02-26-2010, 01:00 PM
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Join Date: May 2012
Valerian (valeriana officinalis)
The name Valerian comes from the Latin word valere, meaning "to be strong or healthy", generally thought to refer to its medicinal use, though many references suggest that it also refers to the strong odor.
Valerian is used for insomnia and other disorders and can be a useful alternative to benzodiazepine drugs.
In the United States Valerian is sold as a nutritional supplement. Therapeutic use has increased as dietary supplements have gained in popularity, especially after the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act was passed in 1994. This law allowed the distribution of many agents as over-the-counter supplements, and therefore allowed them to bypass the regulatory requirements of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Because of valerian's historical use as a sedative, anti-convulsant, migraine treatment and pain reliever, most basic science research has been directed at the interaction of valerian constituents with the GABA neurotransmitter receptor system. These studies remain inconclusive and all require independent replication. The mechanism of action of valerian in general, as a mild sedative in particular, remains unknown. Valerian extracts appear to have some affinity for the GABAA (benzodiazepine) receptor, but this activity does not appear to be mediated by valerenic acid, but rather by the relatively high content of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) itself.
More Info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerian_(herb
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