Oil Summary: Valerian essential oil has a warm, woody, balsamic, earthy scent to it. The three main chemicals that are thought to be active components of valerian are the essential oils (valerenic acid and valenol), valepotriates, and a few alkaloids, (actinidine, chatinine, shyanthine, valerianine, and valerine). Valerian essential oil is steam extracted from the roots of the Valerian plant. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis, Caprifoliaceae) is a perennial flowering plant native to Europe and Asia. In the summer when the mature plant may have a height of 1.5 meters (5 ft.), it bears sweetly scented pink or white flowers. The crude extract of valerian root may have sedative and anxiolytic effects and is commonly sold in dietary supplement capsules to promote sleep. Valerian may also reduce physical reactions during stressful situations. It slowed heart rate and reduced blood pressure in response to stress in a 2-week study of 56 healthy people. A 4-day study of 24 healthy volunteers found that the combination of lemon balm and valerian improved laboratory-induced stress scores at 600 mg compared to placebo, but increased anxiety at a higher dose (1800 mg). In another study, valerian reduced physical and psychological stress in rats by maintaining serotonin and norepinephrine levels in brain regions associated with fear and anxiety (hippocampus and amygdala). In mice, valerian reduced blood levels of a hormone involved in the stress response. This essential oil also helps regulate blood pressure. High blood pressure or hypertension generally leads to increased risk of heart strokes and problems. Active components present in valerian essential oil that helps reduce anxiety also works quite well when it comes to lowering down high blood pressure.
Botanical Name: valeriana officinalis
Plant Origin: China
Processing Method: Steam distillation from roots
Plant Part: roots
Odor and Color: smells like neem, woody fragrance
Contraindication: Valerian may cause excessive sleepiness if combined with alcohol, sedatives, some antidepressants, over-the-counter sleeping pills, or cold and flu remedies containing codeine, diphenhydramine, or doxylamine. Due to the lack of safety research, valerian should not be used in children, pets, pregnant women, or nursing mothers. It should also be used with extreme caution in heavy drinkers or people with liver disease. To avoid injury, let your doctor know if you intend to use valerian root for medical purposes.
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