valerian: A perennial plant native to Europe and Asia and naturalized in North America.Valerian is a member of the Valerianaceae family.It has a distinctive odor that many find unpleasant.
DipsacalesFamily: ValerianaceaeGenus: ValerianaSpecies: V. officinalis
Botanical Name: Valeriana officinalis
Othernames: setwall (English), Valerianae radix (Latin), Baldrianwurzel (German), phu (Greek).,Asaroun. (arabic),
Known pharmacologically active compounds detected in valerian extract are: * Alkaloids: actinidine, catinine, valerianine, and valerine * Isovaleramide * Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA * Valeric acid * Valepotriates, acevaltrate, isovaltrate and valtrate * Volatile oil containing active sesquiterpenes (acetoxyvalerenic acid, valerenic acid) * Flavanones such as hesperidin, 6-methylapigenin and linarin.Medicinal Properties and Uses:Because of valerians historical use as a sedative, anti-convulsant, migraine treatment and pain reliever, most basic science research has been directed at the interaction of valerian constituents with the GABA neurotransmitter receptor system. .Valerian extract causes sedation by increasing the amount of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA,Valerian extracts contain GABA in quantities sufficient to cause a sedative effect, but whether GABA can cross the blood-brain barrier to contribute to valerians sedative effects is not known. Glutamine is present in aqueous but not in alcohol extracts and may cross the blood-brain barrier and be converted to GABA . Levels of these constituents vary significantly among plants depending on when the plants are harvested, resulting in marked variability in the amounts found in valerian preparations. Valerian is used as sedative for nervous tension, hysteria, excitability, stress and intestinal colic or cramps.valerian is used against sleeping disorders, restlessness and anxiety, and as a muscle relaxant.Valerian is also used traditionally to treat gastrointestinal pain and irritable bowel syndrome.
The main current use of valerian is as a remedy for insomnia, with a recent meta-analysis providing some evidence of effectiveness. Valproic acid—an analogue of one of Valerians constituents, valeric acid—is used as an anticonvulsant and mood-stabilizing drug).
dosages of the crude herb vary from 2-10 grams per day.
Side Effects and Cautions:
Valerian has no documented side effects. However, Large doses or chronic use may result in stomach ache, apathy, and a feeling of mental dullness or mild depression.It may cause dizziness or drowsiness, effects that should be considered before driving.
Valerian should not be used by pregnant women. Valerian should not be used with other depressants, such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or opiates.