Articles on this page are available in 2 other languages: Spanish (1), Dutch (1) (learn more)

Overview

Comprehensive Description

Comments

This interesting plant has attractive foliage and flowers, therefore it is no surprise that it is occasionally cultivated in flower gardens; it is also cultivated in medicinal herb gardens. When the pulverized roots of Garden Valerian are consumed, they exert hypnotic, sedative, and anti-spasmodic effects in the human body. It is thought that neurologically active chemicals in the roots affect the GABA neurotransmitter system and possibly other neurotransmitter systems within the brain to produce these effects. Unlike native Valeriana spp. (Valerian species), Garden Valerian has odd-pinnate leaves (or deeply pinnatifid leaves) from top to bottom. The lower leaves of native Valerian species are either undivided or less so.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Description

This herbaceous perennial plant is 1½-4' tall and sparingly branched. Both basal and cauline leaves are produced that are similar in appearance. The central stem of each plant is light green (less often dark red), stout, terete, finely ribbed, and either glabrous or pubescent; the interior of this stem is hollow. Pairs of opposite leaves occur primarily along the lower one-half of each stem; they are widely spreading. These leaves are odd-pinnate with 4-9 pairs of sessile leaflets and a terminal leaflet (alternately, the leaves could be described as pinnatifid with 4-9 pairs of deep lobes and a terminal lobe); the leaves are up to 8" long. The leaflets are linear-lanceolate to lanceolate-oblong in shape with margins that are either smooth or sparingly dentate toward their tips. The upper leaflet surface is medium to dark green and glabrous, while the lower surface is more pale and either glabrous or slightly hairy. The rachis (central stalk) of each leaf is primarily white with winged margins that are green. The lower and basal leaves have longer petioles than the upper leaves; the latter are sometimes sessile. The central stem terminates in one or more flat-topped panicles of flowers about 2-5" across. On a robust plant, stalks of smaller flat-topped panicles may be produced from the axils of 1-2 pairs of upper leaves. The peduncles and pedicels of these panicles are light green (less often dark red) and either glabrous or pubescent. Individual trumpet-shaped flowers are about 4 mm. (3/16" ) long, consisting of a light pink or white corolla with 5 spreading lobes, a short green calyx with 5 teeth, 3 stamens, and a pistil with a style that is tripartite at its tip. The blooming period occurs during the summer for a month or two; the flowers are fragrant. Afterwards, the flowers are replaced by achenes with feathery hairs. The achenes are about 4 mm. (3/16") long, lanceoloid in shape, and slightly flattened; they are distributed by the wind. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous. Colonies of clonal plants are sometimes produced by the rhizomes.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The non-native Garden Valerian has naturalized in NE Illinois, where it is uncommon (see Distribution Map). It was introduced into North America from Europe as an ornamental and medicinal plant. Habitats consist of soggy thickets and meadows, fens, and roadside ditches. So far, Garden Valerian has not been a problem in Illinois, although in the northeastern states it appears to be more abundant and aggressive, possibly because of the cooler climate and more abundant rainfall in these states.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The non-native Garden Valerian has naturalized in NE Illinois, where it is uncommon (see Distribution Map). It was introduced into North America from Europe as an ornamental and medicinal plant. Habitats consist of soggy thickets and meadows, fens, and roadside ditches. So far, Garden Valerian has not been a problem in Illinois, although in the northeastern states it appears to be more abundant and aggressive, possibly because of the cooler climate and more abundant rainfall in these states.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Associations

Faunal Associations

According to Müller (1873/1883), the nectar and pollen of the flowers attract honeybees, bumblebees, Halictid bees, Dance flies (Empididae), flower flies (Syrphidae), Muscid flies, blow flies (Calliphoridae), flesh flies (Sarcophagidae), and thick-headed flies (Conopidae). The flowers also attract skippers and butterflies during the day (personal observation), and perhaps moths at night. Because of its bitter taste and other properties, the foliage of Garden Valerian is not attractive to mammalian herbivores.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Foodplant / sap sucker
nymph of Acompus rufipes sucks sap of Valeriana officinalis
Remarks: Other: uncertain

