Valerian is a flowering plant with the binomial name, Valeriana Officinalis, which blooms in summer and spring season with beautiful pink flowers and dies out in the winters. It is native to Europe, along with some parts of Asia and South Africa. Since the ancient Greek times, the plant and its root have been used for its herbal properties, especially to cure digestive problems, treat nervous system disorders and as sleeping aid. Though a wonderful plant, it still has some side effects associated with it, if taken in abundance or taken at the wrong time of the day (it is generally advised to take valerian root at night). Read on to find some of the probable side effects of Valerian Root.
Dangers Of Valerian Root
- Inability to remain alert is the most common side effect associate with valerian root.
- It can lead to yellowing of eyes and skin, a pre- condition for jaundice.
- It can give a feeling of mental dullness and mild depression in many individuals.
- Valerian root can even initiate allergic reaction, like skin rash, difficult breathing and hives (an allergic condition similar to burns).
- Some people might feel nervous, anxious or tensed after consuming the herb.
- Individuals suffering from liver diseases should not use this herb, as it may cause stomach pain and elevate liver enzymes.
- Valerian root can also lead to swelling of mouth or throat and wheezing.
- An overdose of this herb can also lead to headache and extreme mood swings.
- Valerian root can act as diuretic, a condition that prompts an individual to frequently visit restroom at night.
- Individuals taking anxiety medications, including barbiturates and benzodiazepines, should not take valerian root.
- The intake of valerian root should not be stopped immediately, as it can cause harmful effects.
- It can also lead to short term memory loss.
- Individuals can also experience drowsiness, vision disturbance and altered heartbeat, after taking its dose.
- Valerian root should not be used by pregnant and breastfeeding women, as it can be harmful.
- It should be taken one hour before going to bed.
- Since it leads to sleepiness, individuals who have taken it should not drive; operate heavy machinery, and/or do other such activities that require alertness of mind.
- People with history of liver disease or diabetes should also not use valerian root, as it can have adverse effects.
- It should never be mixed with alcohol, in which case it can impair the ability to communicate and can turn into life threatening-poison in the body.
- Valerian root should never be mixed with other medication and a physician should be consulted before taking its dose.
- It should not be used for more than two weeks at a time and should be avoided for some weeks before starting it all over again.
- Children less than 3 years of age should not be given doses of valerian root, as it has harmful components that can have adverse effects on their health.