16) According to Bos et al (2002) (17) valepotriates (a minor constituent in Valeriana officinalis) are cytotoxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic in-vitro but the relevance of this is questionable since this constituent decomposes before absorption in the human digestive tract.
Valerenic acid is exclusive to Valeriana officinalis whilst valepotriates are more dominant in other valerian species.
In two earlier publications, data on alkylating, cytotoxic and mutagenic effects have been presented for valepotriates and their degradation products (Bos et al.
They include an in vitro study with valepotriates in a human endothelial cell line (ECV304): With very high concentrations a moderate degree of DNA damage could be demonstrated in the Comet assay (Hui-Lian et al.
with rather unstable epoxide structures may be present in the root, but are generally absent from finished products.
Multiple compounds in valerian root, including sesquiterpenoids and valepotriates
, have pharmacologic activity, but the active components responsible for its sedative effects have yet to be identified.
There are three distinct chemical compounds associated with Valerian: A volatile oil, a small number of alkaloids and a group of esters called valepotriates
(which are considered the most important chemical group in valerian).
Due to the isovaleric acid released on the decomposition of the valepotriates
, a distinctive pungent odor is produced (Mills 2000, Culpeper 1826).
, which were also discussed to be determinant for central actions of valerian (Andreatini and Leite, 1994; Andreatini et al.
In addition it has been suggested to delete or modify the test for valepotriates
required by the draft monograph.
Effect of valepotriates
(valerian extract) in gerneralized anxiety disorder: a randomized placebo-controlled pilot study.
Effects of a prolonged administration of valepotriates
in rats on the mothers and their offspring.