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Researchers "discover" herbal sleep remedy.

Researchers "Discover" Herbal Sleep Remedy

Basel, Switzerland: Valerian root is an herb that has been used for many years by herbalists to deal with anxiety and insomnia. Researchers at the Nestle Research Center in Switzerland have recently investigated the herb and report enthusiastically about its prospects as an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs.

Dr. Peter Leathwood, a member of the research team, explained the purpose of the project: "We were seeking an effective drug that could deal with the problems of sleeplessness, hoping to find a safer and more effective remedy. Someone suggested the idea of pursuing traditional folk remedies.

"We looked through old herbal literature," he said, "and found a number of plants reputed to have sedative properties. None of them had ever been scientifically and systematically tested, nor did they seem to work effectively.

"We then came upon Valerian root, which was accepted by the medical community many years ago and eventually disappeared from the medical literature." In Germany and France, Dr. Leathwood noted, many people use it.

Test subjects were given doses of a compound that contained Valerian root with encouraging results. The old folk remedy may enjoy a further boost because the research project's sponsor, Nestle of Switzerland, will market the product eventually.

At present, Valerian root is available in health food stores and herbal shops in the United States. It is usually steeped in hot water and consumed as tea.
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Title Annotation:use of valerian root by herbalists validated by Nestle Research Center
Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Mar 22, 1991
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