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To this herb, Valerian, are attributed calming characteristics on the central nervous system, spasmolytic and also hypnotics (which facilitate sleep).

These properties would be the consequence of the strengthening of specific devices suitable for nerve communication, through the increase in the availability of a neurotransmitter, the acid gamma-amino-butyric (GABA), which has a depressing effect on central nervous system, although some studies have indicated that the mechanism of action could be much more complex and involve other neuronal systems.

Valeriana officinalis (roots and rhizome) is used for its sedative and hypnotics proprieties as well as anti-spastic enteric.
The active principles most relevant are represented by sesquiterpenes in force in the essential oil, particularly acids valerenic, valerianone, valerianale, bornyl acetate, iso-valerate dibornile, oxy-valerenic acid, the acid-acetoxy valerenic. Preserves traces of valepotriats (dinuclear monoterpenes) and alkaloids.


Numerous studies have validated the results of the sedative and spasmolytic active ingredients of the plant, mainly attributed to the valerenic acids. Were examined, in addition, reliance between GABA (an inhibitory neurotransmitter essential for stress) and valerenic acids, despite these ingredients cannot, by themselves, to confuse the benzodiazepines in the CNS (Central Nervous System) and for this reason their mechanism of action remains largely unknown, if is omitted one of their conformity to the receptors of adenosine, which is provided of values inhibitory on the CNS.

Studies carried out on samples of many patients, many of whom double-blind, have shown a remarkable validity of the essences of valerian, showing a significant decrease in sleep latency without interference on the quality of the same (oneiric activity regular, without modifications of brain activity recordable with EEG). 

Valerian does not appear to affect the visual activity or attention due to drive a car or operate machinery, or create synergistic activity to alcohol as developer depression consequences. The toxicity is decidedly low and safety of use considerable.