hypnotic mechanism of sedative traditional Chinese medicine and relative active components on neurotransmitters]

Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2016 Dec;41(23):4320-4327. doi: 10.4268/cjcmm20162305.
[Article in Chinese]


The sedative traditional Chinese medicine has a long history of clinical experience in treating insomnia. The main pharmacological effects of sedative agents are sedation, hypnosis, antianxiety and antidepression which might be related to certain neurotransmitters and cytokines and so on. This review summarized the mechanism of sedative traditional Chinese medicine and its active monomers based on neurotransmitters, including GABA, Glu, 5-HT, DA, NE and their metabolites 5-HIAA, HVA, DOPAC. The results showed that the most research about the sedative medicine at present was throught serotonergic and GABA ergic system. Study on Ziziphi Spinosae Semen was the most extensive, including its monomers, extracts and traditional Chinese patent medicines. It involved many sedative traditional Chinese medicine, such as Schisandrae Chinensis Fructus, Albiziae Flos, Polygalae Radix, Longan Arillus, Ganoderma, etc. It also systematically summarized the information which was useful for the further applications and research on sedative drugs and their active components.

Keywords: extracts; insomnia; monomers; neurotransmitter; sedative hypnotic; sedative traditional Chinese medicine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / pharmacology*
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional*
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / pharmacology*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / drug therapy*


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Neurotransmitter Agents