It is understood to possess anxiolytic anti-anxiety and hypnotic sleep-induction properties and has been subject to investigation for the treatment of anxiety disorders and insomnia.
Should You Give Your Dog Valerian Root?
There is insufficient evidence to recommend valerian as a medical treatment for any condition, however, many anecdotal reports allude to its therapeutic potential. Valerian is thought to exert a therapeutic effect via multi-modal modulation of GABAergic neurotransmission.
With such a mechanism of action, it is no surprise that individuals derive benefit from using valerian to enhance sleep or reduce stress. Although valerian is a natural herb, it is important to realize that valerian may cause unwanted side effects or provoke adverse reactions.
Keep in mind that the severity and number of side effects experienced is subject to significant individual variation. That said, the most common side effects reported among valerian users include: drowsiness, stomach aches, somnolence, and weird dreams. Experiencing brain fog from valerian is common due to the fact that valerian decreases neurophysiological arousal below a homeostatic baseline.
Substances that decrease arousal and simultaneously modulate GABAergic activity can impair clarity of consciousness. Do not be surprised if after taking valerian, you feel as if your brain is stuck in a foggy, hazy, or daydream-like state. Perhaps the best way to combat the valerian-induced brain fog is via concomitant administration of a stimulatory agent.
However, it is necessary to consider that a stimulatory agent may offset the therapeutic effects derived from valerian. Cognitive deficits: Taking valerian, especially at high doses, can compromise cognitive performance. Studies indicate that valerian impairs cognitive function among volunteers as evidenced by lower scores on a Stroop task. Many users believe that valerian may interfere with aspects of cognition such as: attention, critical thinking, problem solving, planning, organization, and memorization.
Since valerian has a similar mechanism to benzodiazepines via binding to a subunit of the GABAA receptor and hyperpolarizing the neuronand benzos are associated with inability to encode memories and learn new information, it may be that valerian is comparably detrimental to cognition.
Valerian: A safe and effective herbal sleep aid? - Mayo Clinic
That said, cognitive deficits associated with valerian are likely mild compared to benzos due to the fact that it is less potent. What is Valerian Root? Valerian root comes from the Valeriana officinalis, a flowering perennial found in Europe, Asia, and North America. The plant has sweetly scented pink or white flowers that bloom in the summer.
It has become a commonly used herb for better sleep quality in the United States, added to teas and dietary supplements. Valerian root contains volatile oils, including valerenic acids, less volatile sesquiterpenes and valepotriates esters of short-chain fatty acids. Valerian has been used as a medicinal herb since at least the time of ancient Greece and Rome.
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- Headaches Stress In fact, famous Greek physicians and philosophers Hippocrates and Galen were advocates of this herb, with the later prescribing valerian for insomnia.
- How to Grow and Care for Valerian
Hippocrates described its properties, and Galen later prescribed it as a remedy for insomnia. It was also used as an early epilepsy remedy up until around the 19th century. Researchers found that isovaleric acid, a chemical contained in valerian, may prevent convulsionssimilar to the effects of the anticonvulsant medication valproic acid.
Unlike many prescription sleep medications, valerian has fewer side effects and is a lot less likely to result in morning drowsiness. In one double-blind study conducted by the Foellinge Health Center in Sweden, the effects of valerian on poor sleep were significant.
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Of the study participants, 44 percent reported perfect sleep while 89 percent reported improved sleep when taking valerian root. Clearly, this is a huge difference!
This also affects efficacy.
If you decide to use a calming product containing valerian, keep in mind that it you might need to administer it for at least a week before you can observe noticeable differences. Below is a summary of the existing animal and cell-based research, which should guide further investigational efforts. However, the studies listed below should not be interpreted as supportive of any health benefit.
- Could valerian have been the first anticonvulsant?
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- This natural and herbal sleep aid is called valerian root.
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Heart Health In test tubes, valerian strengthened blood vessels and improved their elasticity [ 47931 ]. Seizures Valerian reduced the frequency of seizures in one study on rats possibly by activating adenosine receptors [ 80 ].
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Kidney Damage In rats with high cholesterolvalerian protected against kidney damage caused by a high-fat diet [ 81 ]. Other Although there is a popular opinion that valerian may benefit these conditions, there is no scientific evidence backing its use in: Shin Splints: Valerian is used as a home remedy for shin splints medial tibial stress syndrome. Anecdotal evidence suggests that drinking valerian tea relaxes the muscles and reduces pain [ 82 ]. Migraines and Headaches: Despite its traditional use, the evidence is lacking for valerian reducing the severity of migraines and headaches [ 83 ].
People with heart rhythm disorders might have to be cautious while using it.
Though not much is known about its effect on maintaining heart rhythm, it slows down the heart rate in some people and might cause abnormal rhythms. Relieve Lower Back Pain Its root is very effective in treating lower back pain. FAQ about Valerian Which part of valerian is beneficial?
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- This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur.
- Valerian - Health Professional Fact Sheet
The parts used include the root and the rhizomes underground stem. Volatile oils like valerenic acids and less volatile sesquiterpenes and valepotriates are the active components in the root.
How to use Valerian? The root of the plant is used fresh or dried. Fresh roots are pressed into juice. It is also available in several forms, including capsules, tablets, and tea. That type is known as Red Valerian, but it is actually a different species.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD However, there is little scientific evidence to support these uses. Whenever you start a new supplement, it's important to be aware of any possible side effects. Although valerian root is thought to be mostly safe, side effects are possible when using it. These side effects may be mild or severe. Common Side Effects Most clinical studies have shown that the herb is well-tolerated and safe for short-term use.
Valerian blooms from May to July and is found in soils with a considerable degree of moisture retention. As mentioned, there are several native species in North America now — most are found in the western portions of the continent, but it has also shown up in New England.
Therapeutic Uses of Valerian for Dogs The fall root is the part of the herb that is used in forming treatment options.