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Ingredient Type: Botanical, Extract

Also Known As: Valeriana officinalis, Common valerian, Garden heliotrope, Garden valerian

Valerian is a perennial flowering plant native to Europe and parts of Asia.  It has been used as a medicinal herb since at least the times of Ancient Greece and Rome, most commonly for its sedative properties.

Valerian is thought to work by increasing the amount of a chemical called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which helps regulate nerve cells and has a calming effect on anxiety.

Valerian is used today in health supplements to ease the effects of insomnia and anxiety.


In the meantime see the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health entry for valerian, this National Institues of Health article on valerian, the European Medicines Agency public summary for Valerianae radix, the Penn State Hershey entry for valerian, the WebMD entry for valerian, the Michigan Medicine Health Library entry for valerian, or the entry for Valeriana officinalis for more information.