Other names: All-heal, Amantilla, Setwall, Setewale, Capon’s Tail, Valeriana officinalis
There is no consensus on what the active constituents of valerian are. It’s possible that valerian’s activity may result from a combination of compounds rather than any one.
Valerian can be found in capsule, tea, tablet or liquid extract forms in most health food stores, some drugstores and online.
Why Do People Use
The use of valerian is supported by some evidence from clinical studies. The problem with many of the studies, however, is they’ve generally been small, used different amounts of valerian for varying lengths of time, or had problems with the study design, making it impossible to form a conclusion about the effectiveness of valerian.
Side Effects and Safety Concerns
Pregnant or nursing women and children should not use valerian.
People taking medications for insomnia or anxiety, such as benzodiazepines, should not combine these medications with valerian.
Side effects of valerian may include headache, dizziness, itchiness, upset stomach, drowsiness during the daytime, dry mouth and vivid.dreams.
Rarely, liver damage has been associated with the use of valerian. It’s not certain whether the cause of the liver damage was due to valerian itself or to contaminants in the product. Until we know more, people should use valerian only under the supervision of a qualified health care practitioner and those with liver disease should avoid it. Although liver damage doesn’t always produce noticeable symptoms, if excessive tiredness, intense itching, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, pain or discomfort in the upper right side of the abdomen, or a yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin occurs, see your doctor immediately.
It may also cause excessive sleepiness if taken with herbs thought to have a sedative effect, such as hops, catnip and kava.
- allergy medications like Allegra (fexofenadine)
- cholesterol medication such as Mevacor (lovastatin)
- antifungal drugs such as Sporanox (itraconazole) and Nizoral (ketoconazole)
- cancer medications such as Camptosar (irinotecan), Etopophos, Vepesid (etoposide), Gleevec (STI571), Taxol (paclitaxel), Velbe (vinblastine) or Oncovin (vincristine)