Valerian - Useful Herb for Lower Blood Pressure

Valerian

Valeriana officinalis Valerianaceae


Found throughout Europe and lIor/hem Asia, valerian is a herbaceous perennial. It prefers damp places , but ran survive in dry ground. The erect, fluted stems can grow as tall as 2m, with indented leaves forming a rosette around the base of the plant. Throughout the Summer , umbrella-shaped clusters of white, pink or red flowers open at the very top if the main stems.


Parts used

  • Rhizome
  • The rhizomes of plants over two years old are dug up in autumn.
  • They are washed, then left to dry at a low temperature to preserve their active
  • The dried rhizome is used to make powders, dry extracts, aqueous or alcohol extracts, suspensions and drinkable solutions.

Constituents

The main compounds in valerian are valepotriates, valerenic acid, and valeranone, which have a sedative effect and can calm muscle spasms. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which can block the tranmission of signals in the brain, is also present.


Medicinal uses

Valerian is one of the best known herbal tranquillisers, and is frequently prescri bed to both adult and children as a remedy for minor nervous disorders and sleeping difficulties. Because of this, it has been the subject of a number of studies in many parts of the world. These have confirmed the sedative and antispasmodic powers of the valepotriates and valerenic acid in the plant. Its antispasmodic action may be the basis of its purported ability to lower blood pressure.


Recent clinical trials conducted in Brazil demonstrated clearly that valerian was not only highly effective in remedying insomnia, but could also improve the quality of sleep enjoyed. In addition, extracts from the plant showed great potential in the treatment of disorders caused by extreme anxiety.


CAUTIONS

  • It is not advisable to take valerian when pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Valerian should never be used at the same time as other drugs that have a sedative effect.
  • Do not drive, or engage in any activity where lack of concentration could be dangerous, for up to 2 hours after ingesting valerian

Cultivation

Valerian can be grown from seeds, planted in April, or rhizome cuttings, planted in late summer. It grows best in moist, rich soil, preferably in a sunny or lightly shaded location.


PREPARATION AND DOSAGE

For internal use


TO TREAT minor nervous disorders and sleeping difficulties
CAPSULES (240mg powder) Take 1-2 capsules a day. If treating sleeping disorders, take 1-2 hours before retiring. CAPSULES (SO-100mg dry extract) Take 2 capsules, three times a day.
LIQUID EXTRA (1:1 in 60% alcohol) Take 0.3-1ml of liquid extract three times a day.


IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST CONSULT A DOCTOR



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