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Valerian Valeriana officianalis
---Synonyms--- vandal root, all-heal, setwall, Garden valerian, Valerian
--Parts Used--- Root and rhizome.
Valerian root contains many different constituents, including essential oils that appear to contribute to the sedating properties of the herb. Central nervous system sedation is regulated by receptors in the brain known as GABA-A receptors. Valerian may weakly bind to these receptors to exert a sedating effect.
Valerian is a much milder and safer sedative. Unlike valium, valerian is not addictive or does not promote dependency. Valerian's sedative effect is not significantly exaggerated by alcohol and barbiturates unlike valium.
Valerian is shown to have some anti-tumor effects similar to that of nitrogen mustard. It may play a role in the treatment of cancer. Valerian is shown exhibit anticonvulsant effects that may help in the treatment of epilepsy.