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Helena_SAS 02-26-2010 02:00 PM

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,[2][3] 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:

Helena_SAS 03-01-2010 02:56 PM

Not a cure
(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by robertz
Social Anxiety Background
I've had SA for almost all my life. I'm 30.

Other Treatments
5-HTP, taurine, tyrosine (the aminoacids in general are much more effective than valerian).

Treatment Experience
I've been taking valerian for some weeks. It doesn't work for me. OK, it has a mild sedative effect but not enough to calm my mind when it races in some social situations. 5-HTP is a much better alternative. Taurine effect is also stronger and it also boosts dopamine which makes you somewhat confident.

Helena_SAS 03-01-2010 02:56 PM

Great supplement.
(Copied over from old review system)

Posted by Scotso
Social Anxiety Background
somewhat severe social anxiety

Treatment Experience
It's true, as the previous review states, that valerian is not a cure for social anxiety. But where was it ever claimed to be?

Valerian does work. To see the best effects, you need to take it every day. For me, I didn't really start noticing a positive improvement until I had been taking it for about a month. Since then, I feel that my bottom level of calm has been raised. It's true that valerian is not going to be very effective in moments of really high stress, but it's extremely helpful to manage the constant anxiety that I share with many things. I feel like it's helped temper my OCD a bit, as well.

Valerian does help, and the fact that it's so extremely cheap makes me think that everyone with anxiety issues should be taking it.

Look into the Swanson brand, it's very high quality and the price is lower than anywhere else.

grandville 03-23-2010 09:35 PM

The stuff is like smelly feet, and it is horribly upsetting to my stomach. That's just my experience though.

somedayguy 03-23-2010 09:46 PM

Valerian root gives me nightmares!

stylicho 03-23-2010 11:17 PM

13 Attachment(s)
If you want an immediate relaxer drink chamomile tea. Also, breathe in above the cup as the tea bags soak. Sleepy time tea works good too. That's the one with the Bears on the cover.

walkerbonbon 06-07-2010 11:08 AM

I take valerian occasionally for sleeplessness. It does smell really bad though, so I hold my breath.

pita 06-07-2010 05:23 PM

At my old job, we kept the valerian tea in a closed jar that said something along the lines of "EW, STINKY (but works well)."

CountingSheep 06-07-2010 05:32 PM

I've been trying to identify a really bad smell in my bedroom for ages, I though maybe my cat had left a present for me somewhere, I only realised today - it's the Valerian root I keep in a tub next to my bed!

Does work well but just makes me feel very stoned rather than sleepy

Noca 06-07-2010 08:19 PM

I tried it one night, it smelt REALLY BAD! It didn't really do much to sedate me. Still have the bottle though I'm never going to use it. You even have to wash your hands after touching it cause the smell sticks to your hands.

General Specific 06-08-2010 04:48 AM

I used to take Valerian to help me sleep when I was working night shift. It worked rather well but I agree the smell is awful

kazzy 09-25-2010 03:12 AM

Im using Kalms along side my beta blockers Propranolol (10mg ) twice a day . i know kalms contain valerin. do they really work? x

Haydsmom2007 12-18-2010 08:39 PM

It works REALLY well if you're trying to knock yourself out. I keep it in case I ever have trouble sleeping, which I never do =\

And man is it smelly. I was trying to identify a smell in my bathroom closet for a long time... turns out it was this.

Jericho187 01-18-2011 05:01 PM

Just a precaution to anyone using Valerian Root. I highly advise you to get your liver enzymes checked periodically.

Valerian can cause liver damage as a side effect. I took Valerian Root for over a month and I was eventually admitted to the hospital with cramping, nausea, vomiting, and jaundice. It's funny because I'm a pharmacist and I only realized that the Valerian was the cause of my symptoms when the Dr asked me what meds I'm taking.

The ER doc thought it was so bad that he reported it to the Health Canada Adverse Reaction Database. Here is the entry:

I was only taking 400 mg at bedtime and it did work for sleep, not so much for anxiety.

novanhoj 03-27-2011 07:49 PM

valerian root did nothing for me. I've used 3 different brands over a years time. I've taken various amounts. nothing.

and it stinks funny.

Addler 06-02-2011 10:33 PM

Valerian works for me: it usually takes me an hour or two to fall asleep, but valerian shortens that time to about half an hour, and I sleep straight through the night. I take between 900 and 1400 mg to do this. When I first started taking it, the smell was really off-putting, but I got used to it, and now I associate the smell with sleep, so it's not so bad.

PickleNose 06-07-2011 10:39 PM

This stuff definitely calms me down. It doesn't really knock me out (I can take them in the middle of the day and still be awake hours later) but if I want to sleep better, it does help to take one before bed.

It does have a particular smell to it but it doesn't really smell that bad. Weed smells just about as bad. I don't know how anyone can detect it just being in the same room with a closed bottle of it. I can't smell it from more than about 6 inches away if the bottle is closed.

Anyway, I don't see how anyone with anxiety could say this stuff doesn't help at least some. No. It's not a miracle cure. Nothing is. It's biggest flaw is that it seems to wear off pretty fast sometimes. There's a temptation to take it all the time, which probably isn't good.

Mainly, it's so calming that the urge to take more hits me pretty hard. You have to try and resist that urge. I've had some pretty good results taking this with green tea and/or chamomile.

Krikorian 06-08-2011 12:26 AM

I just started taking valerian about a week ago, both for sleeping at night and for anxiety during the day. I take about 2-3 400mg pills a day. It really tones down my anxiety and improves/stabilizes my moods. Like PickleNose said, it seems to wear off quickly, but I wouldn't take too much because sometimes it hits you later.

PickleNose 06-08-2011 05:00 AM


Originally Posted by Krikorian (Post 1059055918)
it seems to wear off quickly, but I wouldn't take too much because sometimes it hits you later.

I noticed that I can take one at about 2 in the afternoon and it seems to have mostly worn off by 7 or 8 but when I go to bed I sleep like a log and the next morning when I wake up I have that heavy, sluggish feeling that's characteristic of having taken just about any kind of sleep aid.

Krikorian 06-08-2011 11:53 AM


Originally Posted by PickleNose
I noticed that I can take one at about 2 in the afternoon and it seems to have mostly worn off by 7 or 8 but when I go to bed I sleep like a log and the next morning when I wake up I have that heavy, sluggish feeling that's characteristic of having taken just about any kind of sleep aid.

Yeah, though even with the grogginess I'd still prefer it to any dyphenhydramine-based sleep aid. I feel great on Valerian during the day, but when I wake up the next morning I'm more short-tempered than usual. Sometimes I'll take some GABA or DL-Phenylalanine with it but they don't seem to change things very much.

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