Valerian is known chiefly for its sedative properties. It is also antispasmodic, hypnotic, and hypotensive. All these properties make valerian useful for anxiety and tension, where it will help to produce a relaxed state.
It can be helpful in a formula with other herbs for some seizure disorders, where it acts as an antispasmodic and helps calm the nervous system. Valerian helps to relax both skeletal and organ muscles, and it is useful in relieving many kinds of pain, from menstrual cramps to migraine headache. A preparation of valerian root is effective without producing druglike after effects.
As a muscle relaxant and hypnotic, valerian can also be used in insomnia, where, again, it does not leave a druglike dopiness as tranquilizers might. It is best taken shortly before bedtime and can be repeated as necessary. It does not have any reported toxicity.
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Bill (woodworker) - August 14, 2007, 16:29
I want to use valerian for insomnia. I have heard only good things about it. Can I become dependant on valerian? Or can my body become so used to valerian that it will stop working?
ZooScape Moderator - August 14, 2007, 16:36
Valerian root has been shown to be effective consistently over the long term. Studies into Valerian's safety over the long term have not been undertaken, but side effects using Valerian root are rare. Valerian appears to work best when taken for several weeks or more, although some Valerian users find it works for them right away.
Few side effects due to the use of Valerian root have been reported. [Source: Questions and Answers About Valerian for Insomnia and Other Sleep Disorders. Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health.
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