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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