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What Is Valerian?

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Quick Answer

Valerian is a flowering plant commonly used in herbal supplements. An extract from the root of the Valerian plant is used to make natural treatments for sleep disorders. Extracts from the Valerian plant are also used in perfumes and food additives.

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Valerian is used in the natural treatment of several disorders, ranging from insomnia to depression. Valerian root extract is often used by insomnia patients to wean themselves off of prescription sleep aids. Medicinal use of Valerian is recorded as far back as ancient Greece, when the Greek physician Hippocrates wrote about the properties of the Valerian plant. Another Greek physician, Galen, prescribed Valerian root to patients that suffered from sleeplessness over 1500 years ago.

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