Valerian Root Benefits and Side Effects

Valerian is a flowering plant mostly found in Europe and Asia. It may grow up to a height of 5 ft and bears pink or white flowers. Valerian was used as a medicinal herb in ancient Greece and Rome. It was used as sedative, antiseptic, anticonvulsant, pain reliever and to treat sleep disorders. Now Valerian root is sold as capsules and used as dietary supplement. Some researches were done on Valerian plant and found that it contain some chemicals that interact with our central nervous system, which might be responsible for its medicinal properties.

Benefits of Valerian Root

Valerian Root is herbal medicine used for treatment of following medical conditions

  • sleep disorders like insomnia
  • improving sleep
  • prevents dizziness
  • reducing stress and anxiety
  • improves heart rate
  • cures restless leg syndrome
  • effective in cancer therapy
  • used to treat drug addiction and alcoholism
  • helpful in controlling hyperactivity
  • decreases menopausal symptoms

Precaution: Above listed benefits are not proved by any research and might not be accurate.
According to some reports, Valerian Root is the number one non-prescription sedative in Europe.
Valerian Root Oil
Valerian root oil is used by some people to treat disease. If the plant is grown in stony-dry soil then it contains more oil compared to wet-fertile soil. Some people find its smell bad and compare it with smell of unwashed foot due to its pungent and earthy scent.

Valerian Root Tea
Usage of Valerian Root Tea started in 16th century when the Anabaptist reformer Pilgram Marpeck prescribed valerian tea for a sick woman and it worked. Users of Valerian tea suggest that this special should not be prepared with boiling water, as it may evaporate the lighter oil which is its important ingredient. Now a days Valerian Root Tea is available in market as tea bags.

Government Regulations on Valerian

  • The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved Valerian as a traditional herbal medicine, which can be used to relieve mild nervous tension and aid sleep. EMA also states that there are insufficient evidences about its medicinal use as per clinical studies.
  • Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act allows Valerian extracts to be sold as a nutritional supplement in United States.

Valerian Root Side Effects

Valerian root is not a clinically tested medicine, so it should be used with precaution as it deals with central nervous system. Following precautions should be taken to save yourself from any possible side effects.

  • Valerian should not be taken with any other depressants or antihistamine drugs.
  • Pregnant women should never use Valerian.
  • Even short term usage of Valerian is associated with liver injury which is known as hepatotoxicity in medical terms.
  • Long term usage may result in withdrawal symptoms such as cardiac complications.
  • Over dosage of Valerian can be dangerous.

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