Planta Med 2015; 81(03): 193-199
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1396138
Biological and Pharmacological Activity
Original Papers
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Synergistic Effect of Fragrant Herbs in Japanese Scent Sachets

Yumi Fujiwara
Department of Pharmacognosy, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Science, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
Michiho Ito
Department of Pharmacognosy, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Science, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received 29 July 2014
revised 26 November 2014

accepted 27 November 2014

Publication Date:
11 February 2015 (online)


The sedative activity of eight aromatic natural medicines that are traditionally used in Japanese scent sachets was examined using an open field test with mice. Galangal (Kaempferia galanga), patchouli (Pogostemon cablin), sandalwood (Santalum album), spikenard (Nardostachys chinensis), cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia), clove (Syzygium aromaticum), star anise (Illicium verum), and borneol (Dryobalanops aromatica) distilled oils were used. These natural medicines have various pharmacological effects. For example, galangal has insecticidal activity and clove extracts possess strong total antioxidant activity. Aromatherapy, a well-known complementary medicine system that uses inhalation, has recently attracted much attention. The sedative activity of inhaled aromatic compounds or essential oils has been examined by measuring the spontaneous motor activity of mice in an open field test. The galangal, patchouli, sandalwood, spikenard, and borneol oils showed significant sedative effects. The effect was stronger for a mixture of the five oils than for any of the single oils. This suggests that the oil mixture may have synergistic activity. Sedative activity was not observed when inactive oils (cinnamon, clove, and star anise) were added to the mixture of the five active oils.

Supporting Information

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