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Valeriana officinalis
Vaccinium myrtillus



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Untitled Document Valeriana officinalis L. (sensu lato) (Valerianaceae)

Valeriana alternifolia Ledeb., Valeriana excelsa Poir., Valeriana sylvestris Grosch.

Local names
All heal, akar pulepandak, amantilla, balderbrackenwurzel, baldrian, Baldrianwurzel, cat’s love, cat’s valerian, fragrant valerian, garden heliotrope, great wild valerian, ka-no-ko-so, Katzenwurzel, kesso root, kissokon, kuanyexiccao, luj, nard, ntiv, racine de valeriane, St. George’s herb, setwall, txham laaj, valerian fragrant, valerian, valeriana, valeriana extranjera, valeriana rhizome, valeriane, vandal root, waliryana, wild valerian

A tall perennial herb whose underground portion consists of a vertical rhizome bearing numerous rootlets and one or more stolons. The aerial portion consists of a cylindrical hollow, channelled stem attaining 2m in height, branched in the terminal region, bearing opposite exstipulate, pinnatisect, cauline leaves with clasping petioles. The inflorescence consists of racemes of cymes whose flowers are small, white, or pink. The fruits are oblong-ovate, 4-ridged, single-seeded achenes. Valeriana officinalis (sensu lato) is an extremely polymorphous complex of subspecies. The basic type is diploid, 2n = 14, (V. officinalis) and other subspecies have very similar characteristics: V. officinalis ssp. collina (Wallr.) Nyman (2n = 28) has leaves with 15–27 folioles, all of the same width, and V. officinalis ssp. sambucifolia (Mikan f.) Celak, V. excelsa Poiret (2n = 56) has leaves with 5– 9 folioles, with the apical one clearly larger than the others. In contrast to the other subspecies, the rhizome of the lat is clearly stoloniferous (epigenous and hypnogenous stolons). V. repens Host. (equivalent to V. procurrens Wallr.) could be considered a fourth species, according to the Flora Europaea. Often appended to this species are taxonomic groups of uncertain status and limited distribution (e.g. V. salina Pleigel or V. versifolia Brügger)

Plant material used
dried roots, rhizomes and stolons

Chemical assays
Contains not less than 0.5% v/w of essential oil, quantitatively determined by distillation. Content of individual constituents including valepotriates, valerenic acids and valerenal, determined by high-performance liquid or gas–liquid chromatographic methods

Major chemical constituents
The chemical composition of Radix Valerianae varies greatly depending on the subspecies, variety, age of the plant, growing conditions, and type and age of the extract. The volatile oil (ranges 0.2–2.8%) contains bornyl acetate and bornyl isovalerate as the principal components. Other significant constituents include β-caryophyllene, valeranone, valerenal, valerenic acid, and other sesquiterpenoids and monoterpenes. The co-occurrence of three cyclopentane-sesquiterpenoids (valerenic acid, acetoxyvalerenic acid, and valerenal) is confined to V. officinalis and permits its distinction from V. edulis and V. wallichii. The various subspecies of V. officinalis have different compositions of volatile oil and, for example, average bornyl acetate content varies from 35% in V. officinalis ssp. pratensis to 0.45% in V. officinalis ssp. illyrica.
A second important group of constituents (0.05–0.67% range) is a series of non-glycosidic bicyclic iridoid monoterpene epoxy-esters known as the valepotriates. The major valepotriates are valtrate and isovaltrate (which usually represent more than 90% of the valepotriate content). Smaller amounts of dihydrovaltrate, isovaleroxy-hydroxydihydrovaltrate, 1-acevaltrate or others are present. The valepotriates are rather unstable owing to their epoxide structure, and losses occur fairly rapidly on storage or processing, especially if the drug is not carefully dried. Principal degradation products are baldrinal, homobaldrinal, and valtroxal

Dosage forms
Internal use as the expressed juice, tincture, extracts, and other galenical preparations. External use as a bath additive. Store in tightly closed containers, in a cool dry place, protected from light

Medicinal uses
Uses supported by clinical data
As a mild sedative and sleep-promoting agent. The drug is often used as a milder alternative or a possible substitute for stronger synthetic sedatives, such as the benzodiazepines, in the treatment of states of nervous excitation and anxiety-induced sleep disturbances.

Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established documents
As a digestive aid, and an adjuvant in spasmolytic states of smooth muscle and gastrointestinal pains of nervous origin. When associated with papaverine, belladonna, and other spasmolytics, Radix Valerianae has been shown to be useful as an adjuvant in spastic states of smooth muscle such as spastic colitis.

Uses described in traditional medicine
To treat epilepsy, gum sores, headaches, nausea, sluggish liver, urinary tract disorders, vaginal yeast infections, and throat inflammations; and as an emmenagogue, antiperspirant, antidote to poisons, diuretic, anodyne, and a decoction for colds

Proven pharmacological activity
Animal studies
Sedative, Spasmolytic

Human studies
Sedative, Hypnotic, CNS depressant

Radix Valerianae should not be used during pregnancy or lactation.

No information available.

May cause drowsiness. Those affected should not drive or operate machinery. Although no interaction between valerian and alcohol has been demonstrated clinically, as a precautionary measure patients should avoid consuming alcoholic beverages or other sedatives in conjunction with Radix Valerianae

Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility
Some concern has been expressed over the cytotoxicity of the valepotriates. Cytotoxicity has been demonstrated in vitro but not in vivo, even in doses of 1350mg/kg. Some of the valepotriates demonstrate alkylating activity in vitro. However, because the compounds decompose rapidly in the stored drug, there is no cause for concern. The valepotriates are also poorly absorbed and are rapidly metabolized to the baldrinals, which have better sedating effects. In vitro, the baldrinals are less toxic than the valepotriates, but in vivo they are more cytotoxic because they are more readily absorbed by the intestine. Baldrinals have been detected at levels up to 0.988mg/dose in commercial preparations standardized with respect to the concentration of valepotriates and may be of cytotoxic concern.

Pregnancy: teratogenic effects
Prolonged oral administration of valepotriates did not produce any teratogenic effects.

Pregnancy: non-teratogenic effects
The safety of Radix Valerianae during pregnancy has not been established; therefore it should not be administered during pregnancy.

Nursing mothers
Excretion of Radix Valerianae into breast milk and its effects on the newborn infant have not been established; therefore it should not be administered during lactation.

Paediatric use
Radix Valerianae preparations should not be used for children less than 12 years of age without medical supervision.

Other precautions
No information on general precautions or drug interactions or drug and laboratory test interactions was found.

Adverse reactions
Minor side-effects have been associated with chronic use of Radix Valerianae and include headaches, excitability, uneasiness, and insomnia. Very large doses may cause bradycardia and arrhythmias, and decrease intestinal motility. The recommended first aid is gastric lavage, charcoal powder, and sodium sulfate. Doses up to 20 times the recommended therapeutic dose have been reported to cause only mild symptoms which resolved within 24 h (38). Four cases of liver damage have been associated with use of preparations containingRadix Valerianae. However, in all cases the patients were taking a combination herbal product containing four different plant species and thus a causal relationship to the intake of valerian is extremely doubtful.

Dried root and rhizome, 2–3g drug per cup by oral infusion, 1–5 times per day, up to a total of 10 g and preparations correspondingly. Tincture (1 :5, 70% ethanol), 0.5–1 teaspoon (1–3ml), once to several times a day. External use, 100 g drug for a full bath


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