Valerian - Uses and Benefits
All-heal, garden heliotrope,
amantilla, baldrianwurzel, capon's tail, setewale, setwell, theriacara , English valerian, Belgian valerian, common valerian, German valerian, wild valerian, heliotrope, garden heliotrope, fragrant valerian, vandal root, phu (Galen), amantilla, capon's tail .
Valerian is a hardy flowering plant .Its native to Europe and parts of Asia & naturalized in North America.It naturally likes damp fields, but will also grow in more dry places .Valerian is an erect perennial herb with heads of sweetly scented white & pink flowers.It flowers in June to September.Its used as a food by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Grey Pug . Capsule like fruit containing one oblong compressed seed. The whole plant except flowers has a foetid smell, much accentuated when bruised.The leaves are attached in pairs and consist of 6 to 10 toothed leaflets.
Valerian is a mild sedative and sleep qualities that has been popularly used in Europe for several hundred years .It improves subjective experiences of sleep when used nightly over 1-2 week periods & it appears to be a safe hypnotic choice in persons with mild to moderate insomnia. Valerian has been taken all over the world for many centuries, often being prescribed for disorders such as stress, anxiety, insomnia, restlessness and mild forms of depression. Cats like foetid smell of the roots and other parts very much and enjoy to rub there noise against the valerian plant or dried roots.
Uses and Benefits
Valerian has been tested many times for effectiveness in curing insomnia.It may be good to health by reducing the physical reactions during stressful situations. The scientific reports found that it may be mitigate the physical reactions of stress and may therefore be beneficial to health.
It effect on the nervous system of many mammals, especially cats, which seem to be thrown into a kind of intoxication by its scent. It is equally effect on the nervous system of rats and is often used by rat-catchers to bait their traps.
Valerian is the good source of valeric acid . If applied directly, it is an effective treatment for acne. It has uses in herbal medicine as a sedative .In past it has been used for the treatment of epilepsy but that has not been supported by modern research .Today the main use of valerian is as a remedy for insomnia .
It act as a mild tranquilizer and sleep aid & an effective herb for dealing with temporary feelings of anxiety, nervousness .
Valerian is not recommended to women who are pregnant or nursing .Because the possible risks to the fetus or infant have not been evaluated.
Persons using valerian should be aware of the theoretical possibility of additive sedative causes from alcohol or sedative drugs, such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines
Few adverse effects of valerian have been reported are:
Capsules: A dose of 300 to 1,800 milligrams of valerian has been taken my mouth. Aqueous or aqueous-ethanol extract: A dose of 1.5 to three grams of herb has been taken by mouth 30 to 60 minutes before going to bed. Tea: A dose of 1.5 to three grams of valerian root steeped in 150 milliliters of boiling water for five to 10 minutes has been taken by mouth 30 to 60 minutes before going to bed.
Its interactions with alcohol ,some antihistamines ,muscle relaxants & narcotic drugs has been reported.
Scientific studies shows the interactions between valerian and herbs or supplements that it may increase the side effects or the amount of drowsiness caused by some herbs or supplements, such as St. John's wort or melatonin.
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