By Thain, on May 25th, 2012
Valerian is a natural sedative with many other effects. Most commonly it used as a sleep aid, but it can also treat gastrointestinal pain and be used as an anti-convulsing and a mood stabilizing drug. It can relax an agitated person and stimulate someone who is fatigued, creating a balancing effect.
Valerian is a cat, rat and mold attractant, due to the chemical actinidine. Other depressants such as alcohol, benzodiazepines (like Valium or Xanax), barbiturates, opiates, or antihistamines should not be used with taking Valerian, due to the chemical compounds in it. Long term use in males has been associated with benzodiazepine-like withdrawal symptoms including delirium and cardiac issues. Through very limited testing Valerian has the potential for hepatotoxicity in mothers during pregnancy, and is not recommended for women during pregnancy.
Valerian can be taken in a few different ways. It’s most commonly taken in capsule form, but it can also be drunk in the form of tea. The capsules have an odd odor, because it is made out of the root of the plant, while the tea is made from the sweet smelling leaves and flowers.