The extracts of Valeriana officinalis (V. officinalis) are among the most widely
used herbal medications worldwide. The roots of this medicinal plant have been shown to be
rich in a diverse set of phytochemicals that are biologically active. Various classes of chemical
compounds are present in the roots of V. officinalis including, terpenes valepotriates and
lignans. The high amount of bioactive chemical components in the extracts of this plant
gives it potential medicinal applications in different pathological conditions such as sleep
disorders, cardiovascular diseases, anxiety and depression. The most common medicinal use
of V. officinalis extract is for the treatment of insomnia and improving the quality of sleep.
Mild sedative effects of the extract, as well as the absence of any significant side effects,
make it a popular alternative to the synthetic sedative drugs which are usually associated
with undesirable adverse effects. In this review, the bioactive chemical components of V.
officinalis and their pharmacological activities are highlighted. Also, the medicinal applications
of valerian (V. officinalis) extracts and the possible mechanisms of action for the activities
Keywords: Valeriana officinalis, valerian, valerenic acid, valepotriates, bioactive, sedative drugs.
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