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Arthrinium dematiaceous anamorph of Arthrinium phaeospermum is saprobic on dead leaf of Valeriana officinalis
Remarks: season: esp. 7-8

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed, becoming erumpent conidioma of Chaetospermum coelomycetous anamorph of Chaetospermum chaetosporum is saprobic on dead stem of Valeriana officinalis

Foodplant / parasite
cleistothecium of Erysiphe valerianae parasitises live Valeriana officinalis

Foodplant / miner
larva of Liriomyza valerianae mines leaf of Valeriana officinalis

Foodplant / open feeder
nocturnal larva of Macrophya albicincta grazes on leaf of Valeriana officinalis
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / sap sucker
Macrosiphum rosae sucks sap of live Valeriana officinalis

Foodplant / parasite
sporangium of Peronospora valerianae parasitises live Valeriana officinalis

Foodplant / spot causer
epiphyllous, few, immersed, then erumpent pycnidium of Phyllosticta coelomycetous anamorph of Phyllosticta valerianae causes spots on live leaf of Valeriana officinalis
Remarks: season: 8

Foodplant / spot causer
hypophyllous colony of Ramularia anamorph of Ramularia valerianae causes spots on live leaf of Valeriana officinalis

Foodplant / parasite
telium of Uromyces valerianae parasitises live Valeriana officinalis

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Valeriana officinalis

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Valeriana officinalis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 12
Specimens with Barcodes: 13
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is full sun, consistently moist conditions, and soil consisting of fertile loam. However, this plant can adapt to less ideal circumstances. There are very few problems with disease organisms or pests.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Economic Uses

Uses: MEDICINE/DRUG

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Valerian (herb)

For other uses, see Valerian.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis, Valerianaceae) is a perennial flowering plant, with heads of sweetly scented pink or white flowers that bloom in the summer months. Valerian flower extracts were used as a perfume in the sixteenth century.

Native to Europe and parts of Asia, valerian has been introduced into North America. It is consumed as food by the larvae of some Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species, including Grey Pug.

Other names used for this plant include garden valerian (to distinguish it from other Valeriana species), garden heliotrope (although not related to Heliotropium), and all-heal (which is also used for plants in the genus Stachys). Red valerian, often grown in gardens, is also sometimes referred to as valerian, but is a different species (Centranthus ruber) from the same family and not very closely related.

Valerian, in pharmacology and herbal medicine, is the name of an herb or dietary supplement prepared from roots of the plant. Crude extract of the root is often sold in the form of capsules. Valerian root has sedative and anxiolytic effects. It can also be classified as a drug since its consumption produces a sedative or medicinal effect, while it is not exclusively a type of food. These effects are suspected to be mediated through the GABA receptor.[1] The amino acid valine is named after this plant.

History[edit]

19th-century illustration of Valeriana officinalis
Close up of valerian foliage

Valerian has been used as a medicinal herb since at least the time of ancient Greece and Rome. Hippocrates described its properties, and Galen later prescribed it as a remedy for insomnia. In medieval Sweden, it was sometimes placed in the wedding clothes of the groom to ward off the "envy" of the elves.[2] In the sixteenth century the Anabaptist reformer Pilgram Marpeck prescribed valerian tea for a sick woman.[3]

Etymology[edit]

The name of the herb is derived from the personal name Valeria and the Latin verb valere (to be strong, healthy).[4][5]

Valerian extract[edit]

Biochemical composition[edit]

Known compounds detected in valerian that may contribute to its method of action are:

Mechanism of action[edit]

Because of valerian's historical use as a sedative, antiseptic, anticonvulsant, migraine treatment and pain reliever, most basic science research has been directed at the interaction of valerian constituents with the GABA neurotransmitter receptor system. Many studies remain inconclusive and all require clinical validation. The mechanism of action of valerian in general, and as a mild sedative in particular has not been fully elucidated, but it is generally believed that some of the GABA-analogs particularly valerenic acids as components of the essential oil along with other semi-volatile sesquiterpenoids appear to have some affinity for the GABAA receptor, a class of receptors on which benzodiazepines are known to act.[15][16] Valeric acid, which is responsible for the typical odor of mostly older valerian roots, does not have any sedative properties.

