Valerian is a herb with the botanical name Valeriana officinalis. It is also known as All Heal, Belgium Valerian, Common Valerian, Fragrant Valerian, Garden Valerian.
This herb grows in moist areas such as on the banks of streams and grows throughout Europe and in the eastern USA. The parts of the plant used are the dried roots. Valerian contains volatile oils, alkaloids, iridoids, tannins, gum and resins.
Herbal supplements can alter the effects of certain drugs, including prescription medications. Always tell your Doctor about any prescription medications, non-prescription medications, herbs or other dietary supplements you are taking. - Valerian affects parts of the brain and may promote sedation so it should not be used in combination with other substances that reduce brain activity, such as benzodiazepines, alcohol, certain antihistamines and barbiturates.
Always consult your Health Professional to advise you on dosages and any possible medical interactions. There is a definite need in society for an alternative to modern tranquillisers. Valerian is a very effective sedative without side effects of addiction, nervous irritability and stupor. It relaxes and sedates without impairing alertness or reactivity. SEDATIVE Valerian has a long history of traditional use and recent scientific studies have confirmed the sedative effects of this herb. Valerian can be used to help relieve the symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, nervousness, mental tension, neuroses, nervous digestive complaints, nervous exhaustion, depression, despondency and nervous heart palpitations. Valerian has been reported to improve both the duration and quality of sleep in some people. Benefits should occur 2 to 4 weeks into therapy. HORMONAL Valerian is considered an 'emmenagogue', meaning it promotes menstruation. It can be used for problems with the female menstrual cycle, particularly scanty periods. Cramps and period pain have also traditionally been treated with Valerian. OTHER USES In some cases, high blood pressure (hypertension), headaches and migraine may also be relieved by using Valerian. Under medical supervision, Valerian combines well with the herb, Hawthorn, for the treatment of certain symptoms resulting from heart conditions, particularly those aggravated by stress. Valerian has also been used in the management of infantile convulsions and epilepsy.
Sedative, mild painkiller, hypnotic, antispasmodic, carminative and hypotensive.
- Valerian bark contains small amounts of salicylates (the active chemical in aspirin), so it should be avoided by people with aspirin sensitivity. - The safety or potential risks of taking Valerian during pregnancy have not been documented. It is recommended that Valerian be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding. - Valerian may cause tiredness. - Safety in children has not been established.Aspirin should not be given to children under 16 years of age unless specified by a Doctor.