This plant is commonly found in Europe and some regions of Asia. It is a perennial with white, or pink/reddish flowers. The roots of the plant contain the active ingredients, which are harvested and dried, after the second year of growth of the plant.
Valerian is also known as: All-Heal, Amantilla, Baldrianwurzel, Capon's tail, Garden Heliotrope, Herba benedicta, Katzenwurzel, Phu germanicum, Phu parvum, Pinnis dentatis, Setwall, Setewale, Theriacaria and/or Vandal root.
Valerian Valeriana officianalis Origin: The dried root of the perennial herb valerian.
Dosage: Capsules, tablets, tincture, softgel or tea; 300 mg to 500 mg of valerian extract daily (maximum dose is 15 g of root per day). For insomnia and muscle soreness, take 1 teaspoon of liquid extract diluted in water or a 400 mg to 450 mg capsule, tablet or softgel 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime or as needed. For a milder effect, drink a cup of valerian tea before bed. Avoid powdered valerian root.
Claims: Treats insomnia and eases pain; has antispasmodic and sedative effects.
What we know: Valerian works as a mild sedative and sleep agent, but it takes two to three weeks to see effect. No known effects on muscle or joint pain and arthritis
Studies: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of 184 adults showed two tablets per night for 28 nights produced significant improvements in sleep and quality of life.
Valerian may cause headache, excitability, uneasiness and insomnia. Do not drive or operate machinery while taking it, and do not take with alcohol, barbiturates, tranquilizers or other sedative-type drugs or herbs. Do not use valerian longer than one month, or if you have liver disease. ~Arthritis Foundation.
This supplement is also used to treat muscle spasms, restlessness, sleeping disorders based on nervous conditions, mental strain, decreased concentration, excitability, stress, headache, neurasthenia, epilepsy, hysteria, nervous cardiopathy, nervous tension during PMS, menopause, mood disorders such as depression, neuralgia, fainting, nervous asthma, nervous stomach cramps, colic, hypochondriasis, migraines, ADHD, and epileptic seizures.
It can be used to make tea and also comes in capsules, tinctures and tablets. Externally, it can be added to bath water. Be careful though, since there are no guidelines and manufacturing differs, the dosages on packaging may also be different.
Lots of side-effects can occur, like liver damage, allergic reactions, burred vision, headache, irregular heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, GI distress, excitability, insomnia, morning drowsiness, withdrawal symptoms (Delirium and Cardiac complications).
Should you use it, be alert not to overdose. Toxic reactions can be recognized by the following effects: liver damage, trouble walking, hypothermia, increased muscle relaxation, chest pain, tremors of hands and feet.
Avoid taking Valerian in combination with the following: alcohol, Antabuse, Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Klonipin), substances with a sedating effect such as antihistamines, certain antidepressants, herbs with sedating properties such as St. John's wort, Kava, goldenseal, ginseng, SAMe, L-tryptophan, German chamomile, melatonin, yerba mansa ntabuse.
Valerian is not FDA approved. It is sold as a 'food' supplement. The total effects and safety of Valerian are unknown and since there are no real studies on this supplement, it is not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing, or for children.
Especially the last group should be taken in consideration. They are the most vulnerable and we should do everything we can, to protect them and watch out for and over them. Where would we be, if God, Our Father, would not do that for us?!
Luke 17:2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.