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Valerian

Also indexed as:Valeriana officinalis
Valerian: Main Image© Steven Foster
Botanical names:
Valeriana officinalis

Side Effects

Research suggests that valerian does not impair one's ability to drive or operate machinery.23 There is one case reported of a man experiencing severe cardiac symptoms that may have been due to withdrawing from valerian. This man abruptly discontinued taking valerian, after having used 5-20 times the recommended amount "for many years".24 However, when taken at recommended amounts, valerian supplementation does not lead to addiction or dependence. In the case of an 18-year old college student who tried to kill herself by ingesting approximately 20,000 mg of valerian root (approximately 40-50 times the recommended amount), the only symptoms reported were fatigue, abdominal pain, and a mild tremor of the hands and feet.25 Valerian does not appear to impair reaction time, alertness, or concentration the morning after use.26 There are no known reasons to avoid valerian during pregnancy or breast-feeding.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.