Dr. Pamela Smith, ND 

Dr. Pam has a family practice at The Nest Family Wellness Centre which offers naturopathic and midwifery care. She combines science-based natural medicine with conventional medical therapeutics. Learn more about Dr. Pam and the services offered by her clinic here, or book an appointment at www.drpamelasmith.com.

Check out the latest Ask Dr Pam Q&A and posts by topic below as well as her health and wellness posts.

Ask Dr Pam   

What is the benefit of Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis)?

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Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) has long been used as a hypnotic and a nervine reducing nervous tension. Valerian influences the release of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) in brain tissue leading to sedation and relaxation at a central level. An opposite and stimulating effect can occur in a rare number of people and should be avoided in this case. Also, taking a large dose can potentially cause a headache so ensure you are starting off with small doses when trying valerian for the first time.