herbals valerian

RECND321

Valerian

Scientific:Valeriana officinalis
Other:Valerian

Indications

Nervous system tonic that modulates various neurotransmitters (GABA, serotonin) to produce a calming effect.

CNS
• depressed patients complaining of being overly stimulated and/or stressed
- insomnia
- migraine headaches
- nervous tension
- anxiety
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
• benzodiazepine withdrawal

Musculoskeletal
• involuntary muscle contractions or twitches
- delirium tremens
- restless leg syndrome
- muscular fasciculations
- tension headaches

Gynecological
dysmenorrhea
• menopausal hot flashes

Cardiovascular
heart palpitations
• arrhythmias
hypertension (especially due to anxiety)

Actions

sedative (mild)
nervine
anxiolytic
• anticonvulsant
antispasmodic
hypotensive

Constituents

• Volatile oil
• Iridoids (e.g. isovaltrate, valtrate)
• Sesquiterpenes
• GABA

Posology

• Tincture (1:5 in 70% EtOH): 3-5 ml tid
• Liquid extract (1:1 in 25% EtOH): 1-2 ml tid
• Infusion: (dried root): 1-3g tid

Duration: although acute administration can help, it must be taken for at least 2 weeks before the benefits for insomnia can be evaluated.

Safety

Generally considered safe when used as indicated.

Side effects: May cause excitation in some patients (rare).

Interactions

Sedatives - studies are lacking, however they it may potentiate the effects of other sedatives (e.g. benzodiazepines, barbituates, alcohol). Often used to wean people of benzodiasepines.

References

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Barnes J, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicines, 3rd ed. London: Pharmaceutical Press, 2007.

Bone K. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2000.

Bone K. A Clinical Guide to Blending Liquid Herbs: Herbal Formulations for the Individual Patient. St Louis, MO: Churchill Livingstone, 2003.

Brinker F. The Toxicology of Botanical Medicines, 3rd ed. Sandy, Oregon: Eclectic Medical Publications, 2000.

Felter HW, Lloyd JU. King's American Dispensatory. 1898. http://www.ibiblio.org/herbmed/eclectic/kings/main.html. Accessed: August 19, 2006.

Hoffman D. Medical Herbalism. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 2003.

Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Beaconsfield, England: Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, 1988.

Williamson EM, ed. Major Herbs of Ayurveda. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2002

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