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Valerian is an herb that people have used for centuries for sleep problems, migraines, fatigue, and stomach cramps. It comes from the root of the valerian plant, found in areas of North America, Europe, and Asia.
Valerian is available in many forms. These include valerian tea, dietary supplements, and liquid or powder extracts.
Some people use valerian for anxiety, depression, headaches, menopause symptoms, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), or sleep problems. But so far there isn't clear proof from science that taking valerian helps with these or other health problems.
Side effects from valerian are rare but can include mild headache or stomach upset, abnormal heartbeats, insomnia, and (less commonly) liver damage. If you are taking valerian, you shouldn't drink alcohol or take sedatives. You also should not take valerian if you will be driving or need to be alert.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate dietary supplements in the same way it regulates medicine. A dietary supplement can be sold with limited or no research on how well it works.
Always tell your doctor if you are using a dietary supplement or if you are thinking about combining a dietary supplement with your conventional medical treatment. It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on a dietary supplement. This is especially important if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
When using dietary supplements, keep in mind the following:
Current as of:
January 3, 2022
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: January 3, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
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