Valerian: does it have contraindications and side effects?

Valerian is a medicinal plant that is used for its strong sedative, calming and relaxing properties. Can it have side effects and contraindications? Let’s find out together in a few lines!

This plant promotes sleep, acts in the intestine by calming colic spasms and allows physiological relaxation. Due to this last property it can also be useful for headaches: it induces relaxation in the nervous system and decreases blood pressure; in this way the pain also subsides.

Each natural remedy deriving from a medicinal plant contains an active ingredient within it: the active ingredient of the plant produces the healing effect it benefits from. Like any active ingredient, even that of the various natural remedies can have beneficial effects and contraindications to consider. Side effects also exist in the use of natural remedies, so it is necessary to know them well before taking them.

The properties of valerian are many: it has a curative and beneficial phytocomplex that can have side effects and contraindications to be known, let’s see them immediately together.

Side effects of valerian

Valerian naturally induces sleep through physiological nervous relaxation and acts on states of tension and stress. It is therefore an excellent natural remedy for sleeping well. Like any remedy, valerian also has side effects that you need to know properly.

Due to its strong hypno-inducing, sedative and relaxing action it can cause drowsiness and a reduction in the attention span and reflexes during the day, so it is better not to take it in the morning or if you have to drive, study, work..

It is also necessary to pay close attention to the interaction with some drugs, especially sedatives because they increase their effect. Specifically, attention must be paid to:

  • Avoid use in case of treatment with psychotropic drugs (barbiturates, antidepressants, sedatives, sleeping pills) always asking for the preventive advice of your doctor
  • Use caution with concomitant use of melatonin and St. John’s wort, due to possible mutual enhancement effects.

There are no known cases of specific allergy to valerian which is usually well tolerated without creating problems. Other side effects of valerian were found in tests in which some of the participants accused:

  • headache
  • gastrointestinal disorders
  • dizziness

It should be emphasized that the percentage of people who have experienced these side effects is still very low.

Contraindications for the use of valerian

Valerian potentially has two types of contraindications:

  • for pregnant and breastfeeding women
  • for children under three years old

Since there is no certain scientific research that verifies the absence of specific contraindications for pregnant women and children under three years of age, it is appropriate that these categories refrain from taking Valerian-based preparations, for extreme reasons. caution!

When to take valerian and how

In summary, if you are over three years old, you are not pregnant and you are not breastfeeding, you are not taking wort, melatonin or psychotropic drugs, then valerian can be an excellent remedy to calm tensions and promote relaxation in a natural way! Yes, Valerian can also be really useful for sleep.


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