Valerian Herb - Uses And Side Effects
Valerian root is used in the traditional medicine of many cultures as a mild sedative and to aid the induction of sleep. Valerian is a native plant both of Europe and North America. Valeriana officinalis is the species most commonly used in northern Europe and still retains its official pharmacopoeial status although valerian is most commonly encountered as an ingredient of herbal medicines.
The major healing components found in the valerian root are valepotrits, valeranic acid, valeranone, valereal. These are all volatile oils that are found only in valerian. Other volatile oils in the root such as pineole, borneol, cineole, carophilene, and azulene are also commonly found in other herbs with healing properties. All of these oils exert anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and nerve-calming effects on the body. In addition, the root contains alkaloids that are known to relieve pain and relax the body. Other ingredients found in the root include rutin, beta sitosterol, salicylic acid, and choline.
Common doses of Valerian
Valerian comes as:
Some experts recommend the following doses for sleep disorders:
Uses of Valerian herb
Although there has long been controversy over what makes valerian so effective as a relaxant, it is increasingly accepted that this herb does, in fact, work as the ancients once claimed it did. Specifically, valerian may help to :-
Side effects of Valerian
Call your health care practitioner if you experience unusual symptoms when using valerian. Chronic use or acute overdose may cause:
Combination products containing valerian and overdoses of 2.5 grams may result in liver damage.
Are there any interactions?
Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Don't use valerian while taking:
Important points to remember
What the research shows
A few small studies have shown that valerian can induce sleepiness. The German Commission E (similar to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) recommends valerian for restlessness and nervous sleep disturbances. However, American medical experts believe more research is needed to define the herb's role in treating sleep disorders. They also point out that other sleep aids with no liver-damaging potential are available.
Other names for Valerian
Other names for valerian include all heal, amantilla, baldrianwurzel, great wild valerian, herba benedicta, katzenwurzel, phu germanicum, phu parvum, Pinnis dentatis, setewale, capon's tail, setwell, theriacaria, valeriana, Valerianafoliis pinatus, and Valeriana radix.
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