Valerian is a tough perennial which develops sweet-smelling pink and white flowers. In the 16th century, these flowers were used in the manufacture of perfume. Valerian is native to Europe and parts of Asia but was later introduced to North America. It is food for larvae of certain species of moth and butterfly. Other names for valerian are “garden heliotrope” and “garden valerian”.
Benefits of Valerian Supplement
The main and best-known benefit of valerian is for anxiety treatment and for relaxing muscles. It is commonly believed that the drug valium is extracted from valerian but this is not so.
Valerian is an effective sedative without the undesirable side-effects of conventional sedatives. It induces sleep in a shorter period, but does not alter the quality of sleep.
It is known to relieve symptoms of cramps and muscle-related discomfort.
It is commonly used to relieve the symptoms of nerve-related problems such as twitching, hysteria, tension headaches and even heart palpitations.
Another benefit of valerian is its capacity to cause a stimulation of the intestines, which can help in dispelling gas and reducing cramps in the digestive system.
Who can benefit from taking Valerian
Other than children, people from all groups of adults can take valerian. However, it should not be taken in combination with other sleeping medication. Valerian can cause complications for liver patients.
Valerian should not be taken for more than three months continuously.
An undesirable side effect of valerian is drowsiness if taken at the wrong time. As it is meant to induce sleep, it should be taken at bedtime only.
There have been some rare cases where liver damage occurred manifesting the following symptoms:
Yellow coloration to the whites of the eyes.
Abdominal pain in the upper-right side of the abdomen.
Blood tests revealing elevated liver enzyme content.
If any of the above symptoms are observed, valerian should be immediately discontinued and the matter should be referred to a doctor.
There are no fixed guidelines regarding the dosage of valerian. However, in general, 300 mg to 900 mg of valerian taken at bedtime should be quite effective for most adults.
The dosage requirement may vary slightly from person to person. It should also be understood that it can take up to a month of regular consumption of valerian for the effects to be realized.
Disclaimer: While it is believed that there can be several benefits from taking valerian, the inferences drawn from this article are not binding in nature and may be amended with further evidence, as research is still being carried out in matters regarding the effects of valerian.