HFHCP

Essay Examples

What is Valerian?

Valerian is typically an herb whose roots are used medicinally for the treatment of various health problems. As such, valerian is mainly used in the treatment of sleep problems, especially among individuals suffering from insomnia. In addition, the herbal remedy is used in the treatment of other health problems that include; depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue and stress.

Moreover, some individuals use the herbal remedy in the treatment of joint pain, menstrual symptoms and muscle pain. In regard to this, numerous studies have indicated that valerian is effective in the treatment of these health problems, especially insomnia.

Brand name: Valerian, Valerian Root

Generic name: valerian

What is the source of the herbal remedy?

The herbal remedy is obtained from the roots of valerian, a perennial plant that grows in various parts of the world. As such, the preparation of the herbal remedy involves pressing the valerian roots into fresh juice or drying and crushing the roots to power form. Hence, the herbal remedy is available in various forms that include; fluid extracts, tablets, tinctures and capsules. However, in most cases valerian roots is usually combined with lemon balm or hops due to its sharp order in order to cover the scent.

Indications

Valerian root is mainly used in the treatment of insomnia, since it helps in the improvement of sleep quality. According to Leach & Page (2015), valerian root mainly shortens sleep latency and enhances the quality of sleep. However, it is recommended for individuals with insomnia should to use the herbal remedy for several days, preferably more than two weeks in order for it to be effective. Essentially, valerian works by increasing the amount of GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid), particularly in the brain whereby this minimizes the brain activity, hence resulting to drowsiness (WebMD, 2017).

In addition, valerian root is used in combination with other herbs such as lemon balm to minimize the symptom of restlessness, relieve anxiety as well as reduce menstrual pain.

Recommended dosage and available routes

Valerian is usually administered orally. According to WebMD (2017), insomnia patients should take 400-900mg of valerian extracts, about two hours before bedtime.

In addition, valerian extracts (120mg) are taken in combination with lemon balm (80mg) for the treatment of insomnia. Noteworthy, valerian needs to be taken about two hours before going to bed and continuously for about four to six weeks even when there is an improvement in sleep. On the other hand, the recommended dosage for anxiety is 120-200mg of valerian extracts taken for about three to four times each day.

In addition, valerian extracts (120mg) are taken in combination with lemon balm (80mg) for the treatment of insomnia. Noteworthy, valerian needs to be taken about two hours before going to bed and continuously for about four to six weeks even when there is an improvement in sleep. On the other hand, the recommended dosage for anxiety is 120-200mg of valerian extracts taken for about three to four times each day.

What are the side effects or adverse effects?

Although, valerian is mainly regarded as safe, especially when used for a short period of about four to eight weeks, the herbal remedy is associated with various side effects that include; uneasiness, headaches, stomach upsets, excitability, dry mouth as well as daytime drowsiness (WebMD, 2017).

In addition, the usage of valerian may cause breathing difficulties, tiredness, jaundice, nausea and lack of appetite. Thus, individuals using the herbal remedy need to effectively monitor the adverse effects and seek medical assistance once they develop breathing difficulties or swellings on the face or throat.

Who should not take this herbal medication?

Valerian should be not be taken by pregnant mothers or breastfeeding women due to lack of sufficient evidence pertaining to the safety of the herbal remedy during pregnancy as well as breastfeeding. In addition, the herbal remedy should not be taken by children except under the guidance of a healthcare provider. Moreover, patients who are scheduled for surgery should avoid the use of valerian since it affects the CNS (Central Nervous System) and this usually increases the anesthesia effects and could be harmful to the patient due to the development of various life-threatening problems.

Interactions

Valerian usually interact with various medications that include; alprazolam, sedative medications like benzodiazepines and anticonvulsants. For instance, valerian usually reduces the breakdown of alprazolam in the liver, hence increasing the side effects associated with alprazolam. Moreover, the usage of valerian alongside other sedative medications usually leads to excessive sleepiness. On the other hand, metabolizes of valerian usually involves certain enzymes in the liver, hence valerian might interact with various other medications whose metabolizes involves similar enzymes such as statins and antihistamines (Varteresian&Lavretsky, 2015). What are the sources of this information?

This information is mainly obtained from various research articles on the studies conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of valerian especially in regard to the treatment of insomnia. The research articles offer substantial information on the usage and effectiveness of valerian as well as the possible risks associated with the use of this herbal remedy.

Conclusion

Apparently, valerian root is an effective herbal remedy especially in the treatment of insomnia. However, some of the possible risks associated with the usage of this herbal remedy are unknown. Therefore individuals ought to use the herbal remedy under the guidance of a healthcare provider and efficiently monitor the side effects.