Valerian is one of the most important herbal sedatives and incorporated into numerous products. It is a non-addictive tranquilliser that is specifically recommended against restlessness, sleeplessness, minor nervous complaints, to help support menopausal women and the anxiety associated with premenstrual syndrome. Traditional uses include the support for gastrointestinal pain and spastic colitis.
Description: Valerian represents a species complex; it is an erect perennial herb with creeping, aromatically smelly rhizomes, somewhat fleshy roots, hollow stems, compound leaves and small white or pinkish flowers arranged in flat-topped terminal clusters.
Origin: Europe and Asia (naturalised in North America); cultivated in several European countries, in Japan and the USA.
Parts Used: Rhizomes and roots (Valerianae radix).
Therapeutic Category: Sedative (tranquilliser).
Preparation and Dosage: A daily dose of 10 g of dried root can be used, in doses of 2 - 3 g, taken one to five times per day. For external use, 100 g in a full bath is recommended.
Active Ingredients: The product contains volatile oil (usually less than 1%), with bornyl acetate as the main constituent, together with beta-caryophyllene, valeranone, valerenal, bornyl isovalerate and valerenic acid. Valepotriates (unusual iridoid derivatives) are present in carefully dried root at levels of 0.5-2% (mainly valtrate and acevaltrate, with smaller amounts of other valepotriates). Three cyclopentane sesquiterpenoids (valerenic acid, acetoxyvalerenic acid and valerenal) are characteristic of V. officinalis and do not occur in other species.
Health Effects: Experiments show that aqueous and alcoholic extracts interact mainly with the GABAa- and benzodiazepine receptors. Valepotriates (mainly valtrate or dihydrovaltrate) are spasmolytic. Clinical studies imply that valerian is effective in helping ease sleep disturbances and minor nervous complaints if taken over a period of several weeks.
Notes: Other valerians with sedative activities include V. edulis (= V. mexicana, V. fauriei and V. jatamansi (= V. wallichii).
Status: Traditional health; Pharm.; Comm. E+; ESCOP 4; WHO 1; clinical studies +.
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Anonymous - May 21, 2006, 22:45
What is the dose for anxiety - sleep? Maximum per day ?
The Greek physician Dioscorides reportedly recommended valerian for a host of medical issues, including digestive problems, nausea, liver problems and even urinary tract disorders. Use of valerian for insomnia and nervous conditions has been common for many centuries. By the 18th century, it was an accepted sedative and was also used for nervous disorders associated with a restless digestive tract.
Gigi - May 7, 2006, 16:45
Does valerian root have a tendency to cause hot flashes, especially during the night. Although, it helps in promoting sleep it has made me have restless nights from hot flashes. I was taking 3 capsules before bed as instructed!
ZooScape Moderator - May 8, 2006, 11:37
Valerian Root has actually been used to help reduce hot flashes associated with insomnia and/or menopause and, as such, should not be the reason you are experiencing hot flashes. Some people who suffer with insomnia do experience this condition or it may be an indication of an entirely different condition altogether. In this case, I would suggest that you speak with your physician as he or she holds the most knowledge regarding your personal medical history and will be able to provide the best decision regarding your optimal health.
Should you be interested in an herbal product that can assist with reducing hot flashes, may I suggest Black Cohosh. Black Cohosh Root is one of the world's most famous herbs for women's health. Women throughout the world, both young and old, use Black Cohosh regularly to help them stay balanced during their monthly cycle. Some nineteenth-century American physicians used Black Cohosh for problems such as fever, menstrual cramps, arthritis, and insomnia. Black Cohosh has been valued by many societies for its nutritional support for women. A popular herb for women, it helps restore healthy menses and soothes irritation & congestion of the cervix, uterus and vagina. Black Cohosh can also improve circulation and lower blood pressure by temporarily dilating blood vessels.
Take 1 capsule, 3 times daily, with meals.
Valerian should not be used for more than 2 to 3 weeks at a time, as it may then be harmful or become addictive. Large doses or extended use may produce symptoms of poisoning. In extremely high doses, it may cause paralysis and a weakening of the heart. Take the tea twice daily, for no more than 2-3 weeks at a time without a break, as continual use or high doses may lead to headaches and palpitations. Do not exceed the recommended dose. Use under medical supervision.
Valerian enhances the action of sleep-inducing drugs, so avoid if taking this type of medication. Do not confuse with the garden plant, red "American" valerian (Centranthus ruber) which has no medicinal properties.
More Photographs - Extra Strength Valerian Root 4:1 Extract - 450 mg
End of More Photographs - Extra Strength Valerian Root 4:1 Extract - 450 mg
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease. If conditions persist, please seek advice from your medical doctor. Information provided at ZooScape.com relies partly on Traditional Uses. The essence of the current American rule on Traditional Uses is, as stated by FTC, "Claims based on historical or traditional use should be substantiated by confirming scientific evidence, or should be presented in such a way that consumers understand that the sole basis for the claim is a history of use of the product for a particular purpose."