All herbs and medicinals that take nourishing the heart and managing the nerves, stabilizing mental activities as the main effect, and are used for the symptoms of disturbed mind, anxiety, fear, tension, agitation, are called tranquilizers.
Tranquilizing herbs and materials are usually used to treat mental unstableness, palpitaion of heart, insomnia, dreaminess, convulsion, epilepsy and madness due to deficiency of heart qi and blood or excessiveness of heart fire.
According to difference of sources and application characteristics, tranquilizers can be divided into two categories: materials to stabilize mental activities by their beaviness; supplements to tranquilize mind by nourishing the heart. The former are heavy mineral substances, such as cinnabar, amber, magnet, etc., which are mostly used for excess syndrome caused by accumulation of pathogenic factors, such as phlegm, retained fluid, stagnant blood, manifested as heart palpitations, insomnia, convulsion, madness, irritability, etc.; the latter are botanical medicinals, such as wild jujube seed, Semen Biotae, Polygala, Albizia flower, bark of Albizia, Fleece-flower stem, Lucid Ganoderma, etc., having the effect of nourishing the heart and liver, being used for the deficiency syndromes of restlessness, such as heart palpitations, insomnia and dreamoness caused by deficiency of qi, and blood deficiency in the heart and liver. The blood enriching and heart nourishing medicinals are often used together to enhance the effect. In addition, Margarita (Pearl) and Concha Margaritifera Usta (Pearl Shell) are used as sedative and anticonvulsive agent for the treatment of convulsion due to high fever, infantile convulsion.