Valerian information

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by clerty, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. clerty

    clerty New Member

    Valerian Root
    Valerian, or Valeriana officinalis, a member of the Valerianaceae family, is a perennial plant native to Europe and Asia and naturalized in North America. It has a distinctive odor that many people may find unpleasant, especially if consumed in capsule or liquid form. Other common names for Valerian include setwall, Valerianae radix, Baldrianwurzel, and phu. The genus Valerian includes over 250 species, but V. officinalis is the species most often used in the United States and Europe.

    Preparations of valerian marketed as dietary supplements are made from its roots, underground stems, and horizontal stems. Dried roots of Valerian can be prepared as teas or tinctures, and dried plant materials and extracts are put into capsules or incorporated into tablets.

    Since the time of ancient Greece and Rome, Valerian has been used a medicinal herb. Common uses for the herb, both historically and in modern day medicine include relief of nervousness, trembling, headaches and heart palpitations. During World War II, residents of Britain often used Valerian root to relieve the stress associated with bombing raids.

    In addition to sleep disorders and anxiety, valerian has been used for gastrointestinal spasms and distress, epileptic seizures, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Many chemical constituents of valerian have been identified, but researchers are not yet clear on which may be responsible for its sleep-promoting effects in animals and in in vitro studies. It is likely that there is no single active compound and that valerian's effects result from multiple constituents acting synergistically. One possible mechanism of action that may be responsible for its natural sedative properties is by increasing the amount of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter) available in the synaptic cleft. Results from one study suggests that a valerian extract may cause GABA release from and block GABA reuptake into brain nerve ending.

    A recent clinical trial involved patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). The results of the study concluded that a majority of the patients involved reported lowered HAM-A (Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale) scores. In another study, where Valerian was combined with Kava Kava and tested against placebo, volunteers reported lowered levels of stress.

    Valerian root is well known in helping to relieve stress, and may also reduce psychological reactivity during stressful situations, as well as significant reductions in stress severity.

    It is important to note that Valerian Root is not a treatment option for anxiety disorders, insomnia or any other illness. As a dietary supplement, it can help to provide short-term relief for some individuals.

    Although valerian has not been reported to interact with any drugs or to influence laboratory tests, this has not been rigorously studied. When combining Valerian root with a prescription drug, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider first.

    I found this when surfing the net I found it interesting!!!


  2. gottalaugh

    gottalaugh New Member

    Thank you for posting this.

    [This Message was Edited on 03/16/2007]
  3. California31

    California31 New Member

    You might want to contact an herbalist...I was cautioned by an herbology student some years back about possible strong effects of Valerian....maybe double check online....I had tried it for sleep...but didn't want to continue as I was no herb expert.
  4. joeb7th

    joeb7th New Member

    Can you mix the two?
  5. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    The benzos (valium, klonopin, xanax etc.) definitely should not be taken with the herb kava kava, since this mixture has on a number of occasions resulted in coma or death. I am pretty sure that deaths also have occurred as a result of mixing benzos with valerian.

    The same principle would apply to mixing the amino acid GABA with any of the benzos.

    Increasing the amount of the benzo you're taking is much safer than combining it with an herb. There's a chance you might get addicted when you're taking benzos, but (unless you mix it with alcohol or other tranquilizing substances) it's hard to give yourself anything worse than a bad hangover if you overdo it.

    Best, Lisa

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