Valerian: Uses and Side Effects
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Ellen
Posted on: December 18, 1998

Can you tell me what Valerian can do for me? Are there side effects?

Valerian is one of the most relied upon herbal sedatives. The roots contain compunds that are known to induce relaxation. It is also used to reduce pain, nervous unrest, migraine, and insomnia.

The purified active constituents, the valepotriates, are known to be toxic, but they are poorly absorbed by the body and virtually never cause any adverse reactions. There is a minor concern that continual use of valerian will eventually cause headaches, excitability and insomnia, but otherwise the main caution is not operate machinery when taking it.

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