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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  • 2 Answers
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    A , Caregiving, answered

    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.

    Answers to questions regarding information about medications or health conditions are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and are not conclusive as to the presence or absence of any health condition. Individuals using this site are encouraged to consult the healthcare provider regarding their specific medical condition. Information provided does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Valerian does not appear to interact with common foods. However, you should not drink alcohol when taking this supplement.

    Valerian may interact with dietary supplements. Supplements that you should be cautious about combining with valerian include calamus, California poppy, catnip, hops, Jamaican dogwood, kava, L-tryptophan, melatonin, sage, SAMe, St. John's wort, sassafras and skullcap. 
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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Until you know how you will react to valerian, you should not drive or operate any heavy machinery. Medications like sleeping aids or the usage of alcohol can also cause complications when taken with valerian. Before taking this or any other medication, be sure to speak with your doctor about the possibilities for interaction.

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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    You should not drink alcohol when taking valerian. Both are sedatives, so the combination may cause a hazardous degree of sedation. 
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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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    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.
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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 , 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 , 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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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    You should think about taking valerian if you are having trouble sleeping. Valerian is also helpful for people with insomnia, anxiety or distress. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms along with headaches, irregular heartbeat, nervousness, restlessness or trembling, you should take valerian.