Health Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada
Drugs and Health Products

Valerian - VALERIANA OFFICINALIS

Help on accessing alternative formats, such as Portable Document Format (PDF), Microsoft Word and PowerPoint (PPT) files, can be obtained in the alternate format help section.

This monograph is intended to serve as a guide to industry for the preparation of Product Licence Applications (PLAs) and labels for natural health product market authorization. It is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the medicinal ingredient.

Notes

  • Text in parentheses is additional optional information which can be included on the PLA and product label at the applicant's discretion.
  • The solidus (/) indicates that the terms and/or statements are synonymous. Either term or statement may be selected by the applicant.

Date

February 25, 2019

Proper name(s), Common name(s), Source material(s)

Table 1. Proper name(s), Common name(s), Source material(s)
Proper name(s) Common name(s) Source material(s)
Proper name(s) Part(s) Preparation

Valeriana officinalis

  • Common valerian
  • Garden-heliotrope
  • Garden valerian
  • Valerian

Valeriana officinalis

  • Root
  • Root and rhizome

Dried

References: Proper name: USDA 2018; Common names: McGuffin et al. 2000; Source materials: ESCOP 2003, Hoffmann 2003, BHP 1996.

Route of Administration

Oral

Dosage Form(s)

This monograph excludes foods or food-like dosage forms as indicated in the Compendium of Monographs Guidance Document.

Acceptable dosage forms for any age category listed in this monograph for the specified route of administration are listed in the Compendium of Monographs Guidance Document.

Use(s) or Purpose(s)

  • (Traditionally) used in Herbal Medicine to help relieve restlessness and/or nervousness (calmative) (EMA 2016; Mills and Bone 2005; Bradley 1992; Ellingwood 1983; Felter 1983).
  • (Traditionally used in Herbal Medicine as a) sleep aid/(to) help(s) to promote sleep (Mills and Bone 2005; Ziegler et al. 2002; Blumenthal et al. 2000; Dominguez et al. 2000; Donath et al. 2000; Bradley 1992; Balderer and Borbély 1985; Leathwood and Chauffard 1985; Ellingwood 1983; Felter and Lloyd 1983; Leathwood et al. 1982).

Note
Claims for traditional use must include the term "Herbal Medicine", "Traditional Chinese Medicine", or "Ayurveda".

Dose(s)

Subpopulation(s)

Adults 18 years and older

Quantity(ies)

Methods of preparation: Dry, Powder, Non-Standardised Extracts (Dry extract, Tincture, Fluid extract, Decoction, Infusion)

0.3-12 grams of dried root or root and rhizome, per day; Not to exceed 3.6 grams per single dose (EMA 2016; Mills and Bone 2005; Ziegler et al. 2002; Blumenthal et al. 2000; Donath et al. 2000; Bradley 1992; Balderer and Borbély 1985; Leathwood and Chauffard 1985; BHP 1983; Leathwood et al. 1982).

Methods of preparation: Standardized extracts (Dry extract, Tincture, Fluid extract, Decoction, Infusion)

0.3-12 grams of dried root or root and rhizome, per day; Not to exceed 3.6 grams per single dose

    And:

  • 0.04-0.90% valerenic acid (USP 2011; Brinker 2010USP)
  • OR

  • 0.10-0.90% sesquiterpenic acids (Brinker 2010; Ph. Eur. 2008)

Note
For extracts standardized to valerenic acid or sesquiterpenic acids, the quantity dried equivalent and the extract ratio must be provided.

Direction(s) for use

Sleep Aid (Optional)

  • Take a single dose 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime (Ziegler et al. 2002; Dominguez et al. 2000; Donath et al. 2000; Balderer and Borbély 1985; Leathwood and Chauffard 1985; Leathwood et al. 1982).

  • Take an earlier dose during the evening if necessary (EMA 2016).

Duration(s) of Use

No statement required.

Risk Information

Caution(s) and warning(s)

Sleep aid

Consult a health care practitioner/health care provider/health care professional/doctor/physician if sleeplessness persists continuously for more than 4 weeks (chronic insomnia) (EMA 2016; Berardi et al. 2002; Dipiro et al. 2002).

All uses:

  • Consult a health care practitioner/health care provider/health care professional/doctor/ physician if symptoms persist or worsen.
  • Avoid taking with alcohol or products that cause drowsiness (Brinker 2010; Gennaro et al. 2000).

Contraindication(s)

No statement required.

Known adverse reaction(s)

Some people may experience drowsiness. Exercise caution if operating heavy machinery, driving a motor vehicle or involved in activities requiring mental alertness (EMA 2016; ESCOP 2003; Bradley 1992).

