Valerian (Valerian officinalis) is a flowering plant with white or pink flowers. The phytochemicals contained within valerian have been shown to be beneficial at conferring protection from mood disorders, particularly anxiety. The chemicals within valerian which may be responsible for its medicinal effects are valepotriates which may activate the GABA A receptor, and isovalerate which has been shown to be an agonist of the adenosine A1 receptor. Obsessive compulsive disorder is a form of anxiety that may respond to valerian root extracts. For example, in one study, researchers administered valerian root extract to patients with obsessive compulsive disorder. Each subject received 765 mg of extract per day for 8 weeks or a placebo. The results of the study showed that the valerian extract had significant effects at reducing some of the characteristics of obsessive compulsive disorder. Further, there were no differences in the side effects seen between the valerian group and the placebo group.
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