Furthermore, Valeriana genus is recognized mainly for the presence of alkaloids (pyridine derivatives) and terpenoids (iridoids-monoterpenes and valepotriates
) as the major chemical constituents found on extracts of these species (Jiang, Zhang, Liu & Fang, 2007; Zhou, Fang, Gong, Duan, & Liu, 2009; Patocka & Jakl, 2010).
Valerian raw material is also rich in valepotriates
, alkaloids, caffeic acid derivatives, flavonoids, lignans, and amino acids (Circosta et al., 2007).
(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.
In two earlier publications, data on alkylating, cytotoxic and mutagenic effects have been presented for valepotriates
and their degradation products (Bos et al., 1998; von der Hude et al., 1986).
Molleyres, "Isolation of antifungal valepotriates
from Valeriana capense and the search for valepotriates
in crude Valerianaceae extracts," Phytochemical Analysis, vol.
Effect of valepotriates
(Valerian extract) in generalized anxiety disorder: a randomized placebo-controlled pilot study.
The sedative action of Valeriana has been attributed to the presence of several compounds like iridoids (valepotriates
), decomposition products (baldrinals), and various components of the essential oil; particularly, the valerenic acid derivatives15.
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.
Standardised solid extracts are available containing specific amounts of valepotriates
and/or valerenic acid, ingredients which probably contribute to the therapeutic activity.
Volatile oils and substances called valepotriates
may depress the central nervous system or alter levels of brain chemicals involved in stress and anxiety, yet have no effect on dreaming.
A natural tranquilizer, valerian is a European perennial herb that produces several medically active compounds including iridoids (valepotriates
) that have a natural calming effect on the human nervous system.