Valeriana officinalis

val1
Grieve M, (1971). Figure 1: Valeriana officinalis. Retrieved from: http://www.itmonline.org/arts/valerian.htm#figure%201

Botanical Name: Valeriana officinalis
Common name: Valerian
Family: Valerianaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592)
Parts used: Rhizome, stolon, root (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592)

Folklore and traditional use:

  • Medicinal use of Valarian dates back to the Dioscordis and Galen, in which the plant was administered for epilepsy.
  • In was used during World War II for sleep promotion amongst civilians.
  • IN Europe, Valarian oil was used as a remedy for cholera.
  • The Eclectricts used the herb as a cerebral stimulant in chorea, hysteria (associated with mental depression) and in fever.
  • IN Ayurvedic medicine Valarian was used for hysteria, neurosis and epilepsy.

(Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 581)

 

Constituents:

  • Iridoids or “valepotriates” (including valtrate, isovaltrate, didrovaltrate and acevaltrate.
  • Essential oil: containing monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and carboxylic compounds
  • Valerenic acid (non-volatile cyclopentane sesquiterpenes)

(Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 582)

 

Actions

  • Nervine (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592)
  • Anxiolytic (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 581)
  • Carminative (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592)
  • Hypotensive (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592)
  • Emmenagogue (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592)
  • Mild Sedative (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 581)
  • Hypnotic (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 581; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592)
  • Spasmolytic/Antispasmodic (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 581; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592)

 

Indications

  • Insomnia (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 581)
  • Restlessness (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 581)
  • Nervous tension (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 581; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592)
  • Depression (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 581)
  • Anxiety (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 581; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592)
  • Alleviation of symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 581)
  • Stress related heart conditions (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592)

 

Preparation & Dosage:

  • Dried root: 3-9g /day
  • Liquid extract: (1:2) 2-6mL / day
  • Tincture: (1:5) 5-15mL /day

(Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 581)

 

Cautions & Contradictions: None known (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 587)

 

Interactions: Although no reports have been made, Valarinan may theoretically increase effects of CNS depressants when taken in conjunction (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 587).

 

Combinations:

  • For depression and anxiety combines with Hypericum perforatum (Bone, 2003, p. 447)
  • For insomnia combine with Melissa officinalis or Humulus lupulus (Bone, 2003, p. 447)
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