Anxiety disorders are a very common mental health problem in the community. Most of the medications used to treat anxiety have side effects. Valerian is a phytotherapeutic medication frequently used for insomnia. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy and safety of valerian for anxiety disorders. Only one study was identified, involving 36 patients and comparing valerian with placebo and diazepam. This study found no significant differences in effectiveness between valerian and placebo, or between valerian and diazepam, for clinician-rated anxiety symptoms, and that both valerian and diazepam were equally well tolerated by patients. However, additional studies with larger numbers of patients are necessary before drawing conclusions about the effectiveness and safety of valerian as a treatment option for anxiety disorders.
"In addition, the antidepressant, antihypertensive, and anti-broncho spastic effects of the herb have been reported (Miyasaka et al., 2006). Modern interest in valerian preparations is focused on their use as a sedative and hypnotic (Barnes et al., 2002). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Valeriana sisymbriifolia Vahl., as an Iranian endemic plant belongs to the family Valerianaceae, is widely distributed in the alpine regions of Iran. This study was done to study phytochemical characteristics of essential oils from the aerial parts (leaves, stem, and flowers) and underground parts (roots and rhizomes) of V. sisymbriifolia collected from four natural habitats in Southwestern Iran. The essential oils from both parts of the plant analyzed by GC and GC/MS. Results indicated that there was no significant difference among various populations for essential oil yield, while there was significant difference (p ≤ 0.01) among different parts for oil yield. The essential oil yield of the roots and rhizomes of V. sisymbriifolia (0.25 ml/100 g dry matter) was higher than the aerial parts of the herb (0.08 ml/100 g dry matter). For interaction effects of population × organ, the highest essential oil yield was obtained from the underground parts of the Choobin population with 0.32 ml/100 g dry matter. The major compounds in the essential oil from the aerial parts of V. sisymbriifolia were derivatives of phenol (p-cresol) and valeric acid (n-valeric acid and 3-methylvaleric acid). While, hydrocarbon monoterpenes (α-pinene and camphene), oxygenated monoterpenes (borneol and bornyl acetate), and hydrocarbon sesquiterpenes (cis-α-bisabolene) were the main components identified in the roots of rhizomes of V. sisymbriifolia. In conclusion, the main source of variability in chemical composition and oil yield of the studied populations of V. sisymbriifolia seemed to be due to differences in harvested parts of the plant. In total, the essential oil from the aerial parts and roots of V. sisymbriifolia could be serving a potential source of borneol, camphene, derivatives of valeric acid, and phenol, especially p-cresol and for use in food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries.
"Valerian contains over 150 chemical compounds with physiological activity including: Cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper, iron, lithium, lipid compounds, nitrogen-containing compounds, amino acids, phenolic and terpenoids compounds. Each of these components may probably have a role in the anti-depression like behavior which was seen in the present study. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuroimmune factors have been considered as contributors to the pathogenesis of depression. Beside other therapeutic effects, Valeriana officinalis L., have been suggested to have anti-inflammatory effects. In the present study, the effects of V. officinalis L. hydro alcoholic extract was investigated on depression like behavior in ovalbumin sensitized rats.
A total of 50 Wistar rats were divided into five groups: Group 1 (control group) received saline instead of Valeriana officinalis L. extract. The animals in group 2 (sensitized) were treated by saline instead of the extract and were sensitized using the ovalbumin. Groups 3-5 (Sent - Ext 50), (Sent - Ext 100) and (Sent - Ext 200) were treated by 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg of V. officinalis L. hydro-alcoholic extract respectively, during the sensitization protocol. Forced swimming test was performed for all groups and immobility time was recorded. Finally, the animals were placed in the open-field apparatus and the crossing number on peripheral and central areas was observed.
The immobility time in the sensitized group was higher than that in the control group (P < 0.01). The animals in Sent-Ext 100 and Sent-Ext 200 groups had lower immobility times in comparison with sensitized group (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01). In the open field test, the crossed number in peripheral by the sensitized group was higher than that of the control one (P < 0.01) while, the animals of Sent-Ext 50, Sent-Ext 100 and Sent-Ext 200 groups had lower crossing number in peripheral compared with the sensitized group (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01 respectively). Furthermore, in the sensitized group, the central crossing number was lower than that of the control group (P < 0.001). In the animals treated by 200 mg/kg of the extract, the central crossing number was higher than that of the sensitized group (P < 0. 05).
The results of the present study showed that the hydro-alcoholic extract of V. officinalis prevents depression like behavior in ovalbumin sensitized rats. These results support the traditional belief on the about beneficial effects of V. officinalis in the nervous system. Moreover, further investigations are required in order to better understand this protective effect.
Journal of Pharmacy & Bioallied Sciences 04/2014; 6(2):97-103. DOI:10.4103/0975-7406.129174
"Only one small study on valerian in anxiety was located providing insufficient evidence to draw any conclusions about the efficacy or safety compared with placebo or diazepam for anxiety disorders (Miyasaka et al. 2006). The evidence for valerian in insomnia was promising but not conclusive as not all trials reported positive findings (Bent et al. 2006). "
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