Valeriana officinalis, Centranthus ruber. Family: Valerianaceae
all-heal, amantilla, carpon's tail, heliotrope, setewale, setwall, vandal root
Valerian is a perennial plant. It has pink flowers. It grows in North America and
Europe. The medicinal part is made from the fresh underground roots that have a strong
Valerian root has 2 types of compounds. They both have sedative effects. These compounds
include sesquiterpenes (valerenic acid) and iridoids triesters (valepotriates). Valerian
may have a sedative effect. It may have a stimulant effect for extreme fatigue. Valerian
root may lower blood pressure and relax muscles. But this hasn't been proven.
Medically valid uses
Valerian root has no proven positive effect on any health condition.
Some studies suggest that valerian may help treat insomnia. But other studies haven’t
confirmed this. There isn’t enough evidence to know if valerian is effective for any
other health issues.
There may be benefits that haven't yet been proven through research.
Valerian may act as a sedative. This calms the nervous system and reduces stress and
nervousness. It may be used as a hypnotic. This induces a deep state of sleep. It
may act as an antispasmodic. This means it reduces muscle spasms or cramps in the
muscles. It may be used as a hypotensive agent. This lowers blood pressure. It’s used
as a carminative. This is an herbal remedy. It has a lot of volatile oils. It stimulates
the digestive system to work well.
Valerian may be used to reduce tension, anxiety, stress, over-excitability, and hysterical
feelings. It’s used to treat insomnia, menstrual pain, intestinal colic, rheumatic
pain, and migraine pain.
Valerian comes in the form of tea, tinctures, capsules, and liquid extracts. It's
sensitive to light. You should store it in a light-resistant container. Keep it in
a dark area.
Side effects, toxicity, and interactions
Valerian has a very strong smell that many people don’t like. Cats are attracted to
valerian because it has a compound similar to catnip.
Don’t use valerian to treat babies or children younger than 3. People who are pregnant
or breastfeeding should talk with their healthcare providers before taking any herbal
You shouldn’t use valerian with other sedatives.