Non-medicinal ingredients

Must be chosen from the current Natural Health Products Ingredients Database (NHPID) and must meet the limitations outlined in the database.

Storage conditions

No statement required.

Specifications

  • The finished product specifications must be established in accordance with the requirements described in the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD) Quality of Natural Health Products Guide.
  • The medicinal ingredient must comply with the requirements outlined in the NHPID

References Cited

  • Balderer G, Borbély AA. 1985. Effect of valerian on human sleep. Psychopharmacology 87(4):406-409.
  • Berardi RR, DeSimone EM, Newton GD, Oszko MA, Popovich NG, Rollins CJ, Shimp LA, Tietze KJ, editors. 2002. Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs: An Interactive Approach to Self-Care, 13th edition. Washington (DC): American Pharmaceutical Association.
  • BHP 1983: British Herbal Pharmacopoeia. Cowling (GB): British Herbal Medical Association.
  • BHP 1996: British Herbal Pharmacopoeia. Bournemouth (GB): British Herbal Medicine Association.
  • Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinkmann J, editors. 2000. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Boston (MA): Integrative Medicine Communications.
  • Bradley PR, editor. 1992. British Herbal Compendium: A Handbook of Scientific Information on Widely Used Plant Drugs, Volume 1. Bournemouth (GB): British Herbal Medicine Association.
  • Dipiro JT, Talbert RL, Yee GC, Matzke GR, Wells BG, Posey LM. 2002. Pharmacotherapy: A Pathophysiologic Approach, 5th edition. New York (NY): The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
  • Dominguez RA, Bravo-Valverde RL, Kaplowitz BR, Cott JM. 2000. Valerian as a hypnotic for Hispanic patients. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology 6(1):84-92.
  • Donath F, Quispe S, Diefenbach K, Maurer A, Fietze I, Roots I. 2000. Critical evaluation of the effect of valerian extract on sleep structure and sleep quality. Pharmacopsychiatry 33(6):47-53.
  • Ellingwood F. 1983. American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical Publications [Reprint of 1919 original].
  • EMA 2016. European Medicines Agency. Community Monograph on Valeriana Officinalis L., Radix. London (GB): EMEA Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC), 02 Febuary 2016. [Accessed 2018 December 18]. Available from: https://www.ema.europa.eu/documents/herbal-monograph/final-european-union-herbal-monograph-valeriana-officinalis-l-radix_en.pdf
  • ESCOP 2003: ESCOP Monographs: The Scientific Foundation for Herbal Medicinal Products, 2nd edition. Exeter (GB): European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy and Thieme.
  • Felter HW. 1983. The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical Publications [Reprint of 1922 original].
  • Felter HW, Lloyd JU. 1983. King's American Dispensatory, Volume 2, 18th edition. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical Publications [Reprint of 1898 original].
  • Gennaro AR, Marderosian AHD, Hanson GR, Medwick T, editors. 2000. Remington: The Science and Practice of Pharmacy, 20th edition. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • Hoffmann D. 2003. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester (VT): Healing Arts Press.
  • Leathwood PD, Chauffard F. 1985. Aqueous extract of valerian reduces latency to fall asleep in man. Planta Medica 51(2):144-148.
  • Leathwood PD, Chauffard F, Heck E, Munoz-Box R. 1982. Aqueous extract of valerian root (Valeriana officinalis L.) improves sleep quality in man. Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior 17(1):65-71.
  • McGuffin M, Kartesz JT, Leung AY, Tucker AO, editors. 2000. Herbs of Commerce, 2nd edition. Silver Spring (MD): American Herbal Products Association.
  • Mills S, Bone K. 2005. The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety. St. Louis (MO): Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.
  • Ph. Eur. 2008: European Pharmacopoeia, Volume 2, 6th edition. Strasbourg (FR): Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and HealthCare of the Council of Europe (EDQM).
  • USDA 2018: United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) [Internet]. Beltsville (MD): National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. Accessed 2018 December 18]. Available from: https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=400139
  • USP 2011: United States Pharmacopeia and the National Formulary (USP 34 - NF 29). Rockville (MD): The United States Pharmacopeial Convention.; 2011
  • Ziegler G, Ploch M, Miettinen-Baumann A, Collet W. 2002. Efficacy and tolerability of valerian extract LI 156 compared with oxazepam in the treatment of non-organic insomnia - a randomized, double-blind, comparative clinical study. European Journal of Medical Research 7(11):480-486.

