Valerian (Valeriana Officinalis), also called Tagar, is brain tonic, stress reliever, antispasmodic, hypnotic and mild sedative in action. Due to these characteristics, it is highly used in herbal medicines for diseases related to brain, mind and muscles.
Valerian or Tagar has two main variety used for medicinal purposes.
- True Valerian (Valeriana Officinalis)
- Indian Valerian (Valeriana Wallichii)
Both valerians work in similar ways and share similar medicinal properties. In this article, we will talk about both species.
|Scientific Name||Valeriana Officinalis|
|Plant Family||Valerianaceae (Valerians)|
Botanical Classification (Taxonomy)
|Infra Kingdom||STREPTOPHYTA (land plants)|
|Division||TRACHEOPHYTA (TRACHEOPHYTES or Vascular Plants)|
|Sub Division||SPERMATOPHYTINA (SPERMATOPHYTES or Seed Plants)|
|Species||Valeriana Officinalis L. (Garden Valerian or Garden Heliotrope)Valeriana Wallichii (Indian Valerian)|
The roots of Tagar and valerian species are used for medicinal purposes. Roots contain volatile oil and phyto-chemicals, which are responsible for its medicinal value.
Phytochemistry (Active Constituents)
The following compounds are present in valerian.
IRIDOIDS & VALEPOTRIATES
- GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID (GABA)
- ISOVALERIC ACID
Volatile Oil contains following SESQUITERPENES
- VALERENIC ACID
- ACETOXYVALERENIC ACID
- HYDROXYVALERENIC ACID
Medicinal Properties & Action
Valerian (Tagar) has following healing properties and medicinal action.
- Reduces body odor
- Digestive stimulant
- Antispasmodic and Muscle relaxant
Valerian is helpful in following health conditions.
- Mental Fatigue
- Depressive feelings
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
- Bad body odor
Mind, Brain & Nerves
- Insomnia and sleeping disorders (greatly beneficial)
- Mental stress
- Memory loss (mild effects)
- Headache (more beneficial in headache, which is mild, dull and continuous steady pain. It may not help with throbbing pain and severe headache.)
- Migraine (with feeling of nausea, dull pain, and continuous steady headache)
- As a brain tonic
- Emotional stress
- Unmanageable emotional excesses
- Hypochondria (fear of illness)
- Tremors (mildly effective and may require mixing its root powder with other herbs)
- Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Some people also use Tagar in excitability, but we have not found it effective in such cases.
- Loss of appetite associated with mental illness
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Stomach Upset
- Intestinal Gas
Muscle, Bones & Joints
- Muscle spasm (antispasmodic)
- Muscular pain
- Joint pain (mild anti-inflammatory action)
- Menstrual cramps (Painful periods or dysmenorrhea)
- Anxiety associated with menopause
- Amenorrhea (Mild Action)
We have not found it effective in hot flashes that occur in menopause. Licorice, Bacopa Monnieri (Brahmi), Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) work better than valerian in menopause.
Valerian Side Effects
Valerian (Tagar) is LIKELY SAFE in recommended therapeutic dosage. However, you should use it for a short period (one to three months). The efficacy and safety of long-term use is not yet established.
A few side effects of valerian are.
- Headache (common)
Headache occurs when it is used in patients with history of severe headache, throbbing pain and acute cases. It may work well when used in mild and dull headache.
According to ayurveda, Valerian is effective in KAPHA and VATA type people. It produces heat in the body after ingestion. Therefore, people with burning sensation, heat sensation in the feet, heartburn, acidity, ulcer, ulcerative colitis should avoid using it. It may aggravate these problems.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
According to ayurveda, you should not use Tagar in pregnancy and breastfeeding. It may induce uterine stimulation and contractions. The more information about its safety in pregnancy and breastfeeding is yet unknown. Therefore, you should avoid its use in pregnancy and breastfeeding.
The main contraindications are.
- Before and after surgery – Tagar may interact with Anesthetic medicines.
- Ulcerative colitis – It may aggravate bleeding.
- Ulcer, heartburn, acidity – It may increases symptoms of these diseases