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Technical Name: (Valeriana officinalis) Root of the valerian plant
Used for: Insomnia (it's a safe sleeping aid); anxiety
Available In: Tincture, extract, tablets
Herb Drug: Valerian may interact with alcohol, some antihistamines, muscle relaxants, psychotropic drugs and narcotics. When taking any of these drugs, you should use valerian only under the supervision of a health-care provider. May increase sedative effects of anesthesia and should be discontinued at least a week prior to having surgery.
Interaction: Valerian is relatively safe and no significant side effects are known, but try not to use it on a regular basis, or you may become psychologically dependent upon it. People with impaired kidney or liver functions should not take valerian except under a physician's supervision. It should not be used with kava. Use on a short-term basis only.
When Buying: Look for valerian products standardized to 1% valerenic acid.
Dosage and Warning: Adults: Use 1 teaspoon of the tincture in a quarter cup of water, or 1 or 2 tablets, at bedtime.
Child Dosage: One dropperful at bedtime in a quarter cup of water

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