Overview of Valerian
Scientific Name: Valeriana officinalis
Valerian is commonly used to treat sleep disorders and insomnia.
- Sleep Disorders/Insomnia (including menopausal and post-menopausal women, children, children with intellectual deficits, and people with restless leg syndrome; however, valerian may not work in cancer patients, people with arthritis, and with chronic insomnia), in one case the effectiveness of valerian was comparable to oxazepam [1-28]
- Forms of valerian included: valerian acupressure; valerian / lemon balm; valerian / passionflower / hops (possible short-term alternative to zolpidem); valerian / hops (appears to be more superior than valerian alone); valerian / Valeriana edulis; and sesquiterpene extract from valerian
- One study found that a homeopathic preparation might be more effective than valerian alone
- Anxiety/Stress, valerian / lemon balm may be more effective [29-34]
- One study found that a homeopathic preparation might be more effective than valerian alone
Conflicting (Unclear):insufficient information
- Benzodiazepine Withdrawal [35-36]
- Calming and Anti-Depressive, valerian with passionflower / St. John’s wort; and St. John’s wort alone [37-38]
- Nervous Agitation in Children, valerian with passionflower / St. John’s wort; and lemon balm seemed to work [39-40]
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) 
- Painful Menstruation 
- Somatoform Disorder, a complex mixture with butterbur 
No Evidence:insufficient information
No Clinical Research:All other conditions.
- Allergic Reactions
- Blurred Vision
- Cardiac Disturbances
- Gastrointestinal Complaints
- Hangover-like Symptoms
- Paradoxical Stimulation (opposite effect)
- Avoid or contact a licensed healthcare practitioner, if you may be allergic to valerian, have liver disease, or psychiatric disorders.
- Valerian appears to not affect motor skills, mood, and cognition when compared to other drugs with similar sedative properties (including Benzodiazepines, Diazepam, Diphenhydramine, and Temazepam).
- Some cases of allergic reactions, including hives and respiratory distress, have been associated with valerian.
- Abrupt discontinuation can potentially cause Benzodiazepine-like withdrawal syndrome.
- Some people using valerian may have increased seizure threshold.
- There was a case that valerian was toxic to the liver.
There is not enough research on the use of supplements containing valerian during pregnancy and breast-feeding, so consult a licensed healthcare practitioner before use or avoid use.
- Lorazepam (interacted with a valerian/passionflower combination)
- Drugs Toxic to the Liver, valerian may increase the negative effects of these drugs
- Opioid Analgesics
- Valerian may NOT interact with drugs changed by Cytochrome P450s (CYPs) in the liver
Valerian is not a "drug", the best doses have not been thoroughly established. Make sure to follow the specific product instructions and take as directed on the label, or consult a licensed healthcare practitioner before use. According to one report, overdose (20 times the recommended amount) produced mild symptoms. However, overdose of valerian may cause dilation of pupils, irregular heartbeat, and liver damage. 
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