Valerian also contains isovaltrate, which has been shown to be an inverse agonist for adenosine A1 receptor sites. This action likely does not contribute to the herb's sedative effects, which would be expected from an agonist, rather than an inverse agonist, at this particular binding site. Hydrophilic extractions of the herb commonly sold over-the-counter, however, probably do not contain significant amounts of isovaltrate.[17]

Preparation[edit]

The chief constituent of valerian is a yellowish-green to brownish-yellow oil which is present in the dried root, varying from 0.5 to 2.0 percent, though an average yield rarely exceeds 0.8 percent. This variation in quantity is partly explained by location; a dry, stony soil yields a root richer in oil than one that is moist and fertile.[18] The volatile oils that form the active ingredient are extremely pungent, somewhat reminiscent of well-matured cheese. Though some people remain partial to the earthy scent, some may find it to be unpleasant, comparing the odor to that of unwashed feet.[19] Valerian tea should not be prepared with boiling water, as this may drive off the lighter oils.

Medicinal use[edit]

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) essential oil

Valerian is most often used to treat insomnia. It can be considered an alternative treatment for hypnotic drugs. It is also sometimes used as an alternative for sedatives, such as benzodiazepines in the treatment of certain anxiety disorders.[20][21][22][23]

Whether or not valerian is an efficacious treatment for insomnia is still a very open question. Multiple recent systematic reviews of the medical research literature and meta-analyses have produced conflicting conclusions regarding the efficacy of the substance. One systematic review and meta-analysis published in 2006 in the American Journal of Medicine concluded that "The available evidence suggests that valerian might improve sleep quality without producing side effects."[24] However, another systematic review, published in 2007 in the journal Sleep Medicine Review, concluded that valerian was safe but not clinically efficacious for insomnia.[25]

In the United States, valerian is sold as a nutritional supplement. Therapeutic use has increased as dietary supplements have gained in popularity, especially after the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act was passed in 1994. This law allowed the distribution of many agents as over-the-counter supplements and therefore allowed them to bypass the regulatory requirements of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In addition to being used for the treatment of insomnia and other sleep disorders, valerian has also been used to treat anxiety and gastrointestinal pain caused by irritable bowel syndrome.[citation needed] It has also been used in alternative medicine to treat symptoms such as nervous tension, excitability, and stress as well as intestinal colic or cramps[20] and as a muscle relaxant.

Oral forms, usage and adverse effects[edit]

Oral forms[edit]

Oral forms are available in both standardized and unstandardized forms. Standardized products may be preferable considering the wide variation of the chemicals in the dried root, as noted above. When standardized, it is done so as a percentage of valerenic acid or valeric acid.

Dosage[edit]

Dosage is difficult to determine, due to the lack of standardization and variability in available forms. The United States Government's National Institutes of Health report that doses of 400–900 mg taken from 30 minutes to two hours before bed, or a lesser dose when combined with certain other supplements, have been researched.[26]

Adverse effects[edit]

Few adverse events attributable to valerian have been reported.[20] Large doses may result in stomach ache, apathy, and a feeling of mental dullness or mild depression. Because of the herb's tranquilizer properties, it may cause dizziness or drowsiness, effects that should be considered before driving or operating heavy or hazardous equipment.[27]

In rare cases, valerian may cause an allergic reaction, typically as a skin rash, hives, or difficulty breathing.[27]

Because the compounds in valerian produce central nervous system depression, they should not be used with other depressants, such as ethanol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, opiates, kava, or antihistamine drugs.[28][29][30] Moreover, non-pregnant adult human hepatotoxicity has been associated with short-term use (i.e., a few days to several months) of herbal preparations containing valerian and Scutellaria (commonly called skullcap).[31] Withdrawal after long-term use in a male has also been associated with benzodiazepine-like withdrawal symptoms, resulting in cardiac complications and delirium.[32]

The very limited animal and human data do not allow a conclusion as to the safety of valerian during pregnancy. Moreover, as a natural, unregulated product, the concentration, contents, and presence of contaminants in valerian preparations cannot be easily determined. Because of this uncertainty and the potential for cytotoxicity in the fetus and hepatotoxicity in the mother, the product should be avoided during pregnancy.[28][29]

