By Ann Lakner, M.D., Ph.D., HFL Solutions
Valerian is a perennial plant native to North America and Europe. The extracted root is the portion of the plant used for medicinal effects.
Historically, valerian’s primary use was as a sedative for the relief of insomnia, anxiety, mental stress, depression and conditions associated with pain.
Several recent clinical studies have substantiated this historical use.
Almost Like Valium – But WITHOUT the Side Effects
Valerian appears to work by binding to or enhancing the effects of the same brain receptors as diazepam (Valium) and other benzodiazepine drugs (such as Xanax).
However, Valerian appears to be MUCH BETTER tolerated, as side-effects such as impaired mental function, morning “hangover,” and dependency, which are such a problem with benzodiazepines, have NOT been reported with valerian.
Traditional herbalists have used valerian as an anxiolytic, frequently in combination with other herbal preparations such as passion flower and St. John’s wort (both ingredients found in ProVanax®).
Works Synergistically With – Kava, St. John’s Wort & Passion Flower
In a recent preliminary, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial,16 36 patients with a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder were treated with placebo, diazepam in a dosage of 2.5 mg three times daily, or valerian extract in a dosage of 50 mg three times daily (80% dihydrovaltrate, 15% valtrate, and 5% acevaltrate; BYK-Gulden, Lomberg, Germany) for four weeks.
Dosage was regulated at one week if an interviewing psychiatrist deemed an increase or decrease necessary.
Although the study was limited by a small number of patients in each group, relatively low dosages of the active agents, and a short duration of treatment, the authors found a significant reduction in the psychic factor of the Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAM-A) with diazepam and valerian.
Another RCT17 compared 120 mg of kava (LI 150), 600 mg of valerian (LI 156), and placebo taken daily for seven days in relieving physiologic measures of stress induced under laboratory conditions in 54 healthy volunteers.
Valerian and kava, but not placebo, significantly decreased systolic blood pressure responsiveness, heart rate reaction, and self-reported stress. (note: “LI 156” is an identification number referring to the specific herb and the manufacturer; in this case, Lichtwer Pharma UK, Ltd.)
CONCLUSION: Simply stated, Valerian taken by itself is not as effective and should be taken with other key, “synergistic” ingredients such as Kava Kava & Passion Flower.
Again, these are found in the correct ratios and extracts in ProVanax®
Other Benefits …
The sedative and relaxing effects of Valerian has made it popular for treating a variety of ailments, including nervousness, anxiety and insomnia.
Research had indicated that passion flower has a complex activity on the central nervous system (CNS), which is responsible for its overall tranquilizing effects.
Also, it apparently has an antispasmodic effect on smooth muscles within the body, including the digestive system, promoting digestion. Thus, helping to prevent heart burn and indigestion.
German researchers also have found that Valerian induces deep muscle relaxation, modulates emotions and promotes sleep, as effectively as synthetic prescription drugs, but without causing side effects.
Any Negative Side-Effects?…
No, that’s the best part. Not only is it as effective as prescription medications, Valerian extract has no negative side-effects, it’s not addictive, can be taken safely long-term and daily.
The “secret” is make sure you get the correct EXTRACTED form, and not the worthless and “dead” root! The best extract dose is 5:1 extract – this is the clinically effective and proven extract.
So, What’s The Best Solution?…
The best products use Valerian, in conjunction with other key ingredients, at specific dosages to dramatically help with anxiety.
Other key ingredients you should look for when purchasing a product, which also work in synergy with Valerian are:
* St. John’s Wort
* Kava Kava Extract
* Passion Flower Extract
In fact, a clinically proven product called ProVanax® contains the above key ingredients, in specific extracted dosages — in addition to a couple other helpful ingredients.
The feedback has been amazing and since the product has been around for years, you know it works and it’s safe!
Deborah, a mother of 3 who has been dealing with these problems for over 2 decades, said it best, “ProVanax® allows me to feel relaxed, less anxiety and depression, WITHOUT feeling numb, tired or sedated like other products or prescription drugs.”
Learn more about ProVanax: Reduce anxiety, depression & panic attacks.