Benefits of Valerian
What is Valerian?
Valerian is an herb. It is native to Europe and parts of Asia but also grows in North America. Medicine is made from the root. Extracts of the roots of valerian (Valeriana officinalis) are widely used for inducing sleep and improving sleep quality.
Recorded medicinal use of valerian dates to the first century AD. In recent years, it is popular as a sedative and hypnotic. Historically, however, its metabolic stimulating features such as diuretic, carminative, and menstrual stimulant properties had been more valued. It was in the middle ages that the use of valerian in treating nervous disorders and insomnia was recorded.
There are over 200 valerian species worldwide, among which Valeriana officinalis L. is the most well known in Europe and North America as “valerian.” In the United States, valerian is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a dietary supplement. According to the European Medicine Agency (EMA), the well-established uses of V. officinalis root include the relief of mild nervous tension as well as sleep disorders.
Is it safe to consume Valerian supplements?
Valerian is considered relatively safe and well-tolerated, however EMA monograph notes gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g. nausea, abdominal cramps) as undesirable effects. Although hydroalcoholic extracts of valerian root in the recommended dosage improve sleep latency and quality, it is uncertain what constituents contribute to the efficacy. A meta analysis of several studies shows that Valerian has no adverse effects.
What are the key benefits of Valerian?
Valerian is an effective herb when used alone or in combination to counter sleep related problems. Recorded medicinal use of valerian dates to the first century AD. In recent years, it is popular as a sedative and hypnotic. Historically, however, its metabolic stimulating features such as diuretic, carminative, and menstrual stimulant properties had been more valued.
Do Valerian supplements really work?
Valerian root extract has been used since centuries in various parts of the world to treat sleep related issues. Numerous studies demonstrate its efficacy and safety. Supplements containing Valerian root extract are observed to help increase the quality of sleep.