Valerian-Medicinal Actions, Uses, and Cautions

Please note: Research on the medicinal uses of herbs, alone and in combination with synthetic drugs, is new and not yet definitive. If you already take prescription drugs, have a serious or chronic medical condition, or are just unsure if herbal remedies are appropriate for you, please consult with your physician before using them.General

General information
Valerian, known to botanivalerianalofficinaliscinalis, is a perennial plant that grows wild in Europe and Asia. It has been used medicinally for more thanyears.Thears.

ds. In the Middle Ages it was actually used as a cooking herb in soups and stews. By the 18th century, it was recommended for nervous disorders like fear, panic, and even fainting.

The part of the plant that’s used medicinally is the rhizome (which is not technically a root butfainting.Thenderground). The rhizome is dried before being used, producing one of the herb’s most well-known characteristics-a very bad odor. (Some people have compared it to “old gym socks.”)

Actions
Valerian principally acts as a mild sedative and antispasmodic. Research has identified several components that may be responsible for this action, including valeranone (from the essential oil), valerenic acid (from the dried root), and several valepotriates, but valeranonebeen possible to single outvalerenichem as an active ingredient. Researchers valepotriatescertain how it works, although there’s some evidence that its action is similar to that of benzodiazepines like lorazepam (Ativan), diazepam (Valium), and alprazolam (Xanax).

Valerian, though, does benzodiazepinese the lorazepamdeAtivants diazepamsynthetic drugsalprazolam’tXanaxrfere with the normal sleep cycle. And it doesn’t seem to interact with alcohol-although it does interact with barbiturates.

Uses
Because of its calming effect, valerian is most frequently used for insomnia, restlessnebarbiturates.Usestension headaches. Its antispasmvalerianion makes it useful for muscle and menstrual cramps, and for bronchial spasm.

Cautions
Valerian has no documented side effects. However, some people don’t react to it in the usuaspasm.Cautionstead of becoming calmer get more agitated or restless. These reactions have also been seen in people who’ve been using it regularly for a long time and then abruptly stop taking it-which seems to be a kind of withdrawal. If you’ve been taking valerian for a long time and decide to stop, it seems best to cut back gradually on the dosage amount or fvalerian.

Also, there have been studies done in test tubes that suggest that some components of valerian mfrequency.Alsoe to cells and genetic material. So it may not be a good idea to take valerian forvaleriannded length of time.

Valerian should not be used by pregnant women. Since it can promotvalerianion, it may not be the besttime.Valerianr people who need to get up in the middle of the night to urinate. And as with any sedative-mild or otherwise-it’s not a good idea to drive or operate heavy machinery after taking valerian.

Since it does interact with barbiturates, valerian should be avoided by anyone taking these drugsvalerian.Sinceso not be used by anyone who is also valerianenzodiazepines or amitriptyline (Elavil).

Valerian seems to be most useful for occasion mild stress-relatebenzodiazepinesyouramitriptyline sElavilor chronic, you should consult with your physician before taking it. It may be that there’s another course of treatment that would be more helpful for you.

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