References Reviewed

  • Andreatini R, Sartori VA, Seabra MLV, Leite JR. 2002. Effect of valepotriates (valerian extract) in generalized anxiety disorder : a randomized placebo-controlled pilot study. Phytotherapy Research 16(7):650-654.
  • Barnes J, Anderson LA, Philipson JD. 2007. Herbal Medicines, 3rd edition. London (GB): The Pharmaceutical Press.
  • Bent S, Padula A, Moore D, Patterson M, Mehling W. 2006. Valerian for sleep: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The American Journal of Medicine 119(12):1005-1012.
  • Bliwise DL, Ansari FP. 2007. Insomnia associated with valerian and melatonin usage in the 2002 National Health Interview survey. Sleep 30(7):881-884.
  • Blumenthal M. 2003. ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs. New York (NY): Theime.
  • Blumenthal M, Busse W, Goldberg A, Gruenwald J, Hall T, Riggins C, Rister R, editors. 1998. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin (TX): American Botanical Council.
  • Boon H, Smith MJ. 2004. The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to the 50 Most Common Medicinal Herbs, 2nd edition. Toronto (ON): Robert Rose Inc.
  • Bove M. 2001. An Encyclopedia of Natural Healing for Children and Infants, 2nd edition. New York (NY): McGraw-Hill.
  • BP 2008: British Pharmacopoeia, Volume I. London (GB): The Stationary Office, for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
  • Brinker F. 2008. Online Updates and Additions to Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions, 3rd edition. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical Publications. [Accessed 2008 June 11]. Available from: http://www.eclecticherb.com/emp/updatesHCDI.html
  • Chandler F, editor. 2000. Herbs: Everyday Reference for Health Professionals. Ottawa (ON): Canadian Pharmacists Association and the Canadian Medical Association.
  • Cook WH. 1869. The Physio-medical Dispensatory [online] Cincinnati (OH): WH Cook. Scanned by Paul Bergner, editor, Medical Herbalism - A journal for the clinical practitioner. Boulder (CO): North American Institute of Medical Herbalism, Inc. [Accessed 2008 June 11]. Available from: http://medherb.com/cook/home/html
  • Coxeter P, Schluter PJ, Eastwood HL, Nikles CJ, Glasziou PP. Valerian does not appear to reduce symptoms for patients with chronic insomnia in general practice using a series of randomized n-of-1 trials. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 11(4):215-222.
  • Diaper A, Hindmarch I. 2004. A double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation of the effects of two doses of a valerian preparation on the sleep, cognitive and psychomotor function of sleep-disturbed older adults. Phytotherapy Research 18(10):831-836.
  • Dorn M. 2000. [Efficacy and tolerability of Baldrian versus oxazepam in non-organic and non-psychiatric insomniacs: a randomized, double-blind, clinical, comparative study]. Wirksamkeit und Verträglichkeit von Baldrian versus Oxazepam bei nichtorganischen und nichtpsychiatrischen Insomnien: Eine randomisierte, doppelblinde, klinische Vergleichsstudie. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd 7(2):79-84 (in German).
  • Geller SE, Studee L. 2007. Botanical and dietary supplements for mood and anxiety in menopausal women. The Journal of The North American Menopause Society 14(3):541-549.
  • ard U, Linnenbrink N, Georghiadou C, Hobi V. 1996. [Vigilance-decreasing effects of 2 plant-derived sedatives]. Vigilanzmindernde Effekte zweier pflanzlicher Schlafmittel. Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax 85(15): 473-481 (in German).
  • Gooneratne NS. 2008. Complementary and alternative medicine for sleep disturbances in older adults. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine 24(1):121-138.
  • Holst L, Nordeng H, Haavik S. 2008. Use of herbal drugs during early pregnancy in relation to maternal characteristics and pregnancy outcome. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 17(2):151-159.
  • JC 2018: Justice Canada. 2018. Food and Drug Regulations. (C.01.021) [online]. Ottawa (ON): Justice Canada; 2008. [Accessed 2018 December 19]. Available from: https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/C.R.C.%2C_c._870/FullText.html
  • Kohnen W, Oswald WD. 1988. The effects of valerian, propanolol, and their combination on activation, performance, and mood of healthy volunteers under social stress conditions. Pharmacopsychiatry 21(6):447-448.
  • Kuhlmann J, Berger W, Podzuweit H, Schmidt U. 1999. The influence of valerian treatment on "reaction time, alertness and concentration" in volunteers. Pharmacopsychiatry 32(6):235-241.
  • Leathwood PD, Chauffard F. 1982/83. Quantifying the effects of mild sedatives. Journal of Psychiatric Research 17(2):115-122.
  • Mayer B, Springer E. 1974. [Psychoexperimental studies on the effect of a valepotriate combination as well as the combined effects of valtatum and alcohol]. Psychoexperimentelle Untersuchungen zur Wirkung einer Valepotriatkombination sowie zur kombinierten Wirkung von Valtratum und Alkohol. Arzneimittelforschung 24(12):2066-2070 (in German).
  • McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, editors. 1997. American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press.
  • Mills E, Dugoua J, Perri D, Koren G. 2006. Herbal Medicines in Pregnancy and Lactation : An Evidence-Based Approach. London (GB): Taylor and Francis Medical.
  • Mills S. 1993. The Essential Book of Herbal Medicine. Toronto (ON): Arkana.
  • Mills S. 1985. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. Wellingborough (GB): Thorsons Publishers Ltd.
  • Mills S, Bone K. 2000. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy. Toronto (ON): Churchill Livingstone.
  • Miyasaka LS, Atallah AN, Soares BGO. 2008. Valerian for anxiety disorders. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Issue 4. Art. No.:CD004515. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004515.pub2.
  • Morazzoni P, Bombardelli E. 1994. Valeriana officinalis: traditional use and recent evaluation of activity. Fitoterapia 66(2):99-112.
  • Morin AK, Jarvis CI, Lynch AM. 2007. Therapeutic options for sleep-maintenance and sleep-onset insomnia. Pharmacotherapy 27(1):89-110.
  • Oxman AD, Flottorp S, Håvelsrud K, Fretheim A, Odgaard-Jensen J, Austvoll-Dahlgren A, Carling C, Pallesen S, Bjorvatn B. 2007. A televised, web-based randomised trial of an herbal remedy (Valerian) for insomnia. PLoS ONE 2(10):e1040.
  • Poyares DR, Guilleminault C, Ohayon MM, Tufik S. 2002. Can valerian improve the sleep of insomniacs after benzodiazepine withdrawal? Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry 26(3):539-545.
  • Remington JP, Woods HC, editors. 1918. The Dispensatory of the United States of America [online] 20th edition. Abridged; botanicals only. Bisbee (AZ): Scanned by Michael Moore, director, The Southwest School of Botanical Medicine. [Accessed 2008 June 11]. Available from: http://www.swsbm.com/Dispensatory/USD-1918-complete.pdf
  • Saeed SA, Bloch RM, Antonacci DJ. 2007. Herbal and dietary supplements for treatment of anxiety disorders. American Family Physician 76(4):549-556.
  • Schilcher H. 1997. Phytotherapy in Paediatrics: Handbook for Physicians and Pharmacists. Stuttgart (DE): medpharm Scientific Publishers.
  • Schulz H, Jobert M, Hubner WD. 1998. The quantitative EEG as a screening instrument to identify sedative effects of single doses of plant extracts in comparison with diazepam. Phytomedicine 5(6):449-458.
  • Schulz H, Stolz C, Müller J. 1994. The effect of valerian extract on sleep polygraphy in poor sleepers: a pilot study. Pharmacopsychiatry 27(4):147-151.
  • Shimazaki M, Martin JL. 2007. Do herbal agents have a place in the treatment of sleep problems in long-term care? Journal of the American Medical Directors Association 8(4):248-252.
  • Sood A, Sood R, Brinker FJ, Mann R, Loehrer LL, Wahner-Roedler DL. 2008. Potential for interactions between dietary supplements and prescription medications. The American Journal of Medicine 121(3):207-211.
  • Taibi DM, Landis CA, Petry H, Vitiello MV. 2007. A systematic review of valerian as a sleep aid: safe but not effective. Sleep Medicine Reviews 11(3):209-230.
  • Taibi DM, Vitiello MV, Barsness S, Elmer GW, Anderson GD, Landis CA. 2008. A randomized clinical trial of valerian fails to improve self-reported, polysomnographic, and actigraphic sleep in older women with insomnia. Sleep Medicine doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2008.02.001.
  • Tariq SH, Pulisetty S. 2008. Pharmacotherapy for insomnia. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine 24(1):93-105.
  • Tilgner S. 1999. Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth. Creswell (OR): Wise Acre Press.
  • Upton R, editor. 1999. American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and Therapeutic Compendium. Santa Cruz (CA): American Herbal Pharmacopoeia.
  • Waldschütz R, Klein P. 2008. The homeopathic preparation Neurexan® vs. valerian for the treatment of insomnia: an observational study. TheScientificWorldJOURNAL 8:411-420.
  • WHO 1999: World Health Organization. WHO Monographs on Selected Medicinal Plants, Volume 1. Geneva (CHE): World Health Organization.
  • Wiersema J, Léon B. 1999. World Economic Plants: A Standard Reference. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press LLC.
  • Williamson EM. 2003. Potter's Herbal Cyclopaedia: The Authoritative Reference work on Plants with a Known Medicinal Use. Saffron Walden (GB): The C.W. Daniel Company Limited.
  • Wren RC. 1907. Potter's Cyclopedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations. London (GB): Potter and Clark.