Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a perennial herb with anxiolytic and sedative properties. Like certain other medicinal herbs, it is hypothesized to act via the GABA receptor.
Valerian has been used for centuries by European and Asian cultures for various therapeutic purposes. Ancient Greeks used the herb; in fact, Hippocrates wrote a treatise on its medical functions. Throughout history, it has been used for many purposes, including digestive and urinary tract issues, epilepsy, and more. Some of these uses have survived into modern times.
The herb works by interacting with the GABA, gamma aminobutyric acid, neural receptor system. However, further clinical studies are needed to ascertain its precise method of action.
We do, nonetheless, know for certain that Valerian is an effective anxiolytic. Valerian can be consumed in a number of different ways. Most commonly, it is found in the form of dietary supplement or tea.
Side effects may include headaches, dizziness, itching of the skin, and stomach aches. However, more studies must be done to determine the likelihood of these side effects.
Important: If you are pregnant, taking prescription medication, or scheduled for surgery or other intensive medical procedures, consult a physician before taking any herbal medications.
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These initial findings suggest that the consumption of a low dose of Passiflora incarnata, in the form of tea, yields short-term subjective sleep benefits for healthy adults with mild fluctuations in sleep quality.
Acute anxiolytic activity was found for Centella asiatica, Salvia spp., Melissa officinalis, Passiflora incarnata and Citrus aurantium.
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