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Valerian

Also indexed as:Fragrant Valerian, Heliotrope, Valeriana officinalis
Valerian: Main Image© Steven Foster
Common names:
Fragrant Valerian, Heliotrope
Botanical names:
Valeriana officinalis

Parts Used & Where Grown

Although valerian grows wild all over Europe, most of the valerian used for medicinal extracts is cultivated. The root is used in herbal medicine preparations.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Insomnia
300 to 600 mg of a concentrated root extract 30 minutes before bedtime3 stars[3 stars]
Valerian may help you fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper sleep quality.
Anxiety

(Passion Flower)
100 to 200 mg valerian and 45 to 90 mg passion flower three times a day2 stars[2 stars]
A combination of passion flower and valerian has been shown to reduce symptoms in people suffering from anxiety.
Pain
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Valerian has been historically used to relieve pain.

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

The Greek physician Dioscorides reportedly recommended valerian for a host of medical issues, including digestive problems, nausea, liver problems, and even urinary tract disorders. Use of valerian for insomnia and nervous conditions has been common for many centuries. By the 18th century, it was an accepted sedative and was also used for nervous disorders associated with a restless digestive tract.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

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