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Valerian Standardized Extract

Valerian Standardized Extract

COMMON NAME
Valerian Root

LATIN NAME
Valeriana officinalis

ORIGIN
Europe

PART OF PLANT USED
Rhizome, Root-stock

DESCRIPTION
Since ancient Greek times, valerian root has been valued as an antispasmodic and sleep aid. The first known records reported its use in the treatment of epilepsy. Today, valerian is widely used throughout Europe as a mild sedative and sleep aid for insomnia, and as a balancing agent for hyperexcitability and exhaustion, calming the one and stimulating the other.

HISTORICAL USES
Insomnia, especially due to nervous exhaustion
Motoric restlessness or vegetative dysfunction
Headaches
Anxiety
Nervous tension
Palpitations
High blood pressure
As an antispasmodic
Nervous dyspepsia, stomach cramps
Spastic or irritable bowel
Menstrual cramps
Dandruff
Epilepsy
Childhood behavior disorders and learning disabilities

ACTIVE PROPERTIES
Numerous clinical trials have been performed with valerian root and have found both subjective and objective improvements in emotional tension disturbances, sleep quality, and behavioral disorders without producing a hangover type effect the next morning.

ACTIVE SUBSTANCES
Valepotriates, valeric acid, sesquiterpenes, glycoside, essential oils

PHARMACOLOGY
The sedative effects of Valerian root are attributed to the valepotriates, a group of unstable esters whose degradation products also possess sedative activity. Other components, particularly those of the pungent essential oil, the valerenic and isovaleric acids have sedative effects and central nervous system (CNS) depressant activity. Researchers have also established that the valepotriates and the other components of valerian possess relaxing and spasmolytic effects on smooth muscle. A mechanism has been proposed for the central nervous system effects involving the metabolism of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. Valerian appears the most effective when all its constituents are present. The different activities of valerian appear to be due to a complex mixture of substances.

TOXICITY, CAUTIONS & CONTRA-INDICATIONS
No known toxicity. High doses (5 gms. root/day) can lead to minor withdrawal symptoms if taken over a long period of time. Avoid large doses and prolonged use.

DIRECTIONS FOR USE
2.5 gm of root/day; 200 mg. extract, 1 tsp. tincture, repeated several times if needed.

BIO-ENHANCING AGENTS
Passion Flower, Hops, Chamomile, Hawthorn Berries

PROCESSING
The root is collected in spring or autumn and dried. Cold percolation with ethanol/water. Evaporation at low temperature.

STANDARD
0.5% Valeric acid
20% Valepotriates

ANALYSIS STANDARDIZED EXTRACT

ProductValerian Root
TypeStandardized extract
Standardization.91% valerenic acid
Characterbrown powder
Ash5.47%
Heavy Metals<100.0 ppm
Microbiological Content<1000. cfu/g
Fungi<100.0 cfu/g
Staph. aureasabsent
E. coliabsent
salmonellaabsent



SCIENTIFIC REFERENCES

Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.

Boeters, U. (1969) Treatment of autonomic dysregulation with valepotriates (Valmane). Muenchener Medizinische Wochenschrift. 37:1873.

Chauffard, F. et al. (1982) Detection of mild sedative effects: Valerian and sleep in man. Experimentia 37:622.

Delsignore, R. et al. (1980) Placebo controlled clinical trial with Valerian. Settimana Medica 68(9):437.

Drieglsten, J. and Grusla, D. (1988) Central depressant constituent in Valerian. Deutsche Apotheker Zeitung. 40:2041.

Foster, S. (1991) Valerian. American Botanical Council.

Hendriks, R. et al. (1981) Pharmacological screening of Valerenal and some other components of essential oil of Valeriana officinalis. Planta Medica 42:62.

Klich, R. and Gladbach, B. (1975) Childhood behavior disorders and their treatment. Medizinische Welt. 26(25):1251.

Lindahl, O. and Lindwall, L. (1989) Double blind study of a valerian preparation. Pharmacology Biochem. & Behavior. 32:1065.

Mowrey, D. (1990) Guaranteed Potency Herbs. A compilation of writings on the subject.

Mowrey, D. (1986) The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine. Cormorant Books.

Weiner, M. (1990) Weiner's Herbal. Mill Valley: Quantum Books.

 


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