Valerian has a long history of use as a sedative and anxiolytic. It is one of the most popular herbal preparations in Europe. It has also been reported that valerian improves sleep quality. It may have benefit for individuals with stress caused by a number of factors.
Valerian components include valepotriates, valeric acid, and pungent oils. These have a sedative effect on the central nervous system, and they can induce smooth muscle relaxation in the gastrointestinal tract.
Based on pharmacologic activities, may cause drowsiness or sedation. Use with caution when driving or operating heavy machinery (German Commission E, 1985). Use caution in individuals taking medications that cause CNS depression, including sedative-hypnotics, antihistamines, antidepressants, and anxiolytics.
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