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.

Recently Answered

  • 1 Answer
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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
    If you are taking valerian to help you sleep, you may need to take it for several days, even up to four weeks, before it starts to work.

    It is also possible that valerian may not work at all. Some studies find that valerian is useful for insomnia, while others report that it is no more effective than a placebo (sugar pill).
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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. 
  • 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
    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 , 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
    It is possible to be allergic to valerian but unlikely. There is no evidence of serious allergic reactions to valerian root in the scientific literature, although farmers who process the root have had mild negative reactions to valerian dust. If you experience serious allergic reactions, such as difficulty breathing or a swollen mouth or throat, call 911.
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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
    If you take valerian, tell your pharmacist about your other medications and/or supplements, especially if they are central nervous system depressants. These include prescription medications for anxiety, sleep and depression, as well as over-the-counter cough syrups, allergy medicines, nighttime pain relievers and certain dietary supplements. It's important to let your pharmacist know about all the drugs and supplements you take so he or she can tell you if any of these interact with valerian.
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    A , Pharmacy, answered

    Valerian has no serious risks. If you take valerian for longer than two to four months and suddenly stop using it, you risk suffering from valerian withdrawal. It has been reported that valerian gives a drug “hangover” effect when taking high doses. In some cases, if you take valerian for a long period of time, you increase your risk of developing insomnia.