Effect on other organisms[edit]

An unusual feature of valerian is that valerian root and leaves are a cat attractant similar to, and as safe as catnip. Valerian contains the cat attractant actinidine. Cat attractants might mimic the odor of cat urine,[citation needed] which is caused by 3-mercapto-3-methylbutan-1-ol (MMB).[citation needed] Anecdotal reports claim that valerian is also attractive to rats—so much so that it had been used to bait traps. Stories describe the Pied Piper of Hamelin using both his pipes and valerian to attract rats.[18] Research also shows that valerian root is the strongest chemo-attractant of slime molds (Physarum polycephalum).[33]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Joseph I. Boullata and Angela M. Nace (2000). "Safety Issues with Herbal Medicine: Common Herbal Medicines". Pharmacotherapy 20 (3). 
  2. ^ Thorpe, Benjamin; Northern Mythology, Vol. 2, pp. 64–65
  3. ^ Torsten Bergsten (1958). "Two Letters by Pilgram Marpeck". Mennonite Quarterly Review 32: 200. 
  4. ^ Harper, Douglas. "valerian". Online Etymology Dictionary. 
  5. ^ Latin definition for: valeo, valere, valui, valitus. latin-dictionary.net
  6. ^ a b c d e f Fereidoon Shahidi and Marian Naczk, Phenolics in food and nutraceuticals (Boca Raton, Florida, USA: CRC Press, 2004), pp. 313–314 ISBN 1-58716-138-9.
  7. ^ Although many sources list "catinine" as an alkaloid that's present in extracts from the root of Valeriana officinalis, those sources are incorrect. The correct spelling is "chatinine". It was discovered by S. Waliszewski in 1891. See: S. Waliszewski (15 March 1891) L'Union pharmaceutique, page 109. Abstracts of this article appeared in: "Chatinine, alcaloïde de la racine de valériane" Répertoire de pharmacie, series 3, vol. 3, pp. 166–167 (April 10, 1891) ; American Journal of Pharmacy, vol. 66, p. 285 (June 1891).
  8. ^ Isovaleramide does not appear to be a naturally occurring component of Valerian plants; rather, it seems to be an artifact of the extraction process; specifically, it's produced by treating aqueous extracts of Valerian with ammonia. See: Balandrin, M. F., Van Wagenen, B. C. and Cordell, G. A. (1995). "Valerian-derived sedative agents. II. Degradation of Valmane-derived valepotriates in ammoniated hydroalcoholic tinctures". Journal of Toxicology – Toxin Review 14 (2): 165 ff. doi:10.3109/15569549509097280. 
  9. ^ Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Valerian. Ods.od.nih.gov (2008-01-16). Retrieved on 2012-01-09.
  10. ^ Isovaleric acid does not appear to be a natural constituent of Valeriana officinalis; rather, it is a breakdown product that is created during the extraction process or by enzymatic hydrolysis during (improper) storage. See pp. 22 and 123 of Peter J. Houghton, Valerian: the genus Valeriana (Amsterdam, the Netherlands: Harwood Academic Press, 1997) ISBN 90-5702-170-6.
  11. ^ Yuan CS, Mehendale S, Xiao Y, Aung HH, Xie JT, Ang-Lee MK (2004). "The gamma-aminobutyric acidergic effects of valerian and valerenic acid on rat brainstem neuronal activity.". Anesth Analg 98 (2): 353–8, table of contents. doi:10.1213/01.ANE.0000096189.70405.A5. PMID 14742369. 
  12. ^ R.B.H. Wills and D. Shohet (July 2009). "Changes in valerenic acids content of valerian root (Valeriana officinalis L. s.l.) during long-term storage". Food Chemistry 115 (1): 250–253. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2008.12.011. 
  13. ^ a b Marder M, Viola H, Wasowski C, Fernández S, Medina JH, Paladini AC (2003). "6-methylapigenin and hesperidin: new valeriana flavonoids with activity on the CNS". Pharmacol Biochem Behav 75 (3): 537–45. doi:10.1016/S0091-3057(03)00121-7. PMID 12895671. 
  14. ^ Fernández S, Wasowski C, Paladini AC, Marder M (2004). "Sedative and sleep-enhancing properties of linarin, a flavonoid-isolated from Valeriana officinalis". Pharmacol Biochem Behav 77 (2): 399–404. doi:10.1016/j.pbb.2003.12.003. PMID 14751470. 
  15. ^ Holzl J, Godau P. (1989). "Receptor binding studies with Valeriana officinalis on the benzodiazepine receptor". Planta Medica 55 (7): 642. doi:10.1055/s-2006-962221. 
  16. ^ Mennini T, Bernasconi P et al. (1993). "In vitro study in the interaction of extracts and pure compounds from Valerian officinalis roots with GABA, benzodiazepine and barbiturate receptors". Fitoterapia 64: 291–300. 
  17. ^ Lacher, Svenja K.; Mayer, Ralf; Sichardt, Kathrin; Nieber, Karen; Müller, Christa E. (2007). "Interaction of valerian extracts of different polarity with adenosine receptors: Identification of isovaltrate as an inverse agonist at A1 receptors". Biochemical Pharmacology 73 (2): 248–58. doi:10.1016/j.bcp.2006.09.029. PMID 17097622. 
  18. ^ a b "Valerian". botanical.com. Retrieved 2007-04-15. 
  19. ^ Harrington, H.D., Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains, The University of New Mexico Press, 1967, LCCN 67-29685, p. 225
  20. ^ a b c "Questions and Answers About Valerian for Insomnia and Other Sleep Disorders". Office of Dietary Supplements. National Institutes of Health. 2006-04-13. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  21. ^ Hadley S, Petry JJ (2003). "Valerian". Am Fam Physician 67 (8): 1755–8. PMID 12725454. 
  22. ^ "Valerian (Valeriana officinalis L.)". Medline Plus. 2006-10-01. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  23. ^ Schmitz M, Jäckel M (1998). "[Comparative study for assessing quality of life of patients with exogenous sleep disorders (temporary sleep onset and sleep interruption disorders) treated with a hops-valarian preparation and a benzodiazepine drug]". Wien Med Wochenschr (in German) 148 (13): 291–8. PMID 9757514. 
  24. ^ Bent S, Padula A, Moore D, Patterson M, Mehling W (2006). "Valerian for sleep: a systematic review and meta-analysis". Am. J. Med. 119 (12): 1005–12. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2006.02.026. PMID 17145239. 
  25. ^ Taibi D, Landis C, Petry H, Vitiello M (2007). "A systematic review of valerian as a sleep aid: Safe but not effective". Sleep Medicine Reviews 11 (3): 209–230. doi:10.1016/j.smrv.2007.03.002. 
  26. ^ "Valerian". MedlinePlus. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved October 31, 2013. 
  27. ^ a b "Valerian Roots Side Effects at LoveToKnow Herbs". Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  28. ^ a b Klepser TB, Klepser ME (1999). "Unsafe and potentially safe herbal therapies". Am J Health-Syst Pharm 56 (12538): 125–38; quiz 139–41. PMID 10030529. 
  29. ^ a b Wong AHC, Smith M, Boon HS (1998). "Herbal remedies in psychiatric practice". Arch Gen Psychiatry 55 (103344): 1033–44. PMID 9819073. 
  30. ^ Miller LG (1998). "Herbal medicines. Selected clinical considerations focusing on known or potential drug-herb interactions". Arch Intern Med 158 (220011): 2200–11. doi:10.1001/archinte.158.20.2200. PMID 9818800. 
  31. ^ MacGregor FB, Abernethy VE, Dahabra S, Cobden I, Hayes PC (1989). "Hepatotoxicity of herbal remedies". British Medical Journal 299 (11567). 
  32. ^ Garges HP, Varia I, Doraiswamy PM (1998). "Cardiac complications and delirium associated with valerian root withdrawal". JAMA 280 (15667): 1566–7. PMID 9820254. 
  33. ^ Adamatzky, Andrew (31 May 2011). "On attraction of slime mould Physarum polycephalum to plants with sedative properties". Nature Precedings. doi:10.1038/npre.2011.5985.1. 
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!