Valerian is a plant which can bedescribed as perennial flowering one, having sweetly scented pink orwhite flowers which tend to blossom and bloom in the hottest parts ofthe year, during the summer. The extract from this pleasantlysmelling plant was used in perfumes in the 16th century.
Since valerian initially grew only inEurope and Asia, it was brought and cultivated in North Americalater, after the colonization. However, this plant is more famous forits health effects than for its etymology or history. The medicinemade from this plant has numerous healing effects.
What is Valerian Good For?
As far as the medical use of valerianis concerned, this plant is used mainly for treatment of insomnia,also being considered an alternative for the sedative andmood-altering drugs such as benzodiazepines. Having a calming effecton the human psyche, relieving a person of tension and stress,valerian is used for treating nervous tension and hysteria, alongwith cramps and many other health problems in a natural way.
In the US, valerian is considered to bea drug which is considered to be a supplement for one's diet, helpingpeople sleep better and overcome problems such as insomnia or dealwith restlessness and anxiety, relaxing the muscles of those whoconsume it.
The best fact about valerian is thatthe sleepiness it causes vanishes after a good night's sleep, notbothering a person during the next day. However, even though manypeople claim that valerian has a desired effect only when taken overa longer course of time, some individuals have managed to benefitfrom it almost instantly, especially when used by people who sufferfrom sleeping disorders.
Moreover, many people who have sufferedfrom gastrointestinal problems praise valerian for enabling them thecure for their condition. Due to the strong effect this plant has, itis commonly recommended as an alternative once a person decides tostop taking benzodiazepines. Furthermore, a single study provedvalerian useful for treating infantile viral diarrhea.
Some sources even recommend valerianfor the treatment of epilepsy, even though we still lack adequatestudies to back this claim up. Either way, regardless of the problemsit treats, valerian is considered excellent due to the fact that itseffectiveness does not vanish or decrease overtime, like it is thecase with numerous types of medications. Rather, once valerian grantsyou the sedation and curing effect it has, every next dose willresult in the same positive outcome.
Valerian is available in forms oftinctures or alcohol-free and alcohol mixture variants. Powders,tablets, teas and capsules are also available.
Adverse Reaction to Valerian
In order to benefit from valerian, youneed to take it within the limits of recommended safe dosages.Usually, when taking the plant in its crude form, you are advised notto cross 10g per day, starting from 2g in order to achieve thedesired effect. Even though the root of this plant is not toxic, itis known to lead to disorientation, confusion or giddiness, when thedosage taken exceeds the safe limit.
However, there are more side-effectswhich can be attributed to valerian. These are also mostly related toexcessive consumption of this plant. Stomach ache, apathy, depressionand overall mental dullness are some of the most commonly seenadverse reactions to valerian.
Also, due to the fact that this herbresults in sort of sedation, the effects you might not desire can bedizziness and drowsiness or even night terrors. Hence, you are notadvised to operate a vehicle while being under the effect of thisherbal product.
Taking into consideration that valerianis known to trigger depression, it is not recommended to be takenwith some other forms of antidepressants, since the effect can becounter-productive or even life-threatening. If you are allergic tothis medicine, its scent or contact with it may result in severalreactions like skin rashes, hives, breathing difficulties etc. Inthese cases, react immediately and seek medical assistance.
Some studies have reported that usingvalerian in the long run can lead to the appearance of withdrawaleffects similar to those which are related to benzodiazepines, mainlymanifesting through heart problems and delirium. However, thesestudies were solely carried out on men.
In general, not many undesired effectsof valerian were reported, even though this plant has been used bypeople since time immemorial. Nevertheless, you are advised topractice caution since this plant and all the products which containits extract have not been regulated by the FDA or some similarorganizations. Therefore, breastfeeding mothers and pregnant womenshould not take valerian, for preventative purposes.
So, to sum up, valerian is a naturalmedicine which can help you calm down. Additionally, according tomany different sources, this plant has many other healing powers youcan benefit from. Thus, feel free to explore these, but only afteryou have consulted with your health expert.