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For more than 1,000 years, valerian has been used as a sleep aid and as a relief for muscle and menstrual cramps. Often referred to as "herbal valium," it is today one of the most popular herbs prescribed in Europe as a remedy for anxiety. Valerenic acid, its primary active component, influences serotinin, GABA and epinephrine levels, causing anticonvulsive, hypotensive and sedative effects. As a result, it is particularly effective in reducing insomnia, fever, stress, tension, anxiety, and over-excitability. Valerian is also useful in treating headaches, digestive problems, urinary tract disorders, depression, vertigo and symptoms of PMS. It is not addictive. CAUTION: Extremely high doses of valerian may cause paralysis and/or a weakened heartbeat.


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