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Valerian has traditionally been used as a sedative, anticonvulsant, migraine treatment and pain reliever, scientific studies have shown these effects to exist, although the precise mechanisms which cause these effects is not fully understood.
Valerian acts as an "adaptogen" or balancing agent, meaning that it's effects depend on the symptoms a person is displaying. A study found valerian tends to sedate the agitated person and stimulate the fatigued person, bringing about a balancing effect on the system.
Valerian has been used in ayurvedic medicine for many centuries and is considered to work on the nervous, digestive, and respiratory systems as a stimulant, antispasmodic, stomachic, sedative, analeptic, carminative, and nervine. While it is used for various disorders of these systems, due to its accumulative potency users of this relaxing and mood enhancing herb should not exceed recommended dosages.
Valerian extract is an excellent pre-bedtime relaxant and can help people with sleeping disorders or who are stressed or nervous.
Active Health: Valerian Root Extract performs a similar function to 5-HTP and St John's Wort, but Valerian is more specifically used as a sedative and relaxant, or for mood balancing rather than 5-HTP, which acts to combat mental fatigue and neurotransmitter rejuvenator, and St John's Wort is more specifically an anti-depressant.
Active Health: Valerian Root Extract can be a suitable alternative to St John's Wort for women who take the contraceptive pill.
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