Planta Med 2010; 76(3): 203-217
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1240707
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Review on Experimental Research of Herbal Medicines with Anti-Amnesic Activity

Ming Tsuen Hsieh1 , Wen Huang Peng1 , Chi Rei Wu1 , Kit Ying Ng2 , Chuen Lung Cheng2 , Hong Xi Xu2
  • 1Graduate Institute of Chinese Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
  • 2Hong Kong Jockey Club Institute of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China
Further Information

Publication History

received August 21, 2009 revised October 7, 2009

accepted Nov. 20, 2009

Publication Date:
23 December 2009 (online)


Amnesia is characterized by the inability to form memories or total or partial loss of memory secondary to cerebral malfunction following degenerative diseases, cerebral infections, traumatic injuries and emotional events which could be differentiated from dementia. However, no effective treatment for amnesia is currently available. Much research effort has been focused on developing new drugs from herbal medicines which have multifunctional properties. Novel plant extracts and their major or bioactive components including alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides and saponins with promising antioxidant effects, various effects on cholinergic, GABAergic, glutaminergic, serotonergic, catecholaminergic and histaminergic systems, enhancement of cerebral blood flow and elevation of ribonucleic acid (RNA) as well as protein levels have been studied. In this review, we discuss the research findings on novel plant extracts and their bioactives with anti-amnesic effects on different neurotransmitter systems. Developing new drugs from herbal medicines for the treatment of amnesia is a hopeful attempt to meet the unmet medical needs.


Dr. Hong Xi Xu

Hong Kong Jockey Club Institute of Chinese Medicine
Unit 703, 7/F
Bio-Informatics Centre
Hong Kong Science Park


Hong Kong

People's Republic of China

Phone: + 85 2 34 06 28 73

Fax: + 85 2 35 51 73 33