Valerian

Valerian

Valerian
Valerian, a perennial flowering plant, is an herbal remedy used to help people sleep. The valerian plant roots are crushed and dried for use in this sleep-aid. As with any herbal remedies please consult your health provider for treatment, correct dosage, benefits and risk factors.

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    A , Pediatrics, answered
    What are the health benefits of valerian?

    Valerian root has been around for ages and was originally used to help induce sleep; in lower dosages, valerian is also a natural remedy for anxiety. Watch integrative medicine expert Tasneem Bhatia, MD, discuss the healthy benefits of valerian root.


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  • 1 Answer
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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    If you are planning on taking valerian, you should talk to your doctor. In fact, you should always let your doctor know about any medication you are taking so that you avoid any interactions with other medications. Valerian, in particular, can react adversely with a variety of different medical conditions, medications and foods. Thus, it is important to discuss the proper dosage of valerian and all of the possible complications that may accompany it.

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    A answered

    Valerian is a perennial herb native to Europe. Extracts of valerian are made from the thickened, underground rootlike stem of the plant.

    Use: Preparations of valerian can be used to treat the following:

    • sleeping disorders arising from nervous conditions
    • restlessness

    Dose: Valerian is available in a variety of product types.

    • The recommended dose of valerian is an amount equal to 2 to 3 grams of dried root taken once or several times daily. Various dosages may be tried to identify the one that works best.
    • No time limitation for using valerian has been established.

    Cautions: Situations in which use of valerian is not advised:

    • Do not use valerian before driving or operating heavy machinery.
    • The safety of valerian during pregnancy or lactation has not been established.

    Side Effects: Do not exceed the recommended dosage of valerian: Overdose is possible.

    Drug Interactions: Do not use valerian with sedative or tranquilizing drugs.

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    A , Psychology, answered
    Valerian, a flowering plant that is native to both Europe and Asia and is now also grown in North America, has long been used medicinally, particularly for sleep -- the ancient Greeks wrote about its power in treating sleeplessness. It is the plant’s root that is cultivated and processed for use in supplements, which have been popular and widely available for decades.
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    A , Healthcare, answered
    Valerian (valeriana officinalis) has a sedative effect and may be useful in treating insomnia, particularly in helping to reduce the amount of time that it takes to fall asleep. Valerian is regarded as a mild tranquilizer and has been deemed safe by the German Commission E for treating sleep disorders brought on by nervous conditions. Unlike prescription or OTC sleep and anxiety medication, valerian is not habit-forming, nor does it produce a hang-over-like side effect.
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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Valerian is classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as “GRAS,” which means “generally recognized as safe.” But a manufacturer does not need to prove a valerian supplement (or any dietary supplement) is safe before selling it. It is up to the consumer to find out whether a supplement manufacturer has a reliable track record.
  • 2 Answers
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    A , Psychology, answered
    There has been no significant research into the long-term effects of valerian use, which is a significant omission -- as with any medicinal sleep aid, “herbal” or not, we need an understanding of its effects on the body over the long term, both in terms of its safety and its effectiveness. The short-term side effects of valerian, however, we know to be relatively mild, consisting of headaches and stomach upset.
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  • 1 Answer
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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Valerian is considered a dietary supplement in the United States, so the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate it like they do drugs. A manufacturer does not have to prove that it is safe or that it works. However, the FDA can take action if there is a safety concern.
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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    The evidence for valerian’s effectiveness is decidedly mixed. The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates valerian as “possibly effective” for insomnia.

    Some studies find that valerian is especially helpful in promoting restful sleep in people who are withdrawing from sleeping pills. But other studies find that valerian is no more effective in promoting sleep than a placebo (sugar pill). The Database concludes that there is “insufficient evidence” to determine whether it is effective for other common uses, including anxiety, restlessness, depression, convulsions, mild tremors, epilepsy, ADHD, headache, menstrual pains or menopausal symptoms. Your doctor can help you decide if valerian is right for you.
  • 1 Answer
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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Call your doctor if you feel dizzy or your heartbeat becomes irregular while taking valerian. Allergic reactions to valerian are rare, but if you have difficulty breathing or if your mouth or throat start to swell, call 911.

    People may take valerian for insomnia or anxiety, but you should call your doctor if these problems are chronic. There may be a medical reason, so you should get checked out. Your doctor can also help you find longer-term treatment options.