Valerian, Valeriana officinalis, is a popular and potent nervine with strong tranquilizing effects on the central nervous system. It has been used to treat a wide variety of nervous system conditions, insomnia, and mild pain. Valerian seems to work most consistently on people with sympathetic excess, as seen by their enlarged pupil size. People with parasympathetic excess (with small pupils) are more prone to be stimulated by valerian.
Not recommended for persons with "hot" disorders, i.e., high strung, nervous, and excitable. (Skullcap or passionflower are better for such individuals.) Not recommended for long-term use in large doses, although there is no risk for addiction. Does not generally cause drowsiness that could affect driving. Some people react "backward" to valerian and find it stimulating than sedating. Low thyroid and the dosage appear to be factors to cause this. Some persons using valerian may experience hallucinations at night.
This can be taken as an infusion, tincture, or capsule.