Valerian has been used as a medicinal herb since at least the time of ancient Greece and Rome.Hippocrates described its properties, and Galen later prescribed it as a remedy for insomnia.When standardized, it is done so as a percentage of valerenic acid or valeric acid.Because the compounds in valerian produce central nervous system depression, they should not be used with other depressants, such as ethanol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, opiates, kava, or antihistamine drugs.Euphoria is an extreme state of joy and relaxation which is a highly desirable effect.For centuries plants are used for the own psychoactive potential.
The very limited animal and human data do not allow a conclusion as to the safety of valerian during pregnancy.
Many studies remain inconclusive and all require clinical validation.
The mechanism of action of valerian in general, and as a mild sedative in particular, has not been fully elucidated.
Oral forms are available in both standardized and unstandardized forms.
Standardized products may be preferable considering the wide variation of the chemicals in the dried root, as noted above.