What is Valerian?
Valerian is a perennial flowering plant that blooms in the summer months and has a very sweet smell. It is native to parts of Europe and Asia.
Valerian, in herbal medicine, is the name of an herb or dietary supplement prepared from roots of the plant. Crude extract of the root is often sold in the form of capsules.
A very brief history of Valerian use
Valerian has been used as a therapeutic herb since at least the time of ancient Greece and Rome. High profiled figures like Hippocrates described its properties, and Galen later prescribed it as a remedy for insomnia.
In medieval Sweden, it was sometimes placed in the wedding clothes of the groom to ward off the “jealousy” of the elves.
How it works in your body
Because of valerian’s historical use as a sedative, antiseptic, anticonvulsant, migraine treatment and pain reliever, most basic science research has been directed at the interaction of valerian constituents with the GABA neurotransmitter receptor system.
The mechanism of action of valerian extract in general, and as a mild sedative in particular has not been fully clarified, but it is generally believed that some of the GABA-analogs particularly valerenic acids as components of the essential oil along with other semi-volatile sesquiterpenoids appear to have some attraction for the GABAA receptor, a class of receptors on which benzodiazepines are known to act. Valeric acid, which is responsible for the typical odor of mostly older valerian roots, does not have any sedative properties.
Valerian extract is most often used to treat insomnia. It can be considered an alternative treatment for hypnotic drugs. It is also sometimes used as a different option for sedatives, such as benzodiazepines in the treatment of certain anxiety disorders.
Whether or not valerian extract is an efficacious treatment for insomnia is still a very open question. But the fact that people over the ages have used it so commonly means there are definitely some beneficial uses to it.
You can find excellent Valerian extract at Lvyin Biotech.