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kozlek lekarski labofarm

Valeriana officinalis L. – Valerian
Valerianaceae – Valerian family
The raw material is the valerian root and rhizome, harvested in the late autumn, in the second year of vegetation, dried in drying rooms in max. 35° C.

Valerian – appearance and origin:

A perennial from the valerian family, found in Europe, Asia and North America, Japan and Manchuria; in Poland in wet plains and short peatlands, in bushes; however, as a pharmaceutical ingredient it is sourced from plantations.
The rhizome is ovate or obconical with numerous, thin roots. The stem grows up to 2 m, erect, unbranched, hollow inside, blue, furrowed, lightly pubescent at the bottom, bare at the top. The leaves are basal and cauline, the upper are sessile, the lower stipulate. The flower head has multiple flowers and is shaped like an umbel, placed at the tip; the flowers are small, bell- and funnel-shaped, pale pink or pale lilac. A coenospecies, found in many forms. An aromatic plant.

Valerian – effects and use:

Sedative, facilitating sleep.
Due to valepotriates (higher valepotriate content in fresh material products), the ingredients of the oil (valerenic acid and valerenone) and flavonoids (6-methylapigenin and 2S-(-)-hesperidin), the valerion root has a sedative effect on the central nervous system. It also exhibits relaxant activity on smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal tract, bile duct, urinary tract and peripheral blood vessels.

Valerian is used for psychomotor agitation, vegetative neurosis, difficulties in falling asleep and sleep disorders, anxiety and in intestinal, urinary and peripheral vessel spasms. The mechanism of the effects of valerian is not entirely clear. It is likely related with GABAergic transmission. Even low concentrations of the aqueous extract of valerian inhibited the uptake and stimulated the release of GABA from nerve endings. Isolated valerenic acid also influenced the GABA system by inhibiting the enzymatic degradation of γ-aminobutyric acid. The increased GABA concentration results in the opening of chloride channels of the cell membrane and in an increased chloride ion flow through the membrane to inside the cells, which reduces neuronal excitability and inhibits the response to polarizing stimuli.