Date: Sat, 10 Feb 1996 13:01:37 -0800
From: Kris Gammon <griztotm.PACIFICRIM.NET>
Subject: Re: another stage question, sort of
> > Valerian is a powerful sedative....AND is addictive. Don't forget that. Please
> I didn't realize that Valerian was so powerful. I'd heard cautions about using it consistently, but not that it was addictive. Thanks for the info.]
Valerian is ADDICTIVE? I have never heard that before. I have used it for several years as an answer to my insomnia. I take 6-8 capsules when I know I will not sleep. It has never "put" me to sleep, but it always keeps me asleep through the night. There have been times I needed it for up to a week, but I have never had to rely on it nightly. I know I have consumed a large amount of Valerian and I also know I am not addicted to it. All the material I have read about Valerian indicates it is not addictive.
From: jonathan treasure <jonno.TELEPORT.COM>
Valerian is not addictive - period. Neither Kommission E nor the British Herbal Compendium lists any known toxicity via the oral route. These monographs are the basis of considerable tonnage of valerian root consumption per anum in Europe.
Furthermore, one of the commonest problems in self prescribed use of Valerian is UNDERdosage - leading to frequent complaints that the extract is ineffective.
Valerian is safe up to 240 mgm of standardised extract per day, up to 15gm infused root per day, or 5ml 1:3 tincture 3x day. There are no contraindications and no side effects.
Please give the sources of information that such and such a herb is powerful or addictive before spreading alarmist posts. There are indeed several herbs that need to be approached with a modicum of caution. Short of drowning by putting your head in a bucket of it or possibly having a heart attack as the neighbourhood stray cats leap out of your stash, there is no risk involved with valerian. Personally I take about 10gms of fluid extract ( 1:1) for a good nights sleep. Yum.
From: Jose Garcia <jgarcia.EPIX.NET>
Subject: Valerian vs. Valium
>Never, never forget...that herbs can be the equivalent of prescription medicines and equally as deadly. Valerian is a powerful sedative....AND is addictive. Don't forget that. Please.
I believe you are confusing the herb Valeriana officinalis, Valerian, with the pharmaceutical drug Valium.
The active constituents of Valerian are valepotriates while Valium is the tradename of a potent synthetic drug, diazepam, containing benzodiasepines.
Other than the names being similar, the two have nothing in common. Valerian is safe to use and CANNOT become addictive.
From: jonathan treasure <jonno.TELEPORT.COM>
>>Valerian is safe up to 240 mgm of standardised extract per day, up to 15gm infused root per day, or 5ml 1:3 tincture 3x day. There are no contraindications and no side effects. risk involved with valerian. Personally I take about 10gms of fluid extract ( 1:1) for a good nights sleep. Yum.
>I am very curious re: dosage here. Specifically tablet/capsule form.
>What does this translate into for the commercial preparations? The following products, as examples, have (amongst other ingredients) the listed content and recommended dosages of Valerian root:
>Swiss Natural Sources' 'Sleep*Well' 400mg X 2 = 800mg total.
>Swiss Natural Sources' 'Herbal Nerve' 78 mg X 3/day = 234mg total
>Nature's Resource Valerian Root 445mg 1 or 2 before bed = 890mg total
>Jamieson's 'Relax and Sleep' 200mg 2 or 3 before bed = 600 mg total
>Nu-Life's 'Relax All' 425mg (Equiv. dose Crude Herb) X 4/day = 1700mg total
>Do these all exceed your recommendations re: standardised extract or are they within reason, since they are crude root? (Or whatever the companies do to them to get them pressed.)
>Thank you for any input.
sorry I don't know cos I don't have access to these commercial preps. There IS a potential confusion between what is called in the USA "crude drug" on the one hand ie powdered dried valerian root ( or whatever herb), put in caps, and on the other hand capsules of solid extract, which is basically an ethanolic extraction from which all the solvent is evaporated leaving a a dried grunge which when powdered is then put into the capsules.
This second one is much much stronger in the sense that it contains a larger amount of the constituents of the plant per gram, without wood, lignin, cellulose dead worms, etc, but may undergo potential denaturing of the active constituents in the process of evaporation or whatever method is used to make the solid extract. ( Some of the process are better then others - but they can virtually destroy a plants activity)
So - on the packaging it should state whether it is crude drug ie powdered root and all OR solid extract. If it is a first class solid extract then 1 mgm will be 1 mgm of extracted solids. If it is standardised, you will then be advised that it contains no less than x% valepotriates. The dose I gave was actually based on a non standardised solid extract, and the tincture doseswere self explanatory as was the whole root for infusion. Of course - some companies in the USA are apparently more interested in profit than enlightenment and appear to deliberately set out to mislead by avoiding this clarification when retailing encapsulated herbal products.
Generally speaking unless there are religious, ethical, dietary-medical grounds for not using alcohol, you are probably in a better position with tinctures which traditionally are regarded as "encapsulating" (sic) more of the whole plant qualities, especially if the starting material is fresh. Keep away from capsules marketed by clean cut nutraceutical companies with slick marketing .....you don't know where they've been. (Nor do 90% of the people peddling them) They are primarily produced as a marketing ploy to pander to average americans proclivities for popping pills as opposed to dealing with something nasty like a tincture - let alone tea made from roots. To be honest, the closer you can get to the plant the better. Try rolling in a field of valerian. I hail from the UK where the possibility of such a thing is remote 70 million people in area less than this one state (oregon) ... but there's a lot of valerian in them thar hills so count your blessings and harvest your own......
err hope this helps.....