Valerian Root Extract

Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) is commercially grown in Holland and other European countries. Valerian root extract is prepared from dried valerian roots that have been coarsely ground and washed. A liquid extract of the herb is prepared by percolation, concentrated into a paste, and spray dried. Major constituents of Valerian root include valtrates, didrovaltrates, and isovaltrates.1 Herbal extracts are typically standardized to valerenic acid levels.

Health Benefits

Traditionally, valerian root has been valued in herbal formulas for relaxation and supporting good sleep.1,2 Valerian root supplementation may reduce the time to fall asleep and improve sleep quality in individuals with sleep problems.3 Valerian root supplementation may decrease restlessness, difficulty with concentration, and impulsiveness in elementary school children and have psychotropic effects to help people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).4,5

References

  1. Valerian root. American Botanical Council. Accessed in August 2015. http://cms.herbalgram.org/expandedE/Valerianroot.html
  2. Valerian MedlinePlus. NIH. Accessed in August 2015. http://nccih.nih.gov/health/valerian
  3. Leathwood PD, Chauffard F, Heck E, Munoz-Box R. Aqueous extract of valerian root (Valeriana officinalis L.) improves sleep quality in man. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1982 Jul;17(1):65-71. PubMed PMID: 7122669.
  4. Gromball J, Beschorner F, Wantzen C, Paulsen U, Burkart M. Hyperactivity, concentration difficulties and impulsiveness improve during seven weeks’ treatment with valerian root and lemon balm extracts in primary school children. Phytomedicine. 2014 Jul-Aug;21(8-9):1098-103. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2014.04.004. Epub 2014 May 15. PubMed PMID: 24837472.
  5. Pakseresht S, Boostani H, Sayyah M. Extract of valerian root (Valeriana officinalis L.) vs. placebo in treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder: a randomized double-blind study. J Complement Integr Med. 2011 Oct 11;8. pii: /j/jcim.2011.8.issue-1/1553-3840.1465/1553-3840.1465.xml. doi: 10.2202/1553-3840.1465. PubMed PMID: 22718671.