Sunday, January 15, 2012

Valerian Health Benefits and Side Effects

Valerian is a perennial flowering plant, in the genus Valeriana, belonging to the family Valerianaceae, native to Europe and parts of Asia. The herb has been used as a sedative and relaxing agent and to treat the liver, the urinary tract, the digestive tract problem, nerve conditions, etc.

Health Benefits
In the investigation of the extracts of the roots of
valerian (Valeriana officinalis) used for inducing sleep and improving sleep quality, found that valerian might improve sleep quality without producing side effects. Future studies should assess a range of doses of standardized preparations of valerian and include standard measures of sleep quality and safety, according to " Valerian for sleep: a systematic review and meta-analysis" by Bent S, Padula A, Moore D, Patterson M, Mehling W.(1)

In a controlled pilot study on the putative anxiolytic effect of valepotriates, found that the valepotriates may have a potential anxiolytic effect on the psychic symptoms of anxiety. However, since the number of subjects per group was very small, the present results must be viewed as preliminary. Thus, further studies addressing this issue are warranted, according to "Effect of valepotriates (valerian extract) in generalized anxiety disorder: a randomized placebo-controlled pilot study" by Andreatini R, Sartori VA, Seabra ML, Leite JR.(2)

3. Central nervous system
In the identification of
Humans consume a wide range of foods, drugs, and dietary supplements that are derived from plants and which modify the functioning of the central nervous sytem (CNS), indicated that the current evidence for the efficacy of a range of readily available plant-based extracts and chemicals that may improve brain function and which have attracted sufficient research in this regard to reach a conclusion as to their potential effectiveness as nootropics. Many of these candidate phytochemicals/extracts can be grouped by the chemical nature of their potentially active secondary metabolite constituents into alkaloids (caffeine, nicotine), terpenes (ginkgo, ginseng, valerian, Melissa officinalis, sage), and phenolic compounds (curcumin, resveratrol, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, Hypericum perforatum, soy isoflavones), according to "Herbal extracts and phytochemicals: plant secondary metabolites and the enhancement of human brain function" by Kennedy DO, Wightman EL.(3)

4. Antidepressant effect
In the investigation of the antidepressant effect of dichloromethane extract of Valeriana wallichii patchouli alcohol chemotype, found that The extract demonstrated antidepressant effect and significantly increased the norepinephrine and dopamine levels in forebrain, according to "Antidepressant effect of Valeriana wallichii patchouli alcohol chemotype in mice: Behavioural and biochemical evidence" by Sah SP, Mathela CS, Chopra K.(4)

5. Liver cirrhosis
In the study of the therapeutic effect of the extract of Valeriana jatamansi (family, Valerianaceae) prepared from the dried rhizome of the herb in an animal model of liver cirrhosis and on cell proliferation found that Treatment was found to partially reverse the elevated levels of alkaline phosphatase, γ-glutamyl transferase and selected biochemical markers of hepatic injury including drug-metabolizing enzymes. Histopathology of the hepatic tissue confirmed the therapeutic effect of the extract which corroborated with the biochemical changes. The extract is also reported to ameliorate hepatic cell proliferation in rats injected with thioacetamide. The study has implications in finding a treatment for liver cirrhosis in humans, according to "Valeriana jatamansi partially reverses liver cirrhosis and tissue hyperproliferative response in rat" by Prasad R, Naime M, Routray I, Mahmood A, Khan F, Ali S.(5)

6. Peripheral analgesic effects
In the evaluation of the effect of V. wallichii chemotype (patchouli alcohol) extract (DCME) and essential oil (VPAEO) on experimental models of nociception and to elucidate its possible mechanism of action, found that DCME and VPAEO (40 and 80 mg/kg, p.o.) significantly inhibited the number of writhings as compared to vehicle treated group. None of the doses of DCME and VPAEO exhibited any effect in tail flick model suggesting only peripheral analgesic activity. When studied for mechanism of action in acetic acid induced writhing, subeffective dose of essential oil significantly potentiated the effect of aspirin while no potentiation was seen in case of extract. These data suggest that essential oil VPAEO exerted peripheral analgesic via inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis, accoridng to "Elucidation of possible mechanism of analgesic action of Valeriana wallichii DC chemotype (patchouli alcohol) in experimental animal models" by Sah SP, Mathela CS, Chopra K.(6)

7. Alzheimer's disease
In the investigation of the effects of Valeriana amurensis on the expressions of P-APP,A4,1 and Caspase-3 of cortical neurons and hippocampus neurons in in Alzheimer's disease model rats' brain, found that The 50% ethanol extracts of macroporous resin group from the roots and rhizomes of Valeriana amurensis can decrease the expressions of beta-APP, Abeta(1-40), and Caspase-3, to inhibit the formation of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in Alzheimer's disease model rats' brain, and decrease cell fate of cortical neurons and hippocampus neurons in in Alzheimer's disease model rats' brain, according to "[Effects of Valeriana amurensis on the expressions of beta-APP, Abeta(1-40) and caspase-3 in Alzheimer's disease model rat's brain].[Article in Chinese]" by Zuo YM, Zhang ZL, Wang QH, Xie N, Kuang HX.(7)

8. Antioxidant activity
In the classification of V. officinalis extracts and its antioxidant properties against iron in hippocampal neurons in vitro, found that The effect of V. officinalis in deoxyribose degradation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production was also investigated. In brain homogenates, V. officinalis inhibited thiobarbituric acid reactive substances induced by all pro-oxidants tested in a concentration dependent manner. Similarly, V. officinalis caused a significant decrease on the LPO in cerebral cortex and in deoxyribose degradation. QA-induced ROS production in cortical slices was also significantly reduced by V. officinalis, according to "In vitro antioxidant activity of Valeriana officinalis against different neurotoxic agents" by Sudati JH, Fachinetto R, Pereira RP, Boligon AA, Athayde ML, Soares FA, de Vargas Barbosa NB, Rocha JB.(8)

9. Anticonvulsant effect
In the study the effect of valerian extracts on an experimental model of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), the results showed significant anticonvulsant effect for aqueous but not PE extract of valerian. Moreover, CPT as a selective adenosine A(1) receptor antagonist decreased the anticonvulsant effect of valerian aqueous extract, according to " Anticonvulsant effect of aqueous extract of Valeriana officinalis in amygdala-kindled rats: possible involvement of adenosine" by Rezvani ME, Roohbakhsh A, Allahtavakoli M, Shamsizadeh A.(9)

10. Relaxing effects
In the investigation of the relaxing effects of Valeriana officinalis L. (Valerianaceae) on human uterine muscle found that valerian extracts and valepotriates inhibited uterine contractility in a concentration-dependent manner. Pretreatment with either atenolol or indometacin did not affect the uterine responses to valerian extracts. Valerian extract reduced the maximal contractile response induced by acetylcholine, phenylephrine and histamine independent of the stimulus, according to "Relaxing effects of Valeriana officinalis extracts on isolated human non-pregnant uterine muscle" by Occhiuto F, Pino A, Palumbo DR, Samperi S, De Pasquale R, Sturlese E, Circosta C.(10)

11. Etc.

Side effects
1. Do not use the herb in Newborn, children or if you are pregnant or breast feeding without approval from the related field specialist
2. Valerian may interact with other medicine, including drugs suppress the central nervous system and include Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, Libruim, etc.

3. Etc.

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