insomniacs 1,000 years ago discovered the benefits of this plant and its herbal extracts. It was not until the mid 1980s that the active agents were thought to be the volatile oils. However recent research has questioned the volatile oil theory throwing the origin of valerian's sedative principle into mystery once again.
Most supportives are made from the dried root and rhizomes since the highest concentrations of calmative and tranquillizing principles are located in these tissues.
Mild Sedative to Aid Sleep: Sleep is a complex process and sleep disorders are very poorly understood. The use of a traditional herb such as valerian is a safe method in assisting the natural process without risking addiction or robbing the brain of its natural sleep-wake rhythms.
Studies carried out in sleep laboratories have confirmed that the herb exerts a mild sedative effect. The herb appears to act on the brain chemistry. GABA is a brain chemical responsible for relaxation and a feeling of ease. By stimulating the cells that normally respond to GABA, valerian can encourage rest and relaxation without forcing the body into a state of sedation.
It is important to appreciate that valerian is an effective herbal sedative but it is not strong enough to combat a high habitual caffeine consumption.
How to Take Valerian
In general, 15 to 20 drops of the traditional 65 percent liquid extracts can be taken 2 to 3 times a day. For those requiring a stronger supportive, valerian extracts standardized to contain 0.8 percent valeric acid should be taken as a dose of 150 to 300 mg. For best results take the herb 30 minutes before bed while avoiding caffeine and caffeine-containing food and drink, and alcohol.
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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.
Not to be used during pregnancy or lactation.
Toxicity: Valerian taken at the recommended dose is essentially a non-toxic herb.
Drug-Herb Interactions: A recent review has found that valerian can increase the effect of barbiturates.
More Photographs - Valerian Extract 0.8% val.ac. - 450 mg
End of More Photographs - Valerian Extract 0.8% val.ac. - 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."