Parts used - the root


Common Uses

  • Eases insomnia 
  • Reduces restlessness
  • Relieves anxiety 
  • Acts as muscle relaxant

How Valerian Works

Valerian has a mild sedating effect on the central nervous system. It is able to calm without the side effects of comparable orthodox drugs.
It relaxes muscles and reduces anxiety allowing you to fall asleep more easily. You are then able to sleep more soundly and awaken without the groggy morning-after feeling of standard prescription sedatives.
Valerian’s ability to relax muscles makes it potentially useful to treat menstrual cramps and other types of muscle spasms.


Side effects
A mild short-lived stomach upset has been reported by a small percentage of people. Some experience headaches if Valerian is taken for more than 2 – 3 weeks without a break. No other side effects are known.


Safety Concerns
If you are taking sedative drugs or anti-depressants you should consult your physician before taking Valerian.
The German Commission E Monograph lists no contraindications on its use during pregnancy or lactation.


History of Valerian Valerian has a place in legend as the herb that the Pied Piper of Hamelin carried to attract the rats away from the town and towards the river. Its distinctive smell is also said to intoxicate cats much like catnip.


Valerian has been used for medicinal purposes since the time of the ancient Greeks. Then it was prescribed for a variety of problems including nausea, digestive complaints and liver problems. It was the Greek physician Galen (131 – 201 A.D.) who first used Valerian to treat insomnia.


In the Middle Ages it was widely used to treat hysteria, headaches, epilepsy and most problems effecting the nerves.


Until the 1940’s medical textbooks in both the United States and Britain listed Valerian. Today in Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Italy it is an approved over-the-counter treatment for insomnia.

Disclaimer: The information presented is for information purposes only. It is based on scientific studies or traditional usage. Consult a health care professional before using supplements or making any changes in prescribed